Thursday, February 26, 2009

One step forward, 2 steps back

Hey all,

Today was kind of an interesting day with the training. Dempsey seemed to decide that wiggling thru the poles was really hard, and started experimenting with different behaviors to see if he could get the cheese some other way. Happily, Joe taped this session for me, and its here: for all to see :). It's a heck of a session, it looks like a little bit of a disaster as far as progress goes, but i suspect he needed to do all those other things just to find out what would happen.

Peepers had session #2 of 101 things today. Today's behavior was picking up the block with his left foot. He had started doing a bit of that yesterday, so today he picked that behavior right away when picking it up with his beak didn't work. He did stop to think for a few seconds in the middle of the session, but this is different than the newbie pause, in that the animals new to the game actually walk away from the object, while in this case Peepers stayed right there, and to me obviously was still fully engaged in the game. I can't get this vid to successfully download, so I'll come back and link it when I finally get it going.

Sparky got to play a bit with the block too. She was very interested in Peeper's training session, but when she saw the block she attacked it. Of course, since she touched it, it was click/treat time :). In real short order, she was touching the block with her beak without all the aggression. I should have taped this one, but I didn't think to turn the camera in her direction to capture this. She's pretty aggressive towards anything strange, so I'm sure I can find something to replicate the situation and film that at some point soon.

All the animals will be getting a break from training for a few days, as I am going to aravaipa canyon this weekend. I expect Dempsay to take a few steps backward with this break, and Peepers to pick it up just like I had never left. I dunno what Sparky will do, she's already surprised me by getting back into the training game so quickly this time around.

Got It!

Woo hoo! I finally downloaded the file to Youtube. Here's the link: Now I can work on the next session :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Today Dempsey started wiggling thru the poles until the last 4, then made a big leap thru the rest. He's really excited with the training - so I guess the weave-a-matics work really well for him. He's also clearly trying to work out his footwork, which I would guess will take a while to really get down.

Peepers and I played 101 things to do with a block today and I filmed it to put on youtube. As soon as I can get it to upload, I'll post it here. I was hoping that he would show what I think is a typical behavior for this game, which looks to me like a pause to think about the situation. I always get a little panicky, thinking that the animal is quitting, but they have always come back stronger from that break, so I think it's worthwhile getting that on film and showing that apause isn't a disaster.

Sparky got to work on targeting to a stick, as I thought she would need some time to remember the training game. In the past, she's attacked the clicker after long intervals between training sessions, so I expected to see that again. Boy was I wrong. Little miss was all over her targeting behavior, and clearly sh's ready to rock and roll with the training game.

Poor Bungee thinks he's being neglected. I didn't train him or the older dogs today, so tomorrow I really need to make sure they at least get a few minutes to work.

Most of my day has been spent trying to get my camcorder to work with my laptop. It looks like the problem is that the cam records in mts format, and the programs I have don't recognize that. So I finally dowloaded a player that recognizes mts files, which gave me the codec so the other programs can see and read them now. I still can't edit them, nor can I save them in a different format. Maybe tomorrow I'll be successful with that aspect of this project, which should help with the youtube part, as I think that also is unhappy with mts files.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just a little training

Today I worked Dempsey twice on the weave poles. He's been struggling with how to get through the set of 12 poles as quickly as he can, and is currently switching between jumping thru and wiggling thru them. I am currently trying to get videos downloaded so everyone can see. In any case, he seems to have the idea that he needs to go all the way to the end of the poles, and do it as quickly as he can. Which seems pretty good considering it's just a few days of training, and maybe 10 sessions of less than 5 minutes each.

I've been so busy trying to get this and some other things set up, I haven't been able to sit down and do the other training sessions. I really need to just get down to business, cuz everyone's been watching Dempsey get his turns and they want theirs too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hey All

Hey everyone,

I am Jeni, and I've started this blog to share my experiences training all of my animals. I currently have 4 dogs and 2 parrots. I show in agility with my dogs - 2 of them are retired, and 2 of them are competing. My parrots are house pets, but I enjoy training, so like to teach them lots of different little things to keep us all busy.

Currently my youngest dog, Dempsey, is working on learning how to weave. I am using what's called weave-a-matics to train him, and I hope to have video up in the next couple of days to show you what he's doing right now, and then I hope to tape future training sessions to record his progress and show it to the world.

My more experienced competition dog, Bungee, is learning to hold onto things for an extended period of time. This one is tricky for us, as I am not very good at training duration behaviors, and Bungee isn't very good at doing one thing for more than a second. So we have our work cut out for us, but we both like a challenge.

I had stopped working with the parrots for a while, so now I am just getting them back into the swing of things. Peepers will be relearning that throwing behaviors at me is a good thing, and sparky will be learning not to attack the clicker :).

I'm hoping to keep this blog updated at least every other day if not every day, and show what kind of progress we're making in our efforts. I also welcome any feedback anyone may have about this blog, and what interests you and what you can do without. Talk to everyone soon!