'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Monday, 16 May 2011

May I Remind You You Live in England?

The weather has really taken a turn lately - I'd all but forgotten that I live in rainy ol' England, before the last couple of days. My plan to take the girls for a nice long walk fell flat after my last exam (all exams are finished now!), because neither likes going out in the rain (and it's pretty heavy rain, with wind to match).

I got an exercise ball a couple of days ago, to start playing treibball with. The day I got it, I gave Lola a crash-course in 'how to go to your mat' because she'd basically forgotten how to do just that, and so far she'll ignore the ball if it's just far enough in the center that she has to just veer around it to go to the left. I'm having trouble thinking how to teach her the other direction - the site I was using said to teach one way first, and then I lost the link to that site, so yeah. We're using 'go by' for a clockwise movement around the ball, and I'm planning to use 'counter' for counterclockwise (since away/go away/get away is reserved for making her leave us alone when we're eating, if she's begging too much). I'm not sure whether I should carry on building up her 'go by' first, and then do 'counter' so as not to confuse her, or whether to try and integrate 'counter' in too so that she doesn't become too focused on going clockwise around the ball.

So far, she's not too fussed either way. I've had to call her off the ball twice, which I'm shocked at - both times were immediately after I'd touched/moved the ball, and it's understandable considering that our shaping sessions usually begin with me moving or setting down an object I want her to interact with, but I've moved it four times now and she's pretty ball-obsessed, so I'm surprised she hasn't gone to play with it more.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

Congratulations on finishing your exams!

Does Lola know go around objects (without the ball)? You can use a chair or a cone or we use the coffee table. With her on your left send her around clock-wise and with her on your right send her around counter-clock-wise. You don't have to name the behavior at first. Ricky loves the go around game and never seems to get confused which direction to go based on my body language - use your right arm or left arm to send the dog. Then you can put the ball back in and have Lola go around it. You can work on the down on the mat separately and fade the mat by using something you can fold into smaller and smaller size (or cut it). You can then use the mat on the other side of the ball and send to mat and down. Maybe you know this and are already doing it but I thought I would leave you a long-winded comment any way! LOL!

Sara said...

Enjoy all your freetime now that exams are over.

I can see Lola loving treiball.

K-Koira said...

Treiball looks like so much fun. The training center we do flyball at is starting classes soon, I'm hoping it will be a time I can go to them.

Are you training it all by yourself, or doing any classes?