Friday, November 21, 2008

Pure Mania

Had some more practice with the dogwalk plank this morning and I'll get to that but first can we discuss the chaos that these morning training sessions are turning into? This morning I came back from walking the dogs and tried to go in the yard to clean up before training and Strummer was so out of his mind excited about the prospect of training that he charged out the door from behind me knocking my legs out from under me and landing me on my ass. I must have had murder in my eyes because Jonny looked concerned and said 'Dont' hurt him'. Well of course I didn't hurt him but I was furious. Do you know how much we practice sitting at the door and waiting for a release word before you go out? He so knows better. But obviously not. I think Jonny is not sticking with the program and since Jonny was there at the door too he thought it was o.k. to charge out. Yeah, that's it, when in doubt blame the husband.

He had his training session and Lola was barking her head off but that's nothing new. Then I put him in the house and Lola was still barking her head off and rushing at the door so I told her I don't think so missy and gave Cody his turn since he was being a good quiet boy. And that's when the mayhem twins exploded into a hysterical barking fit at the window looking onto the yard. I've been letting Strum watch out the window as long as he's doing it quietly and he's been good for weeks now but Lola was mad and she pushed him over his threshold.

I went in the house to shut off all access to windows that open onto the backyard. I shut one bedroom door and leaned a gate up against the other one rather than shutting it because Strum's crate blocks the bedroom door so I have to move it which means the mountains of stuff on top of it go spilling onto the floor. I go back outside and within seconds I have mayhem again. Strum has said, 'phffbbtt, you have got to be kidding me' to the gate leaning against the bedroom door and Lola is at the back door bark screaming. Let's try it again. I say to heck with the mess, move the crate and shut the bedroom door and put the gate up against the doorway (no door to shut) leading to the mudroom so Lola can't get to the back door. I go outside and once again within seconds I have hysterical barking. This time I see a little black and white head at the other bedroom window and Lola is at the back door again. I go inside to see that Lola has jumped the gate and Strummer has busted through the bedroom door which doesn't shut properly. Sigh. I got up how extra early in the morning for this? I give up on Lola at the back door and move the gate to the other bedroom door that won't shut properly. Go outside. Sigh again. There's that little black & white head barking at the bedroom window. I swear I can see the devil horns sticking out of his head. I go inside and Strum has busted through both the gate and the door. I've run out of both patience and swear words. I don't want to crate him because I'm afraid he'll hurt himself. So I get another gate, one that will squeeze tight between the door frame, put up the second gate and shut the door. Finally this works. I'm pretty sure Susan Garrett doesn't have these problems at her house. I'm going back to being a cat person.

Training, yes, there was actual training before the mayhem ensued. I started off with the treat gizmo as per usual for about 6 reps. Strum got all but one, missing the 5th. This was the only miss for the whole session. Then I put the gizmo away and brought out a tug toy that he hasn't seen for awhile. I played with him for a bit then put the toy under a heavy terracotta flower pot located where the gizmo would normally be. He had solid hits for all the reps and was looking at me for maybe 2/6 reps. For the most part he was focusing ahead on the flower pot. I also mixed in some reps where I kept the toy on me and threw it for him for reward, still keeping the flower pot in it's place. Again I had maybe 2-3/6 reps of him looking at me instead of ahead. At least when he was looking at me it was at the very end of the plank instead of most of the way down which is what I've had in the past. I think the secret to having the toy on me is to throw it before he's too close to the end of the plank so he doesn't have a chance to think about looking at me. Of course I have to be careful with the timing so I make sure he's likely to have a hit before I throw. I'll try to get some video this weekend so I can get a better idea of what's going on in case I'm missing something.

This weekend I move the table up to 22". Getting close to being ready for a lowered regular dog walk.

9 comments:

  1. I should print out and laminate this post as insurance against me EVER thinking having more than one BC is a good idea.

    Kidding ... sort of.

    Hang in there. It's a good thing that they LOVE to train.

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  2. No no, you're right to think it's a bad idea. VERY bad idea. From now on, chihauhaus. And only 2.

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  3. Ok I have 2 chihuahuas and 2 shelties and I cant totally relate to your post. Mostly its one Sheltie that starts everything but then others join in. Diana

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  4. See that's why I'd have a 2 Chihauhau limit. I don't care what you have, once you have more than 3 of them you're asking for trouble.

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  5. Thats very funny! I can totally see this (oh, thats right - it happens at my house!)... thats why I can see it! :) Thank you for sharing, glad Im not alone,.

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  6. Maybe we should form a 'Psycho Dogs' support group.

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  7. I think thats a wonderful idea :) I can sign up several times

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  8. It exhausts me just reading about it! Remington and Jake (now deceased) were good dogs and would go lie down when I told them to while i practiced with the other dogs. Boost is a very good girl--I tell her to go up on the deck while I'm working with Tika and she does, and she bounces around but no barking thank goodness. Tika, however, is a chore when I'm trying to work with Boost. Won't stay up on the deck. Won't lie down and stay down. Barks if on a leash. And I'm too lazy to take her into the house and put her into a crate somewhere.

    But then, Tika is a chore all the time.

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  9. Exhausting, yes, and this all before a long day of work.

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