Sunday, August 29, 2010

training challenge week #4 ~ rp update

We didn't really get out of our element this week. I wanted to give Oreo a lot of downtime, because I felt last week was pretty stressful and we have a trial today.

So, here is an update on our RP.

We've continued our relaxation protocol pretty much non stop, taking days off when we were really busy.

We did 15 days in the living room & 15 in the backyard. This week, we moved to the car!

Getting to the car, putting on the seat belt, initial moments in the car, pulling out of the garage, pulling out of the driveway are all huge sources of excitement/anxiety.

Therefore, I was completely amazed at how calm Oreo was the first day of car RP. When I grabbed his mat and asked him to follow me to the car, not one bark, jump, spin, circle. Oreo calmly walked down the basement stairs to the car and hopped in.
We've done a week of car RP, with the door open/no seatbelt on. I figure next week we will put the seatbelt on. Then the following week, I'll shut the door and feed him through the window.

3 weeks of car RP? Believe me! We need it. However, our trip to the car for agility class this week was already a bit quieter. This may pay off (my ear drums can hope).

I thought I'd post a video to show you one day of tasks. The video is of day 9 during our outside work. I sped the video up 5 times faster than real life.

I think instead of doing the boring tasks, I should do the moves described in the song I chose. Then, the next day, I could do the electric slide, next day the macarena, achy breaky, etc. It would be much more entertaining for me.

I still don't see how this is going to help any of Oreo's fears. They're just too strong for this to be effective. However, it is helping with crazy times around the house. Cleaning, people walking by....

We use RP as a tool. If Oreo starts getting excited about me dusting, I stand by his mat in my "relaxation pose", and after a few manic circles and nips at the rag, he settles down on the mat. Pretty amazing. I don't even have to say anything, I simply relax myself. Cool, huh?

Other times, when he starts circling or getting crazy over something and I'm too lazy to get off my butt and assume the RP position, I calmly start counting out loud. This has worked amazingly well at interrupting his circling. He stops, looks at me, and walks over, sometimes even sits. Kind of like a mom telling her kid, "I'm going to count to 10. 1....2....3...."


Ricky the Sheltie said...

Wow - you guys have done a wonderful job of sticking with the RP and it's paying off! Good for you! Don't say that Oreo's fears are too strong for this to ultimately help. You just never know. But if it only ever helps with crazy times around the house, it will still be worth it, right?

Why would Oreo want to be all done and get up off his mat when the mat is the source of endless treats? LOL!

I love dusting too!:)

Good luck at the trial today!

Dawn said...

good luck at the trial today!!!!

COUNTING works???? I'm going to try that!

If you could really do these exercises at the pace of the video you'd get a great workout!

Dawn said...

OMG! I'm sitting on the sofa with ice on my knee, it's elevated on a pile of pillows and of course Katie starts barking at some perceived monster outside the front door. I started to count...One..Two...

I only got to SIX and she came over to see what was up!!! And stopped barking! Of course as soon as she figured out there were no treats she ran back to the front door and let out one yelp, then ran back over to me as I had started to count again.

Now she's just sitting in front of me staring at me. AMAZING!

Priscilla said...

My goodness!!
Sounds like RP work really pays off!!
LOL at Dawn's comment. Katie is a clever girl :)
I've always told myself to try out this RP thing but never got round to doing it :) My bad!!!

One Dog, One Camera said...

I don't really know too much about RP training but from your video it looks like he is doing really well. I did have to giggle about the song and how you sped up the video hehe worked perfect together :)

Diana said...

Wow, you are really getting a work out. You get exercise and the dogs learns to be calm. Sounds like a good deal. Im glad things are working out for the car too. Miley hates the car. LOL, no excitment there. I have trouble getting her to come to me if she thinks we are going to the car. LOL Diana

Rob said...

Well first of all I'm glad you told us the video was speeded up! Secondly I find it interesting what you say about standing by Oreo's mat in the relaxation pose because I think dogs pick on our body language and watch us more than we realise.

AC said...

Loved reading this update and your video was amazing!! (Who knew that watching a full RP session could be entertaining =)

I feel the same way about RP and fear with Kona. It seems like great work for reactivity that isn't fear based. It'll be neat to hear another update as you keep working on it. I know RP was an important tool for our other blogging friend and her fearful dog.

Dawn said...

had a chance to watch this video with the sound on...Katie is all relaxed so that worked out...and I'm laughing hysterically now! So funny with the music!

Marie said...

I love hearing about Oreo's progress with the RP. I really thought it was cool when we did it with Rogue.

I wonder if it would be a good way to work on Twist's sit stay? Hmmm...when we did RP we did it in a down, like you are doing, but I wonder if we did it in a sit, if it would help? I might have to give it a try.

Kathy said...

I keep thinking the neighbors must really think I am batty doing weirdo things with the dogs, so they can talk to your neighbors and find out I am not the only wacky one, LOL. That was such a funny video. I think the whole thing of the RP is to give the dogs a different way to react to things, in control unleashed I think it is they talk about how dogs are used to reacting in one way and might not even know there is another way they could react to things, you get so used to reacting one way automatically that you dont really learn that you can react in a different way---and it helps the doggies to learn to look to you when they are deceiding how to react and to learn that they can trust you no matter what is happening ;-), it cant hurt, but I am super impressed you have stuck with it and that Oreo is doing so well, he is a ROCK STAR! And you are a ROCK STAR trainer@!!!!!