Thursday, January 26, 2012

Laddering through Level 2

Because of all the foundation work we have done over the last year and a half much of the levels work so far has just been filling in a few missing gaps, clarifying a few definitions for her (e.g. sit means butt on the floor chest off the does not mean move to a vertically lower position than you are currently in). Then we got to L2 Down where she has to stay down for 1 full minute.

I knew she required a lot of feedback but holy cow!!! She couldn't go over 15 seconds without deciding I must be looking for something else, at which point she would whine, flop over, get up, paw at stuff...silly puppy.

The funny part is I think much of this comes from primarily shaping her way through puppyhood. She has the unshakable belief that one of us should be doing something at all times. She will hold her stay almost forever if I am running around, waving my arms, making weird noises, throwing food or teasing her with a toy. But if I stand stock still she can only hold it for about 11 seconds. If I am NOT doing something that clearly tells her that she SHOULD be do something, now what could that be...maybe rolling over? maybe worrying your shoe? maybe picking up this bone while simultaneously backing up and whining? No!? Man you are a tough nut to crack!!!

Needless to say we have been doing A LOT of chuting back to 1 second downs and laddering our way up. Counting out 45 seconds over and over and over gets tiresome for sure, but Sue says it's worth it and she hasn't let me down yet so we are sticking with it. We finally tested and passed yesterday, but I have to admit I did move my head from time to time and shifted my weight back and forth, just to reaffirm for her that she should be doing nothing because I was doing something. We'll continue working on her faith in duration behaviors without feedback, but for the sake of the levels it was a pass with flying colors.

So now we are starting over again with our comeafter...1 minute down while I put my shoes on. 1 sec/Yes, 2 sec/Yes, 3 sec/Yes, 4 sec/ we go again...

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