Monday, January 17, 2011

Yep. It's another Marco video! Jan 17 2011

This was my training session today with Marco, at the Winnegamie Dog Club Training Building in Appleton, Wi.  Today Marco, Pre and Cooper won the training lottery.  It went longer than normal, approximately 9 minutes, but during that time there was only a couple times when I needed to get his attention and that was because I had dropped treats on the floor.  If I continue to be so sloppy I will need to keep a leash on him so he doesn't graze on the floor, but those darned sharp puppy teeth are tough!  Today he was starting to make progress on the "object" as a place, and a little bit of rear end awareness with that and also the bark on command.  Shepherds are a noisy, talkative lot in comparison to my other dogs and I figure it is best to put his voice on command and then I have a tool to "turn it off" when I need to.  You can just see the little wheels turning in his head, especially on the object/place.  If the videographer would have been in position, you would have seen the expression on his face as he looked at me, then looked at the tub... hmmm... how about if I down? how about....if I put my feet on here? Oh! THAT's what you wanted?? Well, why didn't you just say so!  He is certainly a joyful boy.

Count the number of exercises we were able to practice in 9 minutes....

as a "head's up" and reminder to self, on my upcoming list of things to do is to begin to teach him the "hold" using my hand in his mouth.  Before I do that I might post photos of Cooper doing that at the Debbie Zappia seminar.  Teaser!  This will actually be a good exercise for Marco, as he is not particularly fond of having his mouth examined.  We made good progress, but it's on the list.

Yesterday Marco (and Pre) rode with me to Hartford, Wi where I attended the People and Paws SAR meeting.  He met another of his Burr Oak friends, Terri.  I am very protective over the experiences of my dogs, so before introductions to people there, I instructed them of what I expected, which is basically not to call to or reward the dog for not paying attention to me.  We got out and Marco went through his training routine. By doing that he learns 1) new places are fun 2) distractions are simply a means of accessing reward from my handler and 3) same rules, different place.  He seemed more distracted than normal until he reminded me that I had neglected to potty him before we went to work!! Bad handler! Once his brain was no longer floating, he was ready to go back to work.  He is a good traveler and I haul him around with me everywhere. Such a smart boy!  Enjoy your Marco fix for the day!