The past two days we’ve been working hard on retrieves. As is typical, although he will pick up the dumbbell and move a little bit, if I ask him to bring the dumbbell somewhere, he freezes and can’t figure out how to move. He is unable to multi-task and walk and carry a dumbbell at the same time. 😀 Yes, all my dogs have gone through this.
So I started shaping him to place the dumbbell in my hand. Got that. Then I had a brainstorm. He has a chin target (somewhat – I need to get it stronger). So I started asking him to take the dumbbell then do a chin target. At first he wanted to spit the dumbbell into my hand, but with work, he finally got that he has to hold the dumbbell with is chin in my hand. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s getting there. This is also increasing the duration of the hold, which is a nice side benefit.
Without the dumbbell, I’m working just the chin target and having him maintain the chin target while I move my hand. Once all the pieces get together, I should be able to have him retrieve, chin target him to front and sit. He can’t even get to front with the dumbbell doing chair fronts – he just will not do it with the dumbbell in his mouth. We’ll get there – it’s all part of the journey.
I’ve started working on him getting into his three stationary positions (sit, down, stand) and moving from one position to another in any order I ask. We need to work sit more – he tends to do a down when I ask for a sit, so I need to put more value in the sit for a while. And he’s learning to get from down to stand. He’s such a brilliant puppy. 😀
Ander tends to be reserved with people. If they come up to pet him, he lets them and will make friends, but he doesn’t just go up to people. But today he found somebody he really, really wanted to meet. I made him walk nicely to her (no pulling!), then he leaped all over her. She is a dog person and a very, very accomplished trainer. Why did he pick her? Who knows. But how fun to see him so excited over somebody.