Sunday, 22 May 2011
After taking a couple of days out to work on going in different directions around different objects (left and right around a stool, a lamp and the vacuum cleaner), I took a handful of Really Great Food today and got out the ball again - with the hope that having Really Great Food (corned beef, mushed up in my fingers) would help Lola keep her head when she was actually touching the ball.
Of course, I'd forgotten when I got everything out and ready that... Lola doesn't actually know how to target anything other than my hand and a target stick. Five minutes with post-it notes and blutack helped, and it only took three or four nudges against the ball with the note stuck there for her to "get" what I meant, and start gently touching the ball, pretty low down, without the note there.
She'll go a couple of steps with it now, happily nudging it toward me, in a straight line. I'm marking and treating when the ball hits my legs (sometimes an inch away, sometimes two feet away, etc), and I think she's getting it. We only had one crazy moment, when she hit the ball a little to the left and then frantically tried to bring it back around to me - and then lost her mind and started pawing at it and bouncing it around the room. She minded me when I called her away, and went right back to it despite the (mild) correction, which was great! I'm hoping playing with treiball helps build her confidence; agility will likely help, too, when she's older, but treiball is great especially for now because it also doesn't require getting utterly filthy outdoors like agility does.
In other news, I've broken my clicker. I can press the button and get a click, but then it "sticks" and won't un-click for a few seconds or until I shake it (resulting in two clicks a few seconds apart). I'm going to have to have a trip to Pets At Home to get a new one (or two!) - I can use and am using my verbal marker with Lola, but I do find that she "gets" what I want slightly slower than with the clicker.