"Pounce" - Stable Sit
   
 

Many, many years ago one morning in the halls of LaSalle-Peru High School a
high pitched, screeching voice came over the school intercom system. It was
our vice-principal and she was known as the “disciplinarian from hell”.
"Everyone must be somewhere!!!"

Everyone froze in their tracks and looked at each other (a bit perplexed at first) then smiled, laughed and the unanimous facial expressions appeared to say “I'm good to go”.

In a way, the same comment can be said about training a puppy.

However, where a puppy is “at” varies all over the map. Often times it is huge challenging to stick to doing what a pup needs in the moment. Those "needs"
are impacted by unique potential plus a trainer's intentions and skills...even the time of year. Adding to the mix, there are limitless suggestions, programs and examples of
"where" a pup should be. Outside influence can be relentless and staying the course is challenging.

Since teaching skills are a critical component of the process, the concept of using short and long term rationales is a wise choice. Having a plan that is sequential so that skill development is linked seamlessly is essential. In addition, being able to adjust and remain flexible without taking shortcuts or making mistakes requires experience. Training a teacher that is training a student can be demanding.

One of the tools I use to aid in the overall process is making lists of “to do's”.
It is simple to check off what is being done and when. Plus keeping a journal
records progress (or lack thereof).

Here's an example of Pounce's present “list”. She is almost 6 months old. The
list is a fluid format which describes a focus on a specific skill, how it will be
presented, insight at that time and opinionated results.  Feedback as to where we are "in the moment" drives the process.

                                       
Training Journal Entry

"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"
started
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 -
started
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)
started
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
(later)
10. formalize all commands
(later)
11. train Pounce with another dog present - Daisy (off placeboards)
(later)
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

                                   
the following is an updated list
                        
                                observations/realizations updated Dec 5th
     
1.
intro & work on whistle "sit" continuing
2a.
continue 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
      was separate from the sit, walk with me, excitement sessions (for awhile)
     
now combined
             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, quick study, relaxed, looks good
                          doing it and deals well with varying speeds....not nearly as
                          easy as I expected which means this will be a regular session
                          for a good long time to become an expectation
                        
need to eventually move back to a simple collar and work
                         toward an off lead standard
(still a long way off)
2b. introduce "heel" command - did this and easy do, but moving outside is
      proving to be "interesting"  
work in progress
3.
intro leaping "fetch" with fetch/yes release off anchored sit and this has  
    become a regular reward
& exciter a precursor for the fetch command
4.
intro "soft" e-collar layering of positive reinforcement on top of the lead sit
    "tug" reinforcement
 begin Dec 8th have been "entrenched" = Dec 4th
    decided on Dec. 10th
5a.
intro "hold" on sit and motion) done
5b. "hold" concept during "walk with me" as part of heeling expectations
     
doing this well
6. "place" - going to & sitting on placeboard with command
     started Nov 27 does well close (10 feet) slowly extend distance

7.
determine optimum time to work on "here" command
    started brief lesson Dec 3rd
with bending at the waist as physical cue so as
    to isolate standing erectly for sit with low horizontal "tug" vs. upward "tug"
    for "sit" began
               note: this now represents three distinct "tugs" on the collar two
                        initiated by the trainer up (sit) &. horizontal (here) plus the two
                        heeling tugs which are totally initiated by the pup which elicit
                        self-correcting responses in a different context, pup recognizes
                        the heeling "tugs" and responds with repetitive, self-imposed
                        behaviors

               note: the correct use of a pinch collar is NOT to jerk or pop the lead,
                        the pup dog does ALL the correcting 

               
NOTE: this is an "out of the Hillmann program" effort to deal with the
                          possible throat issues created by Pounce's penchant for
                          slamming into the rope lead, keeping the lead short and her
                          close was not working, the plan is to eventually move back to
                          a soft rope lead and more in step with the process
                               
                 Note: she is not wearing a pinch collar in the field, only when airing
                          and during "heeling" lesson sessions for me, I decided to draw
                          a line between being too highly excited to the point of possible
                          injury, in addition it is winter, there is ice "lurking" everywhere
                          and I'm 74 years old, with a 40 pound pup on a rope, we are
                          "one short end of the rope too soon" jerk away from an
                          "awkward" situation, went down once last month, walking with
                          a ski pole now and not going to tempt fate again....for me
                          Pounce on a long lead was not going to cut it unless I found a
                          way for her and I to safely do the "walk with me"...if that makes
                          any sense.........the standard will eventually be Pounce walking
                          with me......highly excited....off lead....and the pinch collar a
                          distant memory
8.
chain new retrieve command "fetch" from "yes" (phase out "yes") 
                       
Nov 27 started - got it Oct 1
9.
teach "down" & "whoa" skills with verbal commands (later)
10a.
formalize all commands well into this Oct 2  (except for #9)
10b. hope for at least a few decent days outside (no snow lately)
11. train Pounce with another dog present - Daisy (off placeboards)
12.
8+ months old - Jan AKC OB classes (use pinch collar in class)
13. finish fetch before/after AKC OB classes ?? (when ready)
14. indoor swimming pool fun in February

              
 subsequent updates will be handled with a bookmark link

  
This is a related essay from the past pertaining to Internet training forums. 

Kermit became well know for saying, “It is not easy being green.” An excellent parallel in human behavior would be “It is not easy being transparent.” Every now and again a new “buzz word” describing social behavior appears. Recently, the term “transparency” seems to have taken the place of an old the saying about “living in glass houses”.

There are risks in being transparent. Vulnerability is one. “Sticks and stones” in the guise of words are often the result of being transparent. It isn't any wonder that it is necessary for some to remain cloaked in secrecy. Transparency makes for a better target.

Being transparent is much easier when a person likes who they are. Live every day with the idea that it is important for others to “know exactly where you are coming from”. Being vulnerable can be uncomfortable. It is rather obvious to “see” an invisible person on the Internet. Then again, it is somewhat ironic that it is almost impossible to be transparent when invisible.

Which brings the focus back to what an assistant principle in my high school said over the intercom 56 years ago.......”Everybody must be somewhere!”