The three dogs–Gretchen, Tuvok, and Athena–continue to make progress in their training, although I am so inconsistent in my work with them. That’s the beauty with clicker training: what you teach sticks!
This is the first week, since I’ve returned to work in January, that I’ve trained three days, and the week’s not yet over. That’s huge progress. The most I’ve ever trained is two days in a week. Last year this time, however, I didn’t train any of my dogs between January and May. I did a bit of work with Athena during the summer (when it wasn’t too hot), but she still managed to win the Novice trial in November, with High in Trial (99/100 points).
Athena now has a reliable 30-second stand-stay, and is doing the high and long jumps quite well. The jump heights are under the required height for her class, but that’s okay for now. She did two lovely recalls for me today, too.
Gretchen has a semi-reliable 30-second sit-stay. She does this on leash. She has an awesome down-stay, too. I have started doing rear-end awareness exercises with her and her brother, Tuvok. Tonight I had them walk through the rungs of a ladder that was laid out flat on the grass.
Gretchen’s loose-leash walking is weak, and I realize that I really need to focus on that skill now, while she’s five months old and still controllable. Tuvok’s isn’t much better. My problem is that I train late at night when going into the yard after dusk guarantees a feast for the vampires, I mean MOSQUITOS. I train in the house at night and in the yard during the day (problem is I’m never home during the day).
I’ve started getting up early to train at least one dog before work. Some mornings it just doesn’t happen. Yet, I press on and hope for the best.