Pounce's 1st Goose Encounter - Thorson Pond
                               "Pounce" The New Puppy - Initial Archive (link)
Archive: Training Journal - July 2014 (link)
                                Archive: Training Journal - August 2014 (link)
                            Archive: Training Journal - September - 2014 (link)
                               Archive: Training Journal - October - 2014 (link)
  Nov 1 day off for everyone except me - yard work = more leaves
                 note: a useful "carryover" from the many "slight" lead tugs on her neck
                          has been the
"putting a collar on routine", since this is done often,
                          the process needs to be calm and not a "wrestling match", by
                          placing my hand palm up under neck she is now kind of cradled in
                          my hand while on a "sit" and relaxing as the collar placement is
                          completed, it is important to make "sit" part of the process
Nov 2 Pounce was fired up and ready to work - did several excited actions working
          up close, asking for eye contact and moving "with me", she has become more
          responsive to my motion and direction without "hammering" into the end of
          the lead = tension "on and off" has improved considerably, did a close up
          presentation of the bumper which she snatched and right away there was a
          lot of blood on the bumper - closer inspection revealed one molar emerging
          and a raw gum - she will be five months old on the 5th of November
                  note: will take at easy on any retrieving aspect of training and use paint
                           rollers for awhile (rinse afterwards)
                  note: one aspect of Pounce's training is we are in no hurry and with
                           several duck and goose hunts scheduled for the next four weeks
                           "teething" will fit right in = an easy "do"  
Nov 4-7 duck hunting trip to the Mississippi River with two guests from Indiana  
              (the breeder of Pounce and a friend) = short summary - first day was spent
              scouting & looking for ducks....ended up seeing a few that did not want to
              finish (all local and obviously familiar to the area plus "call wise")
                      note: did manage to bag one drake mallard (long day)
              next day, very high winds, very few ducks (if any) working and no new
              ducks = extremely difficult conditions plus my boat just wasn't up to
              moving very fast with three hunters, decoys, a dog and gear, in addition
              shallow water made it impossible to move into a few "ducky" areas - the
              "event" was cut short at the end of our second day......it didn't help that
              I was just not physically "up to the task" - need to stick to simpler "in and
              out" hunts suited to hunting alone, recently bruised knee did not help and
              in addition, there were
zero new, northern ducks down - others at duck
              camp were coming up with very poor results, too
                       note: the next day, friends hunting divers in layouts shot 17 ducks,
                                the the following day nothing - cold weather is coming and
                                the northern ducks will finally begin moving - however, a
                                very early freeze-up is imminent
Nov 8 day off for Pounce
Nov 9 worked in front yard - mostly on "walk with me" - up close with many turns
                      note: note: "yard work" today and tomorrow - leaves everywhere
                                 (right knee not much better)
Nov 10 Pounce rode along with Daisy for a goose hunt on Thorson Pond
                      note: after Daisy made two retrieves (geese) Pounce came off the
                               van for an intro to geese (photos to follow)
          (left click on thumbnails)  
                     "The Beast"
             "The Flash"
    "The Beauty"

Nov 11 day off - drove to Mississippi River duck camp to move trailer into winter
            storage winter arrived way too early = no training & adult teeth are in
Nov 12 two more days off - too much work around house getting ready for COLD
                      note: moving about in house under control plus airing and solidifying
                               specific routines  = no lunging or jumping, she must sit while
                               putting collar/lead on and entering/exiting doorways 
                      note: no more pain in my right knee!
Nov 13 at 7:45 am it
25°F with a wind chill of 14°F followed by ten days of the same
                      note: Pounce weighs 38 pounds at five months, based on the following
                               chart, her projected adult weight will be in the low 50's
trained in the "rec room" with plenty of space to work - did
                               walk with me close and it was much better than when doing
                               it outside - better spacing and responsiveness probably due
                               to fewer distractions and more familiarity - it was refreshing
                               and good for Pounce to think, feel and be more in tune with
                               me plus the cold weather was NOT missed at all

   Weight chart       Daisy      Taffey     Kooly    Pounce 
      2 months          14 lbs      14 lbs      15 lbs     14 lbs    
      3 months          24 lbs      25 lbs      24 lbs
      4 months          34 lbs      34 lbs      33 lbs      27 lbs   
      5 months          43 lbs      40 lbs      43 lbs      38 lbs   

      6 months          49 lbs      47 lbs      51 lbs      42 lbs   
      7 months          54 lbs      54 lbs      56 lbs      45 lbs   
      8 months          58 lbs      60 lbs      59 lbs                  
      9 months          58 lbs      66 lbs      62 lbs                  

Nov 14 trained in the "rec" room again & results were the same = much improved,
            more predictable and very excited (use paint roller) "on/off" was crisp and
            walking with me was more relaxed and responsive = progress! the "space"
            being confined helps her to focus more & maybe she is a bit more at ease
            in the house....she doesn't have to be totally off the wall to work the process
            and I've observed that Michael Ellis's training videos are filmed indoors
                   note: this will make a huge difference this winter as the area around
                            the indoor swimming pool (deck) will provide an alternative
Nov 15 bitter cold outside today (for this time of the year) Thorson Pond has never
           iced up this early (so much for global warming) Pounce's  training session
           this morning was refreshing in that responsiveness is becoming more of a
           "regular" thing - she's trying to do the right thing in "walking with me", more
           approaching an approximate heeling standard in that she is recognizing and
           looking for a change in direction, "sit" is almost automatic and becoming
           more stable, with teething finished she is holding very consistently (when
           asked)......the bolting and forging have decreased dramatically 
                    note: retrieving in each session is the least of the three factors with
                             respect to maintaining balance, "walking with me" is occupying
                             the most time as this is where she has consistently been the
                             least responsive,,,,.."sit" restores a singular focus on what we are
                             doing and at the present rate I'm at least beginning to think about
                             adding "collar conditioning to sit" into the mix....still want to do
                             more of the "traffic cop" so as to remove any doubt and avoid
                             working in a "testing her situation" - she's must be either stable
                             without the collar or not.........not "kind off" stable
Nov 16 wow it's cold outside! - this morning's training was noticeably better than
           yesterday - usually incremental training is not dramatic, however, we went
           from a front sit using "wheel-heel" to a side sit on both sides rather easily 
           Pounce was focused and responsive, rather graceful and accurate, rewards
           were front sit toss/catch paint rollers
                    note: Pounce is beginning to see all this "channeled" activity as fun
                             and exciting
                    note: a long wall has become the location to do backward heeling
                    note: she is now moving with me and "cuing" or looking for hand/leg
                             movements which are exaggerated at times to attract/pull her
                             in another direction direction, she seems aware of the bumper
                             position/location (no treats), in addition slight/guiding tugs on
                             lead are repeated at the right time (to keep her focused), the
                             visual bumper under my arm keeps the reward possibility ever
                             present which keeps motivation high                       
                    note: elevated responsiveness is causing everything to fall into place
                    note: sits were excellent with stubborn resistance to regular attempts
                             to pull her off a sit (nice, solid and erect square "sits", too!) her
                             eye contact has greatly improved
                    note: the new cue word introduced about a week ago is becoming an
                             expectation, saying "collar" and putting my hand her chin has
                             Pounce "accepting" the placement of a collar on her - possibly
                             because the reward is "we are going to do something" (and the
                             alternatives are all good)
                    note: the last few days Pounce and I are more in tune, I have adjusted
                             and she is responding. "Thinking and doing are not always
decided on switching to feeding twice a day
Nov 17 another good day of training - worked on the same things and it went
            smoother today
Nov 18 trained in the morning on the indoor pool room deck...it provides a much
            larger space, it is warm (high today was 19
ºF), put out placeboards plus a
            small hurdle - a few trips around the area and Pounce was "good to go"
                    note: walking over and sitting on the place boards plus taking the small
                             hop over the jump
                    note: finished "modifying" the deck this evening with a few decoys and
                             placing a grass mat over the jump, used this area a few winters
                             ago with Daisy and Gunny, solid OB responsiveness training was
                             possible......AND IT IS WARM!

            up late this evening - Pounce aired about 11:30 pm and we visited the new
                 pool setup with the grass jump and decoys - had a lot of fun walking with
                 mostly in the heeling positions on both sides, reinforcing a stable sit and
                 playing with a bumper = retrieves over and back across the jump....and
                 she is "holding" really well...totally up beat, fun and quick session...she's
                 excited and responsive.....cool late night and warm inside fun
                    note: did a few front sit/heeling motions to both sides - she is naturally
                             agile in her movements and quick, anytime something totally new
                             is presented Pounce moves cautiously the first go around and
                             quickly evolves to "this is easy and I get it"...she responds well to
                             bumper attraction and knows exactly where it is all the time, she
                             responds to well timed, "up-beat" praise/encouragement
                    note: the session was kept at a rather fast pace and yet Pounce was
                             under excellent control, focused and happy which is all good for
                             a five month old pup
                    note: the only command is "sit" with rewards varied between physical
                             (stroking/petting) and the temporary verbal release "yes" with
                             well timed "good girl" - the primary focus on her training is to
                             keep "upbeat" repetition as the primary motivation and avoid
                             "forcing" her do "stuff".
The concept of iteration is effective.

                Dog training "iteration" is a sequential process of repeating physical
                actions and mental behaviors as a means of arriving at successively
                closer approximations as they relate to desired standards.
                                              by Kwicklabs  Nov.19, 2014

                    note: She's close to being balanced!
            (left click on thumbnails)  
                   northeast corner
            north side
    full north side
                   "grassy" hurdle
              west end  
         full view

Nov 19 Pounce trained for a short time right after her early morning airing - reviewed
            yesterday's skill set in the pool area - went well (about 10 minutes) late in the
            morning she
worked on the full setup focusing primarily on "loose" heeling
            and she is staying fairly close to the normal position, front sits, wheel and sit
            on both sides - she's not comfortable with the side toward the pool & more
            comfortable between me and the wall.....worked on that by keeping the
            bumper in the hand holding the "walking" rope with occasional sits on the
            four different placeboards - she's a "show me a few time - I get it pup", at
            around midnight after the last airing we did a short "stroll" through the ring     
                 note: next few weeks goals - 1) tie Traffic Cop in with collar conditioning
                          to sit, 2) introduce verbal "heel" as more of a cue when "walking
                          near me (on both sides)" and eventually transitioned to a command
                          with tighter standards
                 note: since she has "taken" to the placeboards, sitting on and being
                          released from them will be a regular part of her indoor sessions
                          (with eventually working remotely off them)
Nov 20 short session early and walking on the "outside" went much better, the
            afternoon session was about 20 minutes with several "sit/steady singles
            over the jump.....can't see fall but knows where it's at, now sitting easily
            on all four placeboards and heeling nicely on both sides.......the bumper
            has become the major motivator and reward, sits nicely with it in her
            mouth and holds calmly......
not using any commands yet except "sit" and
            using "yes" as a release, the proper actions are simply rewarded with a
            "bumper in mouth", a verbal "good" and/or stroking down or across her
            back when sitting or standing
                   note: her "puppy wiggle" is decreasing and her eye contact is super
                   note: still crusty ice & snow in airing yard with rain for the weekend
                   note: personality/physical traits to date: very smart, quick learner, takes
                            alternatives in stride, sensitive, spooked by strange sounds when
                            outside, but totally brave when I'm there, exceptional eyesight
                            (sees everything), extremely agile and small pup, loves people,
                            drinks way too much water, good "talker" about needing to go out,
                            not all that patient if I don't respond quickly enough, but actually
                            very few accidents in the house, likes her "quiet space" and
                            travels pleasantly as if she's done it for years, she's not a problem
                            in the house...liked being just one of the four...right from the start
                            with "little monkey see...monkey do" part of the equation
Nov 21 trained twice today doing the similar routines with excitement kept very high
                   note: walking with me is shaping up, her stable sit has me smiling and
                            yet her excitement level remains off the wall = progress!
                   note: still using only one command = "sit" and walking with me is
                            becoming more like a heeling drill with no verbal "suggestions",
                            using visual cues (leg motion), the "sit" command and/or change
                            in direction plus a visual bumper is ready to impact a weak focus
Nov 22 around noon we did a session and by far it was the best to date - had me
            smiling and her very high = fun, may try to film the evening session
                   note: finally got around to sticking a video camera in the training area"
                            1st try provided some footage with ideas on how to improve the
                             work, poor lighting and no zooming left a lot to be desired, but
                             saw enough to get an idea on what to improve....all-in-all she is
                             changing for the better.....no more 30 pound butter-fly on the
                             end of a rope.......there is not enough detail in the video to see
                             that every time "sit" is said there is a slight tug on the lead to
                             positively reinforce the sit command
                   note: for the initial training sessions Pounce's release is "yes" , later
                            she will use "Pounce" and "back".....rationale = with more than
                            one dog in training session (later on) each dog needs their own
 Pounce Training Session (YouTube)

              Hillmann Rationale (link)
(reasons for using the program)

                   note: placeboards are in her future and imprinting has begun, Pounce    
                            is already comfortable getting up on one and sitting, I do say
                            "place" when she does so and it is well imprinted so that she
                            doesn't mind sitting (I have four different looking placeboards
                            around the pool deck (square, round (big & small) with one
                   note: when it appears we are going to "work" Pounce will look for
                            and pick up the yellow lead that is used for training, when
                            younger and it was time to air, I regularly used a Flexi-lead
                            and she often tried to bring that to me if it was in sight....smart
                            pup and made me realize "don't give any false messages"
Nov 23 early morning (after airing) Pounce & I worked about five minutes of her
            "sit', "excitement" and "walk with me" routine......short and fun
                   note: 4-5 inches of snow today and high winds (gusts to 40 mph)

             copy of entry from Sept. 20  found useful link/explanation for Pounce's
                             new E-Collar which is an Einstein design "The Educator" 400TS 
                             I wanted a collar with a bit more flexibility & small
                                            Leerburg E-Collar Video (link)
it's time to start thinking about when to introduce
              late evening - twenty minutes of work = sharp

Nov 24 did five minute "session" right after airing - quick, excellent session, then in
            the afternoon Pounce went through entire routine with a new expectation,     
            left her on a place board and walked away to throw a bumper down the far
            side, Pounce's sit was solid and erect with total focus on where the bumper
            went, she never even glancedo at me as I walked away or on the way back,
            picked up the lead in reinforced sit a few times then returned to the line to 
            stand beside her.....Pounce's eyes NEVER left the stare at where the bumper
            fell behind the small jump and released on command bringing the bumper
            right back , repeated with the change of tossing a bouncing, rolling bumper
            short and in full view = same steady, stare and release. this is exciting
            "stuff" from a very young pup with a "wild streak lurking" within
                    note: quick five minutes at midnight = same results
                    note: wild, very smart, birdie (good nose), capable of intense focus,
                             agile & quick, sensitive = what a very interesting combination
Nov 25 the focus was on repetition - the five minute morning "taste" went well and
            Pounce did another nice job in a longer, mid-afternoon session (4" of snow
            on the ground, but we have to move outside.......at least a little)
                    note: Pounce has continuously demonstrated that she likes holding a
                             bumper so we are taking advantage of this now as a precursor
                             to what would normally be an introduction to formal hold this
                             will tend to make the whole process almost seamless
                    note: needed to switch back to the Flexi-lead when airing --- it's cold
                             out and I want to go back inside long before she does - don't
                             want to encourage her puppy fun for "keep away"
watched DVD's until late in the evening - review & refresh time

               ISSUE: This month we've had snow on the ground. I have always been very
                           efficient and diligent about cleaning up the airing yard. It is not as
                           simple now.....there is a lot of snow. In addition, I've always thought
                           my puppies didn't lay around thinking of ways to "mess with me". 

                           With that in mind, here's the situation. Pounce is 5 months old and
                           has discovered that frozen dog "turds" (for the want of a descriptor)
                           are cool to search for and even more fun to carry around......plus
                           she quickly appeared to like the "taste" and even worse realized
                           she could "make be dance" with "keep away".

                           Don't laugh. It wasn't funny (then). 
                           I'm generally a patient person, but this turned into a quick test.  As I
                           began to "loose it", I suddenly hear Bill Hillmann's calm and  quiet
                           voice saying, "Be kind to your puppy. She does not deserve being
                           treated with angry words or harsh physical treatment." While on my
                           shoulder is a little, red faced devil saying "Ignore the voice!" 

                           So I go to the entrance and wave a big broom to attract Pounce. It
                           works. I finally locate my "calm self" and decide to make even
                           more sure the yard is picked clean before she airs plus keep her on
                           a flexi-lead. And quickly find this works well.  

                            Fast forward a few days, the collar slipped off her neck this
                            morning and Pounce immediately goes into "turd mode". And
                            almost on cue I hear a calm, quiet "Be kind." followed by a
                            taunting "Ignore the voice!" and I'm laughing.

Nov 26 cold with crusty uneven ice & snow NOT going for planned FREE walk
                    note: Pounce will be 6 months old Dec. 5th

"things to do list" now that Traffic Cop is solid - pace determined by Pounce
spaced out evenly as she progresses = no specific time table and it will be a cold winter for the next 3+ months
               note: presently reviewing videos and keeping track of "details"
                        (new program & different philosophies)

1. intro & work on whistle "sit"
2a. Begin intro & use of pinch collar for heeling
with physical manipulation/cues 
      and verbal rewards
(both sides) straight line, varying speeds, changing
      directions, front sit and heeling/sit on both sides (refer to link below)
this will
      be separate from the sit, walk with me, excitement sessions (for awhile)

update: Nov 27 = not for long, she's picked this up very quickly (like
                              in one day!) -
not going to rush
update: Nov 29 doing extremely well both sides, varying speeds,
                              backwards and loose leash (“dangling U shape” lead),
                              quick study, relaxed, looks good doing it and deals well
                              with varying speeds (after warm-up)....much easier than
                              expected which...however, there will be
regular sessions
                              for quite some time to become an expectation

2b. introduce "heel" command-
did this and easy do
3. intro leaping "fetch" chained with “yes” release off anchored sit -
4. intro "soft" e-collar layering of positive reinforcement
so as not to conflict
    with the any
“sit/tug” reinforcements
no hurry - about two more weeks Dec 14?
5a intro "hold" on sit (no motion)
5b. intro "hold" concept during "walk with me"
(after heel command solid)
6."place"- going to & sitting on placeboard -
doing on command Nov 27
7. determine optimum time to work on "here" command
(after e-collar "sit"
    expectation established)

8. chain retrieve command "fetch" from "yes" (phase out "yes")
Nov 27 done
9. teach "down" & "whoa" skills with verbal commands
10. formalize all commands
11. train Pounce with another dog present - Daisy (off placeboards)
12. 8+ months old - Jan AKC OB classes (use pinch collar in class)
13. begin force fetch before/after AKC OB classes ??
(when ready)

             note: Pounce will be 9 months old at the end of February when
                      "regular" outdoor yard & field work will begin

                                   Michael Ellis' Philosophy of Dog Training (link)

                            note: watch again and again...especially around 48 min

Michael Ellis - Leerburg Corrections (link)
                                                  (verbal 1st & physical 2nd)

Nov 27 Pounce did a quick early morning session introducing the "pinch collar"
           and repeated the lesson late in the afternoon between football games
                 note: big improvement from first to second (no verbal command yet)
note: first experience with "turning off pressure"  
Nov 28 - another cold, winter day Pounce was up and ready to go this morning
                 note: aired first and then went right to the training room for an
                          extended session on the "heel" introduction, began using the
                          word/command "heel" with verbal reward "good" and she is
                          a quick learner - varying speeds, left and right 180º changes in
                          directions, when stopping...she defaults to sit without even
                          asking for it, heeling on both sides, coordination on backward
                          heeling was quickly picked up, most of all...she likes the work
                 note: best of all - we are on a loose leash and in the proper position
                 note: we are doing this as a separate skill session, however, when
                          finished the big reward is the sit, leap forward to grab a
                          bumper out of the air on a verbal sequence of "sit/yes/fetch"
                          (several times) - she readily gives up the bumper so she can
                          do it again = rewarding, very excited, excellent eye contact,
                          focused, under control and responsive
 update: eliminated using "yes" before "fetch" near the
                                              end of November
                 note: this fits the criteria for "How to finish a training session." 
                          "Do something fun that the puppy does well and
                           it becomes a huge plus if the reward matches an
                           expectation (later on),

afternoon went to Thorson Pond bean field and Pounce had fun retrieving
             and running free in the snow, after several days inside and lately doing her
             first work with "how to turn off pressure" in the heeling drills, a good free
             run, "ya-ha" time was just what she needed
                  note: still have problems taking quality action photos when there is snow

           (left click on thumbnails)  

Nov 29 did "heeling" session right after early morning airing - this is going well
                note: did two remote "sit" (walk out, toss bumper, walk back to line)
                         retrieves and she is as steady as a rock, very focused (not looking
                         at me when walking back) plus she can't actually see the bumper,
                         but knows/remembers where it fell
                note: went in and fed, aired again.....followed by quiet time until
                         afternoon training (she is always given time alone before and
                         after sessions....clear, rested mind is more receptive to learning
                note: Pounce is a yellow sponge             
this afternoon = "exciting yard work" including whistle "stable sit" work with
            retrieves plus an exciting fetch/hold
game like reward format
aired at 11 pm then went to the pool room for fun with a bumper, heeling
            session was super, Pounce is relaxed and responding well, finished with a
            few, quickly repeated leaping fetches and three remote sit retrieves
Nov 30 early morning...right after airing - good session of 'heeling" followed with 
           three walk out & back to the line singles chaining "fetch" with "yes" for the
           release and finishing with the close, exciting, steady on "sit" then leaping
           into the air on verbal "fetch" drill (repeated for effect) 
                note: "heeling" segment was excellent after about 5 minute "warm-up"
           afternoon - did a brief "outside" session at the Square Pond DTA
               note: mostly to compare "being outside" with the present "inside" results
               note: temperature was 34ºF
               note; put the line (placeboard) up against the shop to create one "wall"
                        to help in the transition from inside to outdoors
               note: cold, windy and taking pictures while training is not ideal.......but,
                        after doing it often (with camera) it's not that difficult, the session
                        went well, next time will be easier.....no camera = more focus
               note: Pounce is one "very cool" pup, having fun and thriving

          (left click on thumbnails)  

            RetrieversONLINE Dennis Voight RTF "ABC - Attitude/Balance/Control" (link)