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Two Posts

Flower
Two different posts coming, separated because one will be edited down and added to the heeling post.

Post the first: pivots! There are few things harder imo to communicate to your dog than pivots. Luring tends to lead to an overuse of your hands later and other methods (like using a barrier) becoming reliant on that barrier and it's harder to fade than the method I like best. As an added bonus, this method leads to some awesome body awareness for your dog!

Thankfully, 2 awesome videos have been made demonstrating this so I don't have to prattle on too much about it:

First is Celeste Meade's video which is the original I used to do the work. She doesn't allow outside embedding.

Second is kikopup/Emily Larlham "Key to Rear End Awareness"



Now Emily mentions it's a luring video but you can do it with shaping, particularly if your dog is used to shaping. One thing all my dogs know is I may sometimes want them to put their feet on things. Can it be annoying? Sure but it sure makes things like this a lot easier and when I don't reward it, it self extinguishes pretty quickly. I start by clicking near the brick. The clicker savvy dog will then start attempting to interact with the brick. Remember to start small, if they don't offer you a full paw on the brick click for proximity.

Don't let them get stuck on behaviors like pawing. Once they're touching the brick 80% of trials, start looking for duration. Many dogs will naturally add the second once you start building duration. Once they are reliably touching the brick with some duration I begin treating away from the brick. I haven't attached a word yet! So it will look something like this:

Dog on brick - first time I throw treat 2-3 feet away (only enough so they move off it) - wait. No body movement, no posturing to help them. My next click is going to depend on the dog. Some will run back and stand on the brick again. Some need you to return to clicking for proximity because rules changes are hard. There's no right or wrong here but I would encourage you if your dog seems confused to start at the beginning again. 

For dogs who aren't confused or get it with just a few proximity clicks you can return to this game of getting on and off the brick. If your dog is confused by the rules change go back to treating in position so that they can get a better reinforcement history for the desired behavior.

So my dog is bouncing back and forth now, yay! You can name it here if you want. They're clearly demonstrating they understand. I choose not to because the platform is novel and not something I keep around. It's not a behavior I need on stimulus control. If you are worried your dog will now try to play this game with lots of things, attach a name for stimulus control. 

Next is the actual pivoting. Now that your dog understands feet on the platform you're ready to spin. Here's where luring may come in to place. Some dogs you can naturally shape their back feet moving and turn it into a pivot. Some you may need to lure the first few. The trick is to click on the first back foot movement where the front feet remain on the brick. Two steps are awesome but start small. 

From here you progress into the full spin. I did teach Arya to spin in front of me at the same time I taught her to pivot into me with no problems of the behavior crossing over. Your dog may be different and you may need to work on proximity to handler = pivot into handler. Handler at a distance = spin in front. 

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions! This entry is public if you want to share it with someone - I would love to hear feedback on the method on what worked for you or didn't if you try it out.

Edit: I forgot a few things.

1. All dogs will have a spinning preference. If you've ever taught it as a stand alone trick you've probably noticed! One way to know which way your dog prefers is to watch them spin when they're about to lay down. My dogs don't do it even regularly so it was hard for me to catch but when they do it's always the same way. Teach spinning both ways. For the way that is hardest for them use smaller steps to reach your goal. Don't delay clicks so long they get frustrated.

2. Emily uses a book, all my dogs are uncomfortable standing on books with glossy covers for a length of time and I'm not crazy about having them on my nicer, leather bound ones. YMMV.

Just to help me pick

Arya 2
Edit: I picked Brainy
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Puppy Week 7

<3
7 weeks! Aka the week they get evaluated for show quality. It sounds like only 2 of the boys evaluated as show prospects, she didn't mention if either of the girls did. Brainy sure is a handsome boy, I like how he's got the big dark spot up top, but not around his eyes. 

Tailor is the other boy who evaluated as show! I'm on the fence. I always get drawn to dogs that are a bit independent when what I really actually want (and like) is a velcro dog. 

Poor Hefty, she didn't say he evaluated as show. Sad because I think he's got a really nice hind end and as he's aged I've started to like his face. 

And sadly it seems Jokey didn't evaluate as show. Aww! It would have been amazing to have a dog that had that good of toy drive so early!

The puppies go to the vet on Monday for their CERF and then I think I'll find out Tuesday or Wednesday who she's putting where. So excited!


Hefty
Happy boy! Very focused and playful. Good substance, very handsome. People pleaser. Super friendly. 



Handy
This little guy loves to run! Very coordinated and spunky. He's going to be a great performance dog! Cuddly and sweet.



Brainy
Handsome boy. Good substance and movement. Show/performance prospect. Sweet and playful. 



Tailor
Handsome boy! He's a bit independent, but friendly and very playful. Nothing phases him. Show/performance prospect. 



Jokey
Sweet and happy. Loves to carry toys and play tug. He is always happy. He'd love a job to do. 



Smurfette
Playful and busy. She's a social butterfly. Loves to play tug with socks! =)



Sassette
Much calmer than her sister. She's sweet and quiet. Great temperament. 



Holy Moly it's the 6 week post!

Arya 2
Some updates: I'm booking my hotel this weekend, I finally figured out where the breeder is and where I should probably stay in relation to her and the airport. Going to try out the priceline name your own price deal and get the hotel for $40 a night. We'll see, I have to admit I'm a bit nervous about trying it.

I also in that email indicated that I very strongly want a show prospect. I had been wishy washy in the past and I'm not anymore. She seemed happy in the email back with that decision, so yay. I think we have everything straight with times - flying in late Wednesday, staying until Friday morning - and she's doing CERF and the health certificate on the 26th. Around that same time evaluations will be done and we'll know who is coming home to us!

You know who looks even cuter this week? Hefty! He's a nice, big puppy and the white on his face is bugging me less each week (and it will get smaller as they age). As best I can tell he nicely balanced without looking stretched out. I'm still not Handy's fan, first he's small and at least to me he looks like he's really stretching his back legs in the stack. I do want to kiss his little pink nose in his front shot though!

Brainy still looks good, of course. I still like something about Tailor but then I'm starting to get infamous for picking dogs with a glint in their eye for naughtiness. Not that that's a bad thing, but the entire time we've had Mochi I've found myself wishing for an easier dog. More biddable. It's why I picked aussies. 

Jokey looks good! He'll be very minimal white which I can't decide if I like. Smurfette is cute but she looks overextended in the back stacked. I think it might be how she was stacked and less her conformation. Sassette looks good to me, balanced. I think she has the cuter face of the two girls as well. Anyways, more pictures!

Edit: I remember now like a derp that Dawn noted that Smurfette was slipping on the table, so yea the picture is off due to that. I still like Sassette better of the 2 girls :P

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Arya Weaving

Weekly Puppy Fix!

Arya 2
There's nothing like another adorable batch of photos after a drama filled week. I have to say, they are all looking pretty good as they're maturing. Hefty's cheeks are more prominently copper this week so he will be quite interesting because as best I can tell he has no copper on his legs! He's also got a cool little dilute spot on his side that you can see really well in the photo. Handy is even looking cuter, the merling on his face is just a touch darker to my eyes so his face won't look so washed out. Tailor remains the home favorite, his facial markings are just so stunning and that nice collar but Brainy is quite the eye catcher too! I actually looked more at Jokey this week, the lack of a collar when I've seen it on adult dogs is actually really nice and his copper bits will be a really nice contrast.

Ok I'll shut up let's get to the pictures!


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Small Cut

Arya 2
Hi everyone, apologies I did this kind of last minute. I just kind of wanted to declutter my LJ, which included deleting some people who never post anymore or whom I haven't really connected with. If you aren't interested in what I have to say or what not, please consider this your get out of jail free card - I'll be checking again later this week to make sure I don't still have anyone friended who has defriended me.

I'm just not into the Mommy communities like I was when I first joined and I find myself just completely uninterested. I'm taking it as a sign that it's not quite time to have kids (not to mention with James leaving for a year!). I'd like to really turn this journal more into about dog training, so if that just bores you to tears no hard feelings :)

If you were deleted but you wanted to stick around because you actually like my random ramblings and dog shit, let me know here.

Mom's Recipes

Arya 2
These are just some of my Mom's recipes.  Someone from Britain asked in cooking if we could supply them with some traditionally American recipes.  The one I really wanted to give, her meatloaf, got set aside so I'll need to go hunting but these should do for now.

Potato SaladCollapse )

Green Bean CasseroleCollapse )

Chicken SoupCollapse )

Broccoli SoupCollapse )

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:D