Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sometimes....

....I feel like being lazy.

Adam has sort of made a news year resolution to try and be healthier. He's doing some portion control and he wants to be more active. Considering that he has a job where he sits in front of a computer all day and then comes home and sits in front of a computer and plays World of Warcraft for hours on end, it's really not all that difficult to "be more active." I suggested getting two more of the DS activity monitors so that the two humans and the two dogs could all wear one and we could keep track and he was actually mostly amenable to that idea. At the moment though, the goal is to get him out at least once a week on a walk with the dogs and I. With Heffner's shortened walks, it's also a lot easier to ease him into things. So that's what we did after we both got home from work today. It was actually really nice to be out walking the dogs together.:)

However, afterwards, I wasn't feeling all that motivated to exercise Bess. Heffner got his allotted exercise, but there was still the Crazy One to exercise. I did end up taking her out to a field near our house to run around off leash a little bit and hopefully take a little bit of the edge off. Then I got home and I still had two expectant dogs. I need to clean the ball room up yet again because there are wood shavings every where. Arg! So that's out. I finally decided that I need to make my dogs better thinkers. I pretty much don't do any free shaping at all with either one. My training is mostly food lures and showing them what I want them to do. It works out well, but it doesn't really make them think. Thankfully most of the games that make the dog think allow me to sit my arse.:)

My game plan for the night was to pull out an empty box that I had been storing and play that 100 things you can do with a box game with the dogs. I've seen several people on different blogs who are getting their dogs to actually stand with all four feet inside the box. As their dog masters one size, they decrease the size of the box. The whole point of the game is to get your dog to figure out what you want them to do without luring or coaching them into it. And it's a LOT harder then it looks when you have dogs who are NOT used to this kind of game playing.

This is how our session went:

Heffner
Mr. Barks-a-lot got frustrated initially and decided that barking was the best way to let me know that he had no freaking clue what I wanted, but he really wanted the cookies. I moved the box into a larger room where he would have more room to maneuver and I just stood there and stared at the box with the clicker in one hand and the treat pouch in the other. Granted, staring at the box was kind of a cue in itself, but the dogs aren't catching on to that right now. Finally Heffner started moving around. He would accidentally knock the box with a foot and I'd click and treat. He did it a few more times and kind of got the idea, but not quite. Eventually he progressed to the point where he put one paw in the box. Jackpot!!! Lots of cookies and we ended there.

Bess
I will start by saying this, Bess has some seriously awesome stays. It takes really strong distractions to usually get her to budge. Stand stays she is particularly excellent at. And that's pretty much what she did. I brought her into the room, put the box on the floor, and stood there staring at it again. Bess stared right back at me, not moving a muscle except to blink, and drooling. Drip, drip, drip. I tried moving around the box in little steps to get her to maybe move around an accidentally hit the box. Cheating, I know, but I was trying to get her to explore. Nothing. Five solid minutes of her not moving, staring at me, and drooling. I decided to call it quits there. I had her do a few tricks to earn treats and put the box away. We'll see how tomorrow goes if I work them with it.

Now onto the Pedometer Challenge! I'm excited to hear how people are doing! And remember, this week is just to get used to wearing the pedometer and starting to track it. You don't have to set goals or hit a specific number. We'll get there!

Yesterday was a pretty busy day. Lots of running around at work. Then I came home, walked Heffner, and took Bess for a run. So there was a lot of activity. My step count for yesterday was 20,436. If I didn't sound high strung before, I think I'm starting to set myself up for it now! What did everyone else get?

7 comments:

Kitty said...

9,937. Didn't get to walk the dogs. Sick child, sick Momma. So, I think I did great considering. And I wore it pretty much the entire day. It didn't fall off. Pocket is better than waistband. Yay! This IS fun!

Brenda's Arizona said...

Our advanced clicker training class had the "100 things to do with a box". None of our dogs got it... or maybe it was me who just didn't get it. The dogs sat and stared at me - was I crazy? Finally Sophie swooped forward, grabbed the box and shook the heck out of it, threw it into the air and proceeded to tear it apart. Oh well...

brooke said...

I like the idea of the freestyle training. Maybe I'll try it with Darwin this weekend. sounds like it could be entertaining.

Schwang said...

I've never heard of this box game. Miss M. is super food-motivated, and has a staring problem, and I've been running out of things to do with her. Maybe this will be on of our activities over this long weekend.

Kennedy said...

I picked up a pedometer today! I couldn't find the one I had so figured it was easy enough to get another. I'll start wearing it tomorrow!

Emma Rose said...

I am aware of my steps now. Any movement is good movement! However, I have still not reached the 4,000 mark. We have a very busy day scheduled so maybe this will be the day!

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

i love love love shaping! my big hint though is to throw the treat and get the dog moving. you can even click an eye flicker and throw it towards the box or even in the box if you really want to cheat. or with a new dog i miht go to the hallway and put the box between me and the dog, click when the dog approaches me/box and throw treat behind him. then repeat until the dog is actually stopping at the box on his own before i click!