Thursday, June 18, 2009

Training Day 4 - Unedited (and a note from Mango)

Before I begin, I apologize to Mango that I have not done a good job helping him keep up with his pals. We appreciate reading all your comments and we will catch up soon, but, well, you know...

So day 4 and I decided to try making a movie. It is pretty long but all you hard core training people will enjoy watching it. I am open to input regarding technique, but I do want to make a couple of statements up front.

  1. Assume that our training is going about 10% better than depicted because handling the camera, the leash, the treats, and keeping my wits about me caused some slips that would not have otherwise happened.
  2. The movie is unflinchingly in chronological order. So you'll see at the start, which is the most difficult part, there is much more action than later on.
  3. I chose the 1.5 mile loop and you will observe that I misjudged how ready Dex was to pay good attention as about halfway through I did a bit more tugging than I would like.
  4. We usually go faster, but for some reason I automatically walk slower with the camera.

OK, have at it!

We saw a rabbit! Dexter wanted to chase it and did run to the end of the leash, but then he came right back.

Check out this pothole! You could lose your labradog in there.

I have the same look on my face at this point!

ARG! My fonts are bold (sorry). Tonight I took Dex for what was meant to be a 10 minute empty only walk, but it turned into half an hour. Why? The little guy was so focused on me that I could hardly get him to do his business. WOW! I ran out of treats because I was not prepared for such a long walk, but he did pretty well.

Overall, I see a significant improvement. I am rewarding much less and he is "checking in" on his own more often. I am still trying not to use my voice because I need to train myself not to use "Dexter" as a command. We'll get there.

And now a brief note from Mango...

Help! I cannot control my fonts either. Bloody blogger!

Anyway, by the time stupid Pee-Wee got back this morning I had been up from my meditations for some time and was anxious to go out in the yard for some action.
Mind you, I can open the door myself if I need to, but I don't like to do it because if you don't go through it fast enough, it closes on your hiney and then it is very confusing as to whether to go forward or back to extricate oneself and sometimes I cry a little (I'm not ashamed to admit it).

Apparently Mr. Rabbit came to visit last night and left some most yummers treats behind.

Lucky for me, Pee-Wee was still daydreaming about being some sort of foolish obedient dog, so I was able to provide a much needed supplement to my meager rations of kibbles.


Mango Man! Oh yeah!


Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Have woo suggested the DOH get her OWN blog?

I mean, isn't this MANGO'S GREAT ADVENTURES???

I'm just sayin'!

PeeEssWoo: Mom is going to watch PeeEss's Little Adventure flikhk now!

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh BRILLIANT!!!! I think you're doing fantastically, Momma!! Am so pleased also that you got a video of the walk (and by the way, I thought the quality was fine!) - it was so nice to see how Dexter responds and you could really see how he was focusing more on you and walking "with" you as opposed to just barging ahead, as the movie progressed. I definitely think there are huge improvements and you're on the right track - and it's only Day 4!! I think it just needs a bit more consistent practice - remember, it takes abotu 3 months for a new habit to be formed - so if Dexter keeps being "reminded" to walk nicely for a few more weeks, he'll soon forget there was any other way to walk!

Oh, and don't get disheartened if he does have a set back, especially if you come across a distraction or a new situation - that's only to be expected - dogs don't generalise well - and he'll have to "relearn" that he was to walk nicely in THAT situation too, and THAT, and THAT...etc, etc. But I thought that part in the video where he saw a distraction and then you called him away was AWESOME! Such a good response - he came as soon as you called and walked away with you, focused on you. Well done! I think you're doing fantastic with the training, despite what you keep saying about not being to handle things - you're praising at the right times and all that - really good! You just need to keep on practising this for a few more weeks to cement it in that Pee-Wee head...and also, in a week or two, start introducing distractions gradually once he is walking very well - ie. up the ante, raise the bar a little bit and "proof" him in a slightly more challenging situation each time, so that gradually, you're able to rely on him in different situations.

Well done again!

Ike said...

Rabbit deuce! Num num!

Checkers said...

my mom gives your mom big kudos for the patience in her training - my folks just gave up and said "he's cute - who cares!" - BOL -- to chase those fuzzy little rascals......i have tons of them in my yard -

Gus said...

We like squirrel scat when we can find it.

gussie n teka

Lorenza said...

Good job, Mom!
Kisses and hugs

the TN Bull Terrors said...

Hey Mango, tree rats taste ALOT better than rabbit dookie!
Just sayin!

Feather, Darla, Pappy & LizzaBella ^..^

dewdana said...

Yay Pee Wee! We are very impressed and motivated to give this a try on our own too! So glad your mom is learning to walk with you ;-)
Moose + Dana
p.s. Do you or Mango know how to count? If so someone should count DOH's fingers... there should be ten but we are pretty sure she lost a few on that walk!

1000 Goldens said...

Oh Dexter, you are a good dog! I could learn a lot from you!

pam said...

Our dearest Mango Man = We have the SAME problem with doors hitting us in the hiney. Don't Like!

You might be a SharPei Mango Man.
We're not sure. But fingers crossed!

GoldenSamantha said...

Whatta dog! Wowzers - you momma doing a pawsome job at this - you actually have a heel look about ya! I love it and wish I had as good a one as you and I've been working 2 years at this! Hi Mango Man!
Hugs xo

Stella said...

So Mango, how are the squirrel wars going? I heard today from a Corgi named OC who had some very blatant pictures of you there, killing squirrels with Green Gas!



Kess And Her Mama said...

Your human definitely needs to add to your daily ration of kibbles! Altho' I must say that I too like to add squirrel poo to my diet or fur care from time to time much to my human's disgust...Go figure!

ocmist said...

That really looks like a "Squirrel Pool Small Dog Trap!" You had better be VERY careful as those have been known to suddenly collapse into themselves, becoming much bigger. I think you narrowly missed being swallowed alive, Dexter!

Mango, better warn your Mom and Dexter about those things!!!

Love, and take care BIG guy!!! OC

chicamom85 said...

To the great and brave Mango, I wanted to introduce myself. I am Sasha of the Michigan OWAS. I am doing my best to hold up my state and keep it squirrel free. I have read about you in other blogs, and your reputation precedes you. I will look forward to more updates.

licks and sniffs, Sasha

Martha Basset said...

Hi Dexter
We thought you were doing really well in your video!
We liked your focus on your mom - our noses are always to the ground and we waste no time paying attention to our mum so were very impressed with you.
We can not believe you did not take off after the bunny, pulling your mom off her feet and dragging her along the ground!!!
Well done you - you are a star in our basset books.
love and kisses
Martha & Bailey xxxx

Scout 'n Freyja said...

WOWZA! It's great that you are making progress with the walks! Do you have a fanny pack? Those are great for holding lots of treats and it keeps your hands fairly free on a walk when you are training!

Freyja and Scout would like to tell Mango: GOOD SCORE, on the bunny poop! YUM☺

Maggie and Mitch said...

Great job on your walkie, Dexter! You're getting there, buddy! You're making your mama proud! Keep up the good work!
We need to see a video of the nasty evil door closing on your huge relentless self, Mango!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Abby said...

Hi, You Guys...

What a great walk...Looks like it is going really well...

Abby xxxooo

Woodrow, Sweetie, MJ Campanella said...

very well done - but the poor mango trapped inside - i could just picture the big guy stuck in the door -

big man you need to go out quicker once you get the door open

woodrow sweetie mj

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

hi Dexter--we don't care about your training--we just watched the video because you are so bloody cute.

Life With Dogs said...

NI kisses please and thank you! I'm sending a bottle of Listerine Mango.

Are you sure that pothole is not a squirrel tunnel?

The OP Pack said...

Great job, Mom, you are doing so well.

Mango, we find that rabbit stuff here too but Mom seems to scoop it up faster than we can get a sniff.

Happy weekend, the OP Pack

Heather and Pumpkin said...

You know what's really good Mango, goose poop! It turns your mouth green so its easy to get caught :(


Owner of Storm and Jackal said...

That was excellent. I liked the video so much I think I'm going to make one of Jackal! It'll be a good way for me to see my own mistakes. I thought he did very very well for this to be only day four.

As for the taking treats gently . . . On walks its difficult, but you could start with a trick I used on Jackal (and need to refresh!!)

Hold a piece of treat in your fist in front of his face. Ignore everything he does to get it! This is very painful at times. If it gets to the point of injury just tell him easy or eh eh. As soon as he turns his face away from your fist open your hand and let him take the treat. Jackal learned this in one sitting. They catch on really fast. He was a puppy though when I taught him so he didn't have the jaw power, although he had needle sharp teeth. Good luck!

Joe Stains said...

ok I want to be in training, its like walk 2 feet get a treat. walk 2 feet, sit, get a treat. I could SO do that!! What do rabbit poos taste like Mango?? I have never even tried them!