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Sid Training Log, part the whatevereth

Today we worked on placement, as in “put yourself where I point.” Sid did under the desk, at my feet, under the other desk, and on top of a rubbermaid container, and did it all in a mobility harness. I’m not putting weight on him yet, of course, but I do like to work him in harness so that the harness is associated with Fun Interactions Involving Cheese, as well as with “working, must be Srs Dog”.

A couple pics:
This picture is at a really wonky angle, please forgive.  It shows Sid, a black Shedder who is seven months old, wearing a dark brown leather harness which has a stiff handle (actually reinforced with metal) sticking up 3 inches above his backbone.  Imagine a guide dog harness (the kind where the straps go over the shoulders instead of across the chest) if the handle was rigidly attached to the harness so it went straight up, and also very short.  His front feet are up on a blue rubbermaid box which is about 16 inches wide by 2 feet long.

This was the beginning of getting him onto the box. I knew he could get his whole body on the box because he’d done it previously in order to lick my ear while I was sitting in my chair, but he was weirdly reluctant today. No matter, some cheese and a clicker changed all that! Behold:
Sid, in harness, sits on top of the rubbermaid box with a happy face!

I did eventually get him to lie down on top of the box, but he wouldn’t hold it long enough for me to get a picture. Trust me, it was adorable. He’s a pretty adorable dog. And he has such fun training in harness or out! He’s a great joy to train for me because patience is my downfall as a trainer, and Sid picks things up FAST. This means I spend less time breaking behaviors down into bitty steps and shaping them from there, which lowers my frustration levels quite a bit. I do need to get more systematic about training, though, because right now we’re working on the “what seems fun today” system and that’s likely to leave gaps in Siddy’s education.

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