Sessions Since Last Post: 3 Type of Work: Matwork Problems with Previous Sessions: Harvey was not making the association between being on the mat and getting a reward Solution: Better shaping techniques, more magnetization to the mat, and generally taking a step back. Working Towards: Getting Harvey to lay down on his mat no matter where it is Success Rating: Awesome!
My technique is to draw Harvey's attention to the mat by holding it in my hand and placing it down to the side of my body. This way, he must purposefully move away from facing me directly and get some part of his body on the mat. As soon as a piece of him hits the mat, he gets a click and a reward on the mat. He is beginning to catch on very well. I can now place the mat several feet away from me and he will move to it. He's also begun trying to slap it out of my hands with his paws as I'm putting it down, or even climbing onto it while it's in the air!
Sessions Since Last Post: Lost count =P Type of Work: Matwork Problems with Previous Sessions: None! Solution: NA Working Towards: Reliably sending Harvey to his mat from my left side (teaching a "go bye" clockwise outrun) Success Rating: Awesome!
Mostly we have been doing magnetizing work to get him to really like the mat, which has been going well. Tonight, I decided he understood the mat well enough to move to the next step. I read in an article that the next step after reliably getting a dog to lie on the mat is to make it a command. They recommended starting with the dog lying down on your left side and then stepping forward with your left foot while doing a bowling motion with your left hand, so this is what I did. At this point, I'm not supposed to add a verbal cue to the motion, so I didn't. Amazingly, Harvey caught on INSTANTLY! No hesitation, no confusion. I did the bowling motion and we went right from my left side to lay down on the mat. We repeated this until his dinner was all gone. I added a command for him to come from the mat back to my left side and lie down, which I'm simply using "To me" with a point to the ground on my left side (after reading farther, I realize I need a different command. Something that means to my left side and something that means to my right side). It's working great. By the end of the session, he was going right to his mat to lie down and coming right back to my left side to lie down.
So far, this is fun, and Harvey is doing awesome. And even just the training really tires him out! I can only imagine how it'll be when he's actually working balls. Just the training session using his dinner (10 minutes tops) had him so nice and calm by the end. Now he is just sleeping soundly.
Sessions Since Last Post: Many (all uneventful) Type of Work: Send outs and matwork Problems with Previous Sessions: None Solution: NA Working Towards: Solid send outs and call backs Success Rating: Not good =(
Details: Harvey was highly distracted this session, as well as extremely hyper but had very low motivation. I did not give him his whole meal since he was obviously not hungry.
He was not acting normal and I'm not sure why. He got into some biscuits yesterday, so perhaps that has something to do with it?
The weirdest thing was that he started straight up avoiding his mat in the middle of the section. He would not step on it, and would literally JUMP over it when I tried to coax him onto it. I worked a little on just getting a paw or two on it, but he totally started ignoring me, so I gave up and ended the session. I have no idea what was going on with him!