I signed up for the Susan Garrett Recallers course. So far I have been very impressed. I signed up at the Brilliant level - my budget couldn't handle the Inner Circle ($1000+!!!!). As it is, the dog walk will have to wait until spring. BUT last night I had a great reminder of WHY I'm taking this course.
Last night I was carrying in a big box with a new crate (so we could play crate games). Tibby jumped over a baby gate, ran between my legs and out the door. Then she dashed out the open garage door and onto the driveway. I was very, very lucky that there weren't any dogs or people walking by. I KNOW that she would have been gone in a second. She was excited that I was home, so she did come back, but I could tell that she was looking around and thinking about running farther. This is bad. My house isn't very far from a street. Not a busy street, but still dangerous.
I would rather pay to have Tibby learn a recall, than pay to have her fixed up if she gets hit by a car. Or worse.
This is where we keep track of all our training. I want to decorate it with some pictures of Tibby. I'll show you when I get done with it. I'm also printing out all of the games, so I can re-read them and take them on the road for practice. It's only when I'm in the middle of a game that I have questions about it.
The calendar where I'm keeping track of our training. I know I can keep track of things with the 'big picture' in front of me. I have a past history of not journaling very well, but I can do a calendar.
The course doesn't start until Monday, but there are pre-games to play.
One of those games is crate games.
The new crate. I took the crate pad out. It was too fluffy for crate games. I put the crate in the spare bed room, because there aren't as many distractions (and I had the space there). I can't wait until the basement is done - all that beautiful space for running around. It's SO CLOSE to being done......but not quite yet. Although (totallya tangent) I learned how to take out a light fixture and change it out for a new one. It's not that hard!
The treats I used for our first crate game.
Meatballs, kielbasa, ham, hot dog, cheese (dill jack, ooo fancy).
Susan said to use the highest value. Here it is!
Tibby did AMAZING. I can't wait to see how she does tomorrow. We worked all the way through steps 1-3. We only played for 30 mins (not 1 hour like the video says), because I felt like Tibby had eaten a lot of treats and she probably needed to get a drink. I didn't want the treats to start to lose their value.
I was surprised how well Tibby did with the crate games. She went in the crate to start the game, stayed in the crate when she was supposed to and exited the crate when she was released. She turned right around and went back into the crate.
I was especially amazed at how quickly and willingly she figured the game out, because her only other experiences with a wire crate have been very negative. Wish I had known about crate games when I brought her home! My vet told me to put Tibby in the crate, leave her there and wait until she stopped barking. We tried that twice, but after 2 1/2 hours of her barking without stopping the first time and her peeing on herself/acting scared when I opened the crate door the 2nd time I didn't try crate training again. The last time I put her in a wire crate was at a foundation agility class - she had a 'panic attack' - frantic clawing at the bars/shaking/barking/drooling.
I think the baby steps I've taken with the travel crate have probably helped.
Later on I found her sitting in the crate (good girl!) and waiting to be released. What a smart pup!!!