Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cheapest computer fix ever...

I was sure that we were going to have to get a new computer.  The Internet connection kept crashing and things were moving very slowly until finally--no Internet at all. (the spell checker keeps telling me to capitalize internet--is that right?)

Then, late Saturday night, it occurred to me that I should check the phone connection that is in the corner.

Yep.  It had fallen prey to a teething puppy.

Thankfully he didn't chew through the cord he just pulled everything loose so all I had to do was re connect the wires to the phone jack in the wall.  ( so glad I learned to do that back when I ran an entirely new line to the family room!) Computer is all better.  It does still need a few updates and it is running low on memory but it is hanging in there.

**Warning--dog training talk ahead...** Anyone an expert trainer out there?  I could use some advice!

As far as puppy training goes--we are now proud owners of the third best creation of all time.  Right after telephone and color television.  The dog door.  Seriously.
Emmet making good use of the new door.

I don't think much can rival the dog door for convenience.  Maybe it's not the Third most important invention but it is seriously awesome.  Rustin put on a pair of goggles and very dramatically (sparks everywhere) cut a hole in the family room door.  Once the hole was cut it only took about 15 minutes to put the door in.  It took a couple of tries to get Beau used to the door and Wallah.  Potty training accomplished.

We hit a snag with training which I remember from Molly's days;  adding a cue to a second behavior (down).  It seems like the second behavior is the worst until they get the idea that everything has a different name.

Down has been a tricky one.  Sit was so firmly ingrained that I couldn't get him to lay down for anything.  I ended up luring a few times which  made him think he was being rewarded for trying to get a treat out of my hand sothen I had to go back and do treat zen again...

Once Beau figured out that laying down was what was getting treats then I couldn't get him to get up so I could cue the down.  Even if I threw the treat he would army crawl over to get it.  I started holding it up to lure him up and that kind of started a snapping sort of attempt to get the treat which wasn't what I wanted... Anyway I finally just started walking far enough away that he would get up and that helped.  However...

Once I added the cue "down" to the repertoire then Beau was confused again. As in, 'I'm not supposed to sit anymore she just wants me to lay down.  And I don't think he was hearing the word but just responding to my fist on the floor by laying down and batting at my hand.  That's not what I want. 

 I'm not sure this puppy will survive this inexperienced trainer. 

I have been getting  this sort of slouching,whining, half-sit-slide-to-down. hmmm.  So for a few days I just abandoned it entirely and let him do some target (touching a spoon) and 'leave it'.  He still sits by default whenever he wants something.

I did finally get a good sit again by clicking really fast for the sit cue (even if he wasn't looking at me and was trying to slide to down) and then giving him his treat up high above his head so he couldn't slide down.

I know a better trainer would be getting through all this much faster but I am only training one meal a day.  And truthfully we missed a few days with our recent bout with strep throat...
He is finally sitting again and is making good progress with down.  I went back to pairing the cue 'down' with capturing the action again. And he did a really good in the kitchen down on the fist cue yesterday... 

Remember -this article... And Ian Dunbar's often repeated rule--dogs don't generalize.  If you teach it in one place you will probably have to teach all over again when you move to a new place.  Eventually they will get it but it takes a lot of repetitions in a lot of different places.  I am reminding myself of these things as I type.

On an encouraging note--Everything's going great with loose leash walking (though he really just picked that up on his own without a lot of trouble) and coming when called (see here too)and staying home.  Beau has never strayed out of the yard even with the fence not complete.  He doesn't leave my parents or my sisters house either when off leash. And his hair is soft as bunny fur.  Really.  And I love to brush him.

So I just keep trying.

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