Well, I’m back once more working with Athena in preparation for an obedience trial weekend after next. Considering that her training was neglected since the birth of the puppies, she is doing quite well, though I have not been able to proof her out of my yard. Truth is, I just work too many hours, and it isn’t safe to be out after dark.
I like to train in parking lots after business hours. I don’t run the risk of getting me or the dog killed by someone trying to park, and at night these lots are lit and have guards. Still, it’s a risk.
Of late Athena has gone off her treats. She was off her food for a few days, too, and lost some weight, but was otherwise healthy. Weird. She’s eating once more, but still not too interested in treats. She’s not a big eater, though. So it seems natural that she would eat treats.
Still, it’s been a challenge because the clicker is the only tool that I have communicating with my dogs. The click and the treats are paired. The click serves as a conditioned reinforcer; the treat should serve as a primary reinforcer. Athena likes to play, but she hasn’t got a huge play drive, and will not always play in every environment, like public spaces.
Clicker training her has been a challenge, but it’s still doable. She has learned so much, and I’m hoping that she will at least qualify when we compete on November 8. In the meantime, training continues.