Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just passing by

We checked off New Levels L2 Step 5 Target - Close a cabinet door. This was something I tried to teach her when she was little, but I didn't know enough and she got very frustrated with me and I with her until we dropped it.

This time around I actually know how to communicate with her on some level. If she started to open her mouth, a sure sign she was starting to get confused or frustrated, we took a break to play or just lay down. If I asked her for a particular criteria and she goofed twice, I didn't drill it, I changed something to make it easier for her to understand. For example, she had been doing great touching the sticky note on the cabinet door so I did 3 or 4 quick reps and then took the sticky note off and gestured toward to cabinet. She walked behind the door and looked at me. I brought her back out and reset, same response. Time to change something. I went back to the sticky note, she got 100%, so we did that couple of times and then instead of taking the whole thing off I tore a piece of it and stuck that back on. She got it right away, then I put a piece of clear tape, no problems, THEN I took all the tape/notes of any kind off and gestured toward the door again, she cheerfully bopped it shut....YAY!!!

Now she is solid on one cabinet door, very reliable on another one, and any other it takes one or two reps with a sticky note and then she can do it straight. I figure the more doors we do this with the more she will generalize.

So once we got over that hurdle we made quick work of a lot of the next stuff...

Passed all of NL2 Go To Mat behaviors...even ignoring treats on the ground near the mat

Passed all of NL2 Crate steps as well, but both of those are things she has done fluently since she was a teeny tiny puffball so that was no surprise

Passed most of Distance work with Bye as the cue for clockwise and Way as the cue for counter-clockwise. I need to have her go around a new pole and have her go through a doorway and turn to face me.

Jump shouldn't be too difficult, we'll see

Relax....that's a whole different story...I foresee every step in Relax taking quite a while to trudge through.

I am exceedingly happy with the results that I am getting out of working the New Levels. I find that when we hit a snag and work our way through it following the steps and advice in the book it really does make a huge difference. Leaving a treat on the ground on our walks helps her self control which means that when she sees a cat run by she starts to jump after it, but she gets herself under control much faster, and her reactions aren't nearly as strong.

I've said it before, but I owe my sanity to the combination of Sue Ailsby's Training Levels, and Leslie McDevitt's Control Unleashed program...I want to be like them when I grow up.

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