Saturday, May 15, 2010

Duke's Foundation Work - Day 1 - a trip to the Rona parking lot.

My first thought regarding Duke's training plan for this week was to go hang out at PetSmart and do some focus and attention exercises, and "Look at That" exercises with other dogs. But, I thought that it would make sense to start him off a bit easier, so we went to the nearby big box store area instead. There's a Rona, Canadian Tire, and Home Depot and I decided to setup at Rona.

Last night I prepared the highest value food reinforcer I could think of (chicken thighs, roasted in the BBQ but still dripping in yummo chicken fat) and off we went by car.

To my surprise, even in the absence of other dogs, Duke was very distracted and concerned about being at the Rona parking lot! I decided to stay in the parking lot and do some basic "name game" exercises, clicking and treating for direct eye contact.

We did a bit of heelwork in the parking lot as well and a few sits, downs, and touches for good measure.

There was a german shepherd on a prong collar that was also in the parking lot; Duke howled a bit at it but nothing too serious. I was caught off guard as a nice woman who had a beagle came by to chat and give Duke a scratch.

Tomorrow (or possibly later tonight?) I will lower the level of distraction even further, and just do some Name Game exercises in the neighbourhood, before working back up to driving somewhere strange and new.

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