Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Training Day 35

When we got there today Bailey was in the den and was super excited to see me. A note from my trainer explained that Bailey's stomach problems have returned. and he had another accident. Although he has diarrhea he is still eating, drinking and acting completely normal. So we went straight into light switch training. He did great and again generalized the switches, touching his nose to different ones. After that we went into the tennis courts and tried a new version of hide and seek. We put Bailey on a 20 foot leash, held by my aide, and had him stand next to me.  I then gave him the "go get help" eye command (me looking at Bailey and then up at my aide) and asked my aide to tug on the leash at the same time. Unfortunately Bailey had no clue as what we were trying to teach him. And watching my aide try to follow Bailey around and untangle his 20 foot leash was pretty hysterical. So I decided to try something else. We went back to the original hide and seek game, with me hiding, but altered it a little bit. I had my aide take Bailey on leash to a corner of the courts and I went to hide. She then told him "go find Eva" but since he was on leash he had to take her with him. I did not put peanut butter on my hand as we would previously do. Instead he only got a treat when my aide had followed him over to me, and acknowledged me verbally/physically. He seemed to understand that my aide needed to accompany him to me and even began jumping on me in acknowledgement when he found me.  I think he may even have been copying my aide, because she would get all excited and say "Yay we found Eva" and put her hands on my arms and shoulders to show him that I was what he needed to find. After the first time she did this Bailey would jump on me when he found me copying her same physical acknowledgements.
After hide and seek it was chill time and Bailey just relaxed and chewed on a deer antler. Soon he fell into a deep sleep. When he woke up we did one more light switch session. We also tried something new. Bailey has always been super attentive towards me but I want him to focus more on my eyes so that I can use subtle eye commands that he will pick up on.  So we're trying a verbal command that we hope will transition into an automatic behavior for him. My aide is saying the command "eyes" and whenever Bailey looks me straight in the eyes he gets a reward. I think this will be an easy one for him and he's already starting to get it.
So after introducing this new task, my aide went into the kitchen to get lunch ready. Bailey began to do his "I've got to go to the bathroom dance" and was circling around the room. I thought "oh no"! And before I could do anything Bailey proceeded to empty himself on the den rug. My aide returned just as this was happening. Bailey then sat a few feet away from his pile and looked up at us so sorry. I know that he couldn't help it because he's been having stomach issues. Interestingly his stomach issues started around the same time my trainer gave all the dogs deer antlers to chew on, and this accident was about an hour after he had been chewing on an antler. Could be a coincidence but I suspect it might be related. So after we cleaned it up it was time for lunch. Since I had introduced some new commands/tasks today I decided to just have some play time after lunch. But since it was over 90 degrees today the dogs were pretty mellow and just enjoyed some relaxing sun bathing.

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