Monday, October 10, 2011


We had half of a stick of string cheese left from this morning, so Jonah and I headed out for another session of discriminations.  At first he was missing some again, especially when the tunnel was on the left, when he just kept going to the tunnel.  I asked for the frame.  He went in the tunnel.  We went again.  I stopped when he went in the tunnel.  He normally races through, but he was so tuned into not wanting to be bad that he stopped in the tunnel, and when he came out he looked sheepish.  Poor guy.  I made a real effort to pet him and make eye contact even though I didn't feed him.  We tried again.  He raced for the tunnel.  I called his name.  He stopped.  I told him he was a good boy, we backed up a few feet and then I asked for the frame again.  He got it and looked SO.PROUD. of himself.  Then he never missed again in any direction.  What a star!  It was like it really just clicked in his brain and he started listening to my words to determine which obstacle to take.

I did try putting him in a stay and then calling him forward.  He got the discriminations, but when I asked for the frame he was less enthusiastic and didn't get his correct striding (he put in 3 'touches' on the down side instead of 2).  I don't want to be encouraging poor striding, so I didn't work on it that way anymore.

One time when he kept missing that tunnel/A-frame I rear-crossed the frame so I could block the tunnel.  We got the discrimination but again he got tentative in his footwork and so I didn't do that again.

I'm feeling good about the discriminations at the moment.  Next I'll move the tunnel back to the dogwalk and see how that goes.  I think this is one of those skills that will just take repeated practice to keep sharp.

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