"Pounce" - nine months old
Up until this last year, a
steady dog was a progression. "Sit means sit", was the standard...........don't
move..........feet or other body parts (a dog's head could rotate).
Vocalization is often considered a violation of the sit command. The
correction process focused on stopping/preventing a pup from doing any of those.
Puppies generally don't come with any skills. A
becomes adept at correcting and/or not allowing a weak sit expectation to
Fast forward to my newest pup. Pounce had a "clean slate". Using Hillmann's program, sit became a focus before there were any bad habits. Pounce was sitting (while re-enforced) very early on. Sit rapidly became a rewarding and fun game. It was what she did....often.....very often. It has become what she knows.
I should add Pounce was/is an "off the wall", driven pup. However, we just went with the flow of Hillmann's approach. There was no need to NOT stop anything right from the beginning. The "sit" command elicited an almost automatic reflex. I would often find myself proclaiming a silent.......Wow!
Walking away from her and throwing marks was a simple do with "The Traffic Cop" approach ...and distance has incrementally become more challenging. "Send backs" to the line are now a routine and useful expectation.
Recently, Pounce was introduced to wingers. When she is close by (at the line) there is the same, intense statue with zero movement and strong focus on the falls. She doesn't need a tab. I can "talk to her" and delaying the retrieve is not a problem. I keep waiting for "the other shoe to drop" (but it has not). Pounce's sit is a remarkably, solid expectation.
Given the above and analyzing the differences in my past steady dog training experiences, Pounce has never really been "asked" to stop creeping, not brake, cease any noise, quit moving feet or even avoid lifting her butt up off the ground because.....being stationary, focused and under control while excited were imprinted and re-enforced very early on. It has become all she knows.....with nothing to fix.
It's been a cold winter. Being outside is finally becoming a lot more fun. It is
so much more energizing to present marks to a stationary and focused pup.
There is a long road ahead for Pounce and I. The outstanding aspect of her
training to date has been the "cool" steadiness learning curve in Hillmann's program.
|Steady Progression Photos|
It should be noted that the
above photos were taken when
training alone. A steady pup makes photography much simpler.
"Solo" Training singles with "send backs"
(first time in the field with factors)
A "steady" Pounce
April 20th April 21st