"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)
 
 


Oct 1 morning & evening sessions of "chase, walking on lead and sit"
              note: repeat the Monday "lessons" for the rest of this week working on
                       balance with a half hour, free walk in the middle of the day
              note:
Frontline Plus + HeartGard Plus
Oct 2-5 trip to duck camp for Iowa Opening duck season - cold and high winds
         turned this trip into a re-rig decoys, rearrange trailer layout as far as storage
         and few days of hardly doing anything - too dangerous for me to travel across
         to the Iowa side alone without any prior scouting, could have gone out
         Sunday morning, but the weekend was pretty much a bust - the Iowa season
         ends Oct 18 the same day as the Illinois Opens five days of duck hunting
         starting October 15
              note: worked on duck camp routines with feeding and airing problems
                       the three times a day for Pounce may be switched to twice a day
                       feedings on the trips to duck camp, especially when a morning
                       hunt could be as long as six hours
              note: first night there...took Pounce for a late night airing on a long
                       Flexi-lead.....dark and not exactly an ideal place to let a pup run
                       free, carrying an LED spotlight there was excellent light to see her.
                       The high winds were whipping the heavy ground cover of fallen
                       leaves and "things in motion" were flying all about. Pounce went
                       totally of grid as far as excitement goes and I suddenly had a 30
                       pound wild rabbit doing cartwheels, flying through my legs and
                       darting this way and that to the end of the Flexi-lead only to be
                       turned back with the snap of the wide, flat collar around her
                       neck....luckily I made it back to the trailer without any real issues.
                       When we reached the door Pounce just sat there quivering with a
                       funny look of "Whoa! Sorry I just lost it there for awhile." I couldn't
                      help but laugh a bit nervously as my paradigm of what a high drive
                      pup would be like just made a quantum shift.

             note: Oh....my! and I asked for this.


                        
this is the "happening" that through us out of kilter

Oct 6-7 took four month growth progress photo & couple of days off
             note: seems very relaxed and calm (more so than usual)...which is a good
                      thing to allow for a couple of days
             note: with winters being what they are in northern Illinois the plan is to be
                      finished with FF at least through walking fetch by the time pile work
                      can begin in February + T work is much easier on a pup in our
                      cool, early springs
            
note: an update on the previous "thinking ahead" comments relates to my
                      actually not knowing if I'll be doing "walking fetch" or T-work like
                      I have in the past........this means I need to "look ahead" a bit more
                      to see what I will be doing...awareness is not a given
             note: during the really bitter cold months. besides FF, Pounce will attend
                      at least one formal AKC OB class.... in the past, instructors have
                      been flexible enough to tolerate my doing things a bit differently,,,
                      as long as permission is obtained "discretely" 
                                    Pounce Growth Progress (photos link)
                                note: the October photo is "extra special"
Oct 8 decided to give Pounce another day off since we are very busy with trying to
         resolve another Grandchild issue.....we may be raising Lylah's little brother
         soon.....fortunately, he is not autistic like Lylah........funny how just hiring an
         attorney suddenly makes people get their act together
             note: as if that wasn't enough...we may have a termite problem

             note: another very relaxing day for Pounce, but I could see a real increase
                      in her "scoot" out in the airing yard...need to channel that energy
Oct 9 DCFS "walk through" (inspection of house for probable Grandson placement}
             note: between the DCFS "issue" and the termite problem....dog training is
                      on hold and burning a huge wood pile where many of the pieces are
                      large oak sections not split yet has been a big test on my 74 year old
                      bones  
update: may not be termites (swarmer's body & wings say no)
             note: the last of the wood pile was burned and large spread of bark and
                      wood decay has been cleared out Oct 10

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Oct 10 trained late afternoon at Roscoe Riverside Park DTA - took a long walk and
          did excite & sit with a few retrieves mixed in....just to get back into regular
          training....starting tomorrow the "sits" will begin to take on a longer and
          "walk away farther" expectation            
          
Pounce has been doing great around the house, she's become more "user
          friendly" and thus easier to deal with.....more focused "in the moment"

              note: started two new things this week 1) "kennel" is being changed to
                       "kennel/place" for the eventual transition to remote sits on "place",
                       in addition the tether sessions have included the use of a "choice"
                       pig ear.....rationale was at first to see how possessive she was and
                       secondly to work on eye contact while giving it up & getting it back,
                       this 1st session went extremely well, the only hint of possessiveness
                       was just turning her head away......no growl or curled lips...and I
                       got a big kick out of her immediate "turn and perfect sit"  with good
                       eye contact response..... because she wanted it back and knew how
                       to ask.....very cool session......happy pup (What a great attitude!)  
              note: no time to visit "duck camp" this week, next week will be "guns up"
Oct 11 afternoon session - "chase, walk & sit" working on longer, farther away "sits"
              note: session was OK........she seems
very intent on eating leaves, it is
                       definitely a distraction because there are a lot of them right now,
                       walk afterwards was excellent as she is very good at moving with
                       me when changing directions, responds well to "physical influence"
              note; her desire to eat rocks is getting to be a pain and anything like
                       rabbit, goose or deer droppings have become candy, wide open
                       areas seem to be the best for avoiding this for now
              note:
this phase will soon pass (I hope), she is still very young
                             later recognized this as a excuse

              note: teething will soon start
              note: this week marked the visual read that things going on around her
                       are not moving quite as fast....meaning she is "getting up to speed" 
                                 
actually things were going too fast and efforts to slow things
                                  down were not working


                                   
 The "Mistake" Lesson (link)
                                                 (proactive training)

Oct 12 early morning - "chase, sit and walk with me" session - the "chase" part
           she's got down....
don't even have to wave a bumper around as the leaves
           on the ground and falling through the air are almost overwhelming her

           "sits" were good for awhile, could move away, walk around a bit, then she'd
           loose her focus on another tempting leaf...."hands on" and a well timed
           "good" registered a little.....cartwheels & jumping up were abundant
               note: within a few minutes of coming back into the house she was sound
                        asleep from all the expended energy = live wire comes to mind and
                        Pounce expended a lot energy
           planning on an evening session in an area with ZERO leaves to see if that
           makes any difference

             
 note: evening session started in the "grassy area" with leaves = really
                        not doing well with just too much to look at, more interested in.
                        leaves with lots of jumping up, switched locations to the driveway
                        with no leaves....
noticeable difference....somewhat more focused
                        with fewer distractions
               note:
today had a long phone conversation which helped to clarify some
                        of my issues
         
 did a little work in our large living room tonight to review my new training
           "adjustments" - made a big difference as the lights went on mostly about
           how to make distractions less important in Pounce's mind, there's a need to
           create the right kind of excitement and deal with the correct excitement  in
           it's heightened state              
Oct 13 morning - Pounce and I went right to the area where the most leaves were
           down and we worked on the RIGHT things - What a difference! and this           
               note:
called again to review the morning's progress...more feedback and
                        an even better perception of where we are going and what to do
              
note: afternoon's session was just as "refreshing/effective"....back on track
               note: then I mowed the lawn and bagged all the leaves
 
               note: the bumper is NOW the most exciting thing for Pounce....she really
                        wants it, good timing is necessary, "sitting" is required and having a
                        precisely engrained release is the key,"yes" and "good" have become
                        the magical "cue glue" to the sequence......the stable sit has returned
               note: Pounce is really "sawing wood" today......mental exercise can be just
                        as tiring as the physical
               note: the key to the total approach is have a dog that can function in a
                        highly excited state...therefore, training sessions must be designed
                        with the rationale of creating maximum excitement....What's the
                        expression? Cool under fire!
Oct 14 Pounce's morning session of "chase, sit and walk" went extremely well, the
           leaves are not an issue anymore and she is very focused on the bumper, her
           "sit" was stable and intense at the end of an 8 foot lead until release on "yes"
           at about a three second delay (after the bumper hit the ground), walking with
           me has improved by keeping the lead a bit shorter to avoid a big run at the
           end and changing directions more often, in addition the "in house" tether
           sessions have given her another "conditioner" to being comfortable with the
           constraint of being on a lead..... she is not bulling or pulling nearly as much,
           the lunging on the end of a lead has diminished so much that she's often 
           walking near me on a loose line.....she's calmer and more relaxed...which
           is quite a turn around in such a short time plus her "mouth" has quieted
           down considerably.....a bunch of "stuff" must have either clicked in all at
           once or this is just a temporary mirage
   
                 note: only did the morning session,,,,getting ready for a duck hunt
Oct 15 Wednesday left about noon - unloaded & setup camp & too windy to scout!
Oct 16 Thursday - much less wind, finished setting up camp & Pounce and I scouted
         
           First we checked out Toad Island and moved on a little farther south to Gnu
           Island. It was not there last year.
          
           Pounce is the perfect name for her. Each time she leaps in and out of the boat
           without any trouble. Between stops  Pounce rides in a small crate. I debated
           about the safety of free vs. crate and feel this was the best way to deal with the
           situation.....she rides confined and safe while I can focus on the river. 

           The next stop was to find if walking through the tall weeds would get us to
           some water where ducks flushed wild. Pounce did really well keeping up in
           the chest high "stuff". She's done cover like this before.
 
                note: None of this is formal training, However, Pounce is living through
                         experiences which are uniquely valuable. Nothing new bothers
                         her and this is a great trait to develop. We both had a great time!

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                                                  Return to Toad Island

Oct 17-19 Pounce just hung out and became an observer and mostly a great puppy.
               She was a big hit with everyone and definitely not shy.

               I cut back on water and made sure she got enough when we were back
               to the trailer. The plan was to keep her "empty" when we hunted. She
               had one "accident" when we were gone the long first morning & not
               much of a mess (a little wet).

              
The funniest incident of the trip was on the last day. The final thing to
               do was air all four dogs for the drive home. Pounce was last. I ended up
               making the mistake of putting Taffey's collar (bigger - same color|) on
               Pounce. She immediately slipped loose and disappeared behind the
               trailer. The boundaries where she could go are secure with a fence on
               the east and south plus the Mississippi River on the west. I headed east
               and there was no sign of Pounce.
                   
               Anxiously, I headed to the west. Pounce was standing elbow deep in an
               extremely huge bowl of water full of ducks slurping water just as fast as
               she could. She gave me a glance and promptly went back to "sucking up"
               water. The drinking water issue before the long trip was not my main
               concern. The "here" command is not in place (sit before here). So I jumped
               into the trailer and grabbed her stainless steel food bowl. I wave it at her
               from a distance and she came like a shot right into the trailer. Whew!

Oct 20 - Pounce trained in the yard once and did the "three combo drill" working on
             chase, walk with me and sit = did well...just a bit rusty on the walk with me
                 note: no hunting trip this week which means this will be a "push" week"
                          for Pounce with not sign of teething.....yet
                 note: Pounce will be five months old Nov. 5th
                 note: a placeboard will now be "in the area" where she trains....she
                          walk over it often and "sit" on it occasionally 
Oct 21 Pounce repeated yesterday's "routine" morning and afternoon with the
           stable sit becoming much more so (several seconds before a release on
           short "tosses")
                 note: after early morning airing. feeding, airing Pounce is confined in
                          her "quiet room" crate upstairs before a training session = a clear,
                          fresh mind is more receptive to learning                     
                 note: started using a brief "walk with me" phase first for just a bit to get
                          her more focus on me before revving up the "on" switch
                 note: "sit" has become nice and square with strong eye contact and any
                          loss of focus is immediately extinguished with a subtle shake or
                          sweeping motion of the bumper
                 note: she's very excited and "dealing with it" while I'm remaining only
                          the focal point of the process (if that makes any sense), trying to
                          make my body actions and vocal cues smooth, quiet and consistent  
                 note: continuing to use "yes" as the release cue and "good" for verbal
                          reinforcements, the "walk with me" segments are done within a
                          four to five foot radius and many changes in direction, this keeps
                          her in less of a "bolt to the end of the lead" mode and provides for
                          less aggressive stops
                 note: carryover of the "stable sit" has been reflected in her deferring to
                          sit before exiting and entering at doors plus sitting to be fed 
Oct 22 repeated previous day's routines (late morning and early evening) - the many
            "reps" focus will be a rationale everyday until the next duck hunting trip
            (not going this week - waiting for "new" ducks to arrive) and probably
            continuing on in to November
                 note: going to initially use a half-crate for remote tossed marks because it
                          geometrically produces a square sit, then transition to a
low, round
                          placeboard in the yard to remote sit on, the shape/geometry allows   
                          sitting and facing anywhere have the same "feel/look" as the
                          handler moves to toss marks with different "lines"                            

      (right click on thumbnail)  
                
                   "placeboards"
    
           "elevated"
 

                  note; put the round and rectangular boards out for the morning session.
                           she was comfortable walking over and sitting, did one retrieve off
                           each from a remote sit (at the end of her short checkcord)
Oct 23 trained at Roscoe Riverside Park DTA - Pounce went for a long, mostly free
           walk in the large, short grass area (at least 45 acres) there is a wide strip of
           heavy cover down the middle which we crossed over and back, on four of
           her longer "casts" in the short cover a mark was thrown........she is "sleeping
           like a log" this afternoon  
A tired puppy....is a good puppy!

Oct 24 trained in the afternoon - yard and did the "three sequence" session (excite,
           sit/retrieve and walk with me)
                  note:
sit is becoming solid with tugs for reinforcement and she is resisting
                           being pulled off the sit position....releases are delayed for several
                           seconds with random intervals....very pleased with her
intense focus
                           and
high intensity
                  note: began to chain "Pounce" immediately after releasing on "Yes!"....
                           rationale, since training is often with multiple dogs in the field,
                           "Yes" is not specific.....using each dog's name is
Oct 25 repeated yesterday morning's session - she's consistent plus starting to sit and
           hold a bumper before "giving it up"....this is a very slow "event" with lots of
           verbal "goods" and stroke/petting reinforcements down her back - she likes it
                  note: Pounce generally has a really nice hold in the middle and very "up"
                           when first returning...giving her a little time to "settle" makes a huge
                           difference....how I take the bumper is often more important than
                           the actual retrieve
           afternoon - train at Roscoe Riverside Park = long free walk with no retrieves
Oct 26 trained in the yard (morning) worked on "walk with me" up close with lots of
           excitement focusing on paying attention to staying with me and not bolting
           off on her own directions (using a shorter lead, asking for eye contact with a
           bumper in easy view)
                  note: this was about 75% of the lesson, did "sit" working on "traffic cop"
                           approach (close, moving some with no testing)
Oct 27 repeated Oct 26th lesson in two different session late morning and evening
Oct 28 took a day off from training sessions
Oct 29 Pounce repeated the previous lesson (third time) focusing on walk close,
           less lunging off wildly and becoming more responsive) seeing gradually
           improvement and see a dramatic change in the house
Oct 30 repeated same lesson in the morning
                  note: slight amount of blood on bumper, could see anything obvious in
                           her mouth (teething ?)
                  note: in the house is less exciting and easier for her to become less "off
                           the wall" to say it another way, it may be difficult to see a great
                           change from day to day in the yard, yet the level of excitement in
                           house is easier for her to handle...she is calmer (not exactly sure
                           the written explains the sense of difference) - time will tell
           left fore duck camp at 5 pm - maintenance (new toilet to install and hot water
           heater by-pass, plus shuffling hunting gear, preparing for freeze)
                  note: Pounce travels well!
Nov 1 day off for everyone except me - yard work = more leaves
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"