Monday, September 14, 2009

Great Expectations

Well, I just finished a very educational weekend with Seven. I took him to an outreach seminar put on by Kim Collins of "Pawsitive Steps" agility club. He was an absolute STAR. I was pretty nervous about going as this was his "debut" in the agility community and he would be the youngest dogs there. Everything went quite well though! His self control surprised me, I spent about 10 minutes trying to get him to "fail" and come out of his crate without a release. I dropped cookies just outside the open crate door, played with his favourite toys, even played a rousing game of tug with a friend's young German Shepherd just feet from him. Nothing fazed him until I sent him to the crate and took off running as soon as he entered. This made him poke a paw outside the crate door, which gave me the chance to tell Sev that breaking this criterion would result in a loss of access to reinforcement. Failure is an important part of learning and after his "oopsies" there was absolutely NO getting Seven to make the same mistake again. Without a single correction! It was a very good experience and I can't wait 'till the 2010 sessions start. Until then, we have lots of homework to do!

Here are some pics from today of Seven having fun in the yard...