One of my goals this morning was to work to get his hand touch stronger. He will lightly touch, or just give a little whisker brush, but I want a good, strong push.
We did a few reps and got it a touch stronger. I then switched to a chin target to help him understand he could push into the hand. He was pushing nicely into the chin target, so I asked for a couple of more hand targets – again, a touch stronger. This will be one to work on over several training sessions.
Watching Susan Garrett’s Puppy Peaks has really shown me the value of “balance breaks”, so after the intense work of the targeting, we played with the squirrel toy and turned that into the pushing game. The pushing game should also help him understand how to push into my hand for the hand target. Push, drive, force. . . bring it on Ander!
Just a couple of reps of giving in to leash pressure, then more tug. And we ended with working on down. He hasn’t been enjoying down, so I got the down, rewarded a couple of times while maintaining down, then released to another tug game. Then another down. We did about 5 of those, then headed outside for a potty and a walk.
The cats were a big distraction this morning – they were chasing each other around the house, and Ander really, really wanted to go chase them too. He’d get very intent on watching them (I had his collar), and as soon as he looked at me, release to a tug. Distractions will come to mean, “Check in with mom,” and we’re building that foundation now.