Thursday, March 10, 2011

what we've been up to

Not much to report here.

Before today's rain, we had just the right amount of snow in the backyard to hide the ice/mud.  So, I've been taking Oreo out to play after work.  The majority of our snow had melted, allowing Oreo's orbee to finally be back in action. Oreo was very happy about that.  Gosh, he loves that ball.

The weather (sloppy roads, ice storms, rain, etc.) hasn't been very conducive to "working the plan".  However, Jeff did bring Oreo to work the other day!  Jeff tells me Oreo did well.  He even sat and offered his paw to one of his co-workers (for treats of course). 

I bought a "children's voices" desensitization CD to help Oreo be less freakish when he hears children.  You wouldn't believe how quiet I have to play the CD in order for Oreo to tolerate the noise.   I can't even hear it at all.  We'll keep working on it, and hopefully when spring finally hits ( in May?), we will have made enough progress for Oreo to deal with real children, who will be overexcited to finally forgo their indoor voices.

Oreo continues to work on rally moves. He does most perfectly indoors, and now I've been able to work on them in the yard.   He does much better off leash than on.  Mostly because I'm fumbling with the leash, clicker and treats. 

In the past, if I treated Oreo while in a heel, he would automatically stop, go off the clock, and I'd lose our connection. My behaviorist pointed this out to me, and told me I need to treat him while we are walking, so he learns to maintain eye contact and the task isn't over.  We've been doing that and it has made a huge difference.  Unfortunately, that means I have to do four things...click, treat, hold leash and WALK at the same time.  OMG.

We have rally class again on Saturday.   Last class, Oreo was very distracted and kept looking around to see what everyone else was up to.  I'm hoping all our home practice will help him focus this week.   Maybe I need to up the ante on the treats I bring to class.

13 comments:

Reilly / Bree said...

There is nothing better then finding your favorite ball to play with. Hmmm maybe you should take that to practice with you - that would keep his attention on you.

Diana said...

Well, it sounds like you have been up to alot. Just wondering, what would happen if you took Oreo's orbee to the rally place and played first. Sometimes play hleps them forget about whats goingo n around them. But it may not work for Oreo, and you may have already tried it.

Sara said...

I wish Oreo would play at our training facility,but he has been unable to let his guard down enough to do so.

Maybe in time we will get to that point.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Ricky thinks the treat means the task is over too - it's fantastic that Oreo is doing better with that and continuing on if you treat him while walking. The mechanics of doing that are very tricky, I know.

Maybe carrying the orbee would be enough for Oreo in class (he might not actually have to play with it)? Ricky doesn't let his guard down enough to play in classes (or in public in general) either. If I ever get another puppy, I am going to try my hardest to get him to be toy motivated!

Priscilla said...

I know how you feel when you've to do four things and WALK at the same time with Oreo. I always have this problem and I'm always clumsy, luckily Eva has a lot of patience on me :)
The rally class will be fine!!!

Rob said...

Hi Sara, I hate that sort of weather. Its a good thing you're a woman having to do so many different tasks all at one time.

Kathy said...

I was playing the childrens sounds cd (for the kitties because they were being very sensitive about noises, so I played the vacuum and kitchen things, the kids, and te dogs) probably not the same one as yours, but maybe....anyway,my daughter walked in and said boy those noises would make me run away, LOL, and they do have a lot of noise that would be hard to ignore if you wre not used to listening to a lot of rowdy kids, LOL. Good luck in class, hope it goes marvelously!!!!

♥ helen said...

Oreo must be a very lucky dog because you do all these things with him. He is so lucky to have a owner like you.

Amy Wood said...

Oreo looks so cute with his ball. That desensitization CD sounds good. I look forward to hearing how it works for Oreo. I love reading your posts because I always learn about these great things!

Sam said...

I have that problem with the leash, too. Marge and I work so much better off leash when heeling than on.

Amazing that Oreo went to work with Jeff. Sounds like he was super successful!

Dawn said...

Katie thinks the treat means she can lower her head and look around too. Interesting. Sometimes when we're "heeling" and I give her a treat for looking at me she STOPS! LOL! The teacher last week said I was a "nice mom" and she wasn't paying me a compliment. Sigh.

I used to use boiled chicken with Katie and that was pretty motivating. Only used it when we were in school, never at home. So it was extra special.

Sara said...

Yes, I think fresh meat is needed! I've got some chicken ready:)

Patti and DeBoys said...

Oreo, there is nothing better than finding your favorite toy that has been missing in action...WOL

Sara...our mom is the same way with us during our learning of Rally...we think she needs 8 arms to be able to accomplish all of her task. Although the last couple of practices we have been giving her a needed break, making her look good by showing her we know what she wants...WOL