Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Blogmas Day 21 - Distraction Tree

This week's distraction training location was downtown Hillsboro near the Christmas tree!  The weather wasn't super cold and it was thankfully dry, so I took advantage of the "optimal" winter weather conditions and did some training outside.  And I videoed most of it!  I am so on a roll with this videoing training sessions thing! ;) I do have to admit that as long as I actually watch the video that I took (which I obviously do since I'm uploading it), I think this will definitely help me with my training.  I don't video every single session of everything that we train, because that would be a pretty large time commitment for just video review alone.  But recording some of the areas that I have a particular competition goal for or need for problem solving on some behavior, I'm really liking this.  Definite plus to really trying to do my own personal Blogmas challenge was that it's getting my butt in gear.  The only downside I would say is that it has had the unfortunate effect of causing me to want to upgrade my camera already, for the better video quality alone.  Gah.  That's pretty low on the priority list though.

Anyhow, on to the video!

This clip is pretty much start to finish of a relatively brief session with Dominic.  We showed up, I started recording and we went through acclimation and into some light working.  What you can't see off to the left side is the primary distraction that we were working around.  There was a group of kids (middle school/early high school) on the stairwell and second floor landing, roving around on their skateboards.  Occasionally dropping their skateboards from the landing onto the ground and doing random odd things that only males of our species seem to get it into their heads to do.  And what you will occasionally hear them yelling out is something that sounds like doggy, but is actually donkey.  I made the mistake of chatting with them briefly when Dom and I showed up and they remarked on his size.  They had the creativity of switching things up and instead of making the usual horse comments, they inserted donkey.  I responded that yes, he was a donkey.  Which was apparently hilarious.  And much like younger children usually do, one of these kids decided to parrot the donkey phrase randomly throughout the time we were there, even though I ignored them once I turned on the camera.  Though I have to admit, I found them less annoying than some adults I've run into.

First and foremost, I am REALLY proud of how well Dom is doing!  He has never been in this location before and there was the added distraction of the skater kids about and he was such a good boy!!  This clip shows the full acclimation period that he had.  He checked out the general area, but it really didn't take him very long to get used to things before we were able to start with some simple hand touches to see where his attention was.

He did lose focus throughout, but each time that he came back, he stayed with me for longer.  And by then end, he was working stronger.  Not bad at all for an 11 minute session!

I still haven't worked him much on offering sits when we halt, so that is still not a part of the work that we're doing.  Since the footing was pavement and not some of the slicker indoor surfaces that we've been using, I was able to safely do some play with him and move about more.

After the session, I let him sniff around and explore the rest of the outside of the civic center.  And naturally, I got a few pictures of him in front of the tree.

Happy December 21st!

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