Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wallaby's Training Journal #1

I should've started this a while ago... like, when I started training Wallaby. Months ago. But oh well. We don't usually do things in the correct order..

So here's a list of cues Wallaby has been introduced to so far, and the percentage is how reliable the behavior is. Unless otherwise noted it is an average--meaning that the behavior is likely more reliable the lower the distraction/stress level.
The list is only of practical cues that I use, not parlor tricks [which he knows a few]

Sit 85%

Down 70%

Come* 60%

Ladies First 90% - This means, "let me go through the doorway first, please!" I use this instead of Wait.

Wait 60% - I use mostly at street corners.

Go To Bed 70%

Off 30% - just introduced this week

Leave It* 80%

Take It 40%

Back Up 70% - used on walks, we work on this a lot. It means "Come back to me!" I use it whenhe hits the end of the retractable leash. He self-corrects[without being cued] probably 40% of the time.
*These behaviors need a lot of work in moderate to high distraction/stress levels.

I wanted to take a couple of days and look at everything Wallaby does well along with what he needs to work on, and what hasn't even been introduced to him yet.
The main things I want to work on in the next couple of weeks are:
-loose leash [explained below]
-doing sit/down in the car
-stay [we have worked on this a bit but not much]

I have done loose-leash training with Wallaby but I haven't enforced it much and he's gotten pretty sloppy. I walk him on a retractable leash because he is able to get a lot more exercise that way. So lately I haven't been asking him to walk "by me" [the cue I use instead of heel], I just let him do his thing.
I think mostly I just need to train more often. We used to train every day but now it's only about twice a week. I always notice that he is much more reliable with certain behaviors after we have worked on them.