Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Getting back on Track

Hey all,

This morning was very very warm and humid, and I was tired, so I didn't take Peepers out to the barn. I am going to try and do that tomorrow so he doesn't forget what he's learned so far, and he continues to get more and more comfortable there.

But... I did get back to working on the indoor stuff. Today Peepers wanted to train, Sparky still wasn't interested. Sparky did show me a little bit of what's on her mind though - she spent almost the whole time I was at the table with Peepers on her cage flapping her now growing out wings. It was great to see and I am more than happy to forego training a little bit if she prefers to flap her wings :). She also did a mini-recall today when she wanted to leave the windowsill she was on and I wasn't moving fast enough. It was a hop/flap of just a few feet, but that was huge for her since she barbered herself. I am so super happy to see it!

Back to what I had planned to do :). I started with Peepers and the harness. It has been a week since we did anything on it, so I just did a review to see if he could still lift his wings while the loop was over his head. that was easy-peasy, and since I really am not sure what the next step is with him yet, we quit this exercise fairly quickly. You will also see in the video that there is a hoop against the wall - I plan on teaching Peepers to fly through hoops, and this is the first time he's been asked to get anywhere close to it. I think he did a fine job of ignoring it :). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlRXbub94OY

Then I decided to work on his retrieve. Once again, I planned on a review, and Peepers shows that he is right where we left off, picking up the die and moving his head very slightly to put it in my hand. The hoop is still there and he is still ignoring it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4tALzoK3Jw

I thought since Peepers did so well ignoring the hoop that I would see if we could start working on doing something with it (in the end, I would like him to hop through it while it's on the table, and then I will move it out to the barn). I messed this up, thinking he was more ok with it than he was. I moved the hoop away from the wall to hold it up with my hand. That seemed to freak him out a bit, and now he really noticed the hoop and was disturbed by it. So I placed it back against the wall and asked him to target around it. You can see in the video that he keeps a very close eye on it, but he does manage to target fairly close to it. I can build on this, but I took a pretty big step backward because I thought he was better with it than he actually was :(. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3qzIHjx1H0

There's lots to be excited about from today, and yet still so much to work on. I spose I should expect it - every time we get a new behavior, there's more things to teach to get that behavior well taught. And of course, every time I push too much, then I have made a bigger project out of something than need be. One of these days I will learn...

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