Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's like that, and that's the way it is.

It's been a busy few weeks. Fitz is 17 weeks today. And how is it that we've had him for 8 weeks already!!?? Its seems like just yesterday he joined our family, but at the same time like he's been here forever. We are so madly in love with him. We've never had such a cuddly lovey dog. As I'm writing this he's fast asleep curled up on my lap.

He is not without his challenges, we've had a few standoffs, a few don't wanna-don't-hafta moments, more blood drawn on my hands, arms and legs than a battle with a tank full of piranhas. I'm doing my best to shape his persistence, won't take no for an answer attitude, and Terrier-ness into a good work ethic. Because Mr. Fitz "It's like that, and that's the way it is." I'm very happy with him and we have SOOOOOO much fun together. Everything is his choice - and well, sometimes it takes him a little longer to figure out what reaps the rewards, by limiting his access to self-reinforce he's making MANY good choices. The door on the bathroom is now closed as the toilet paper roll is just soooo fun! This week I upped the anty in transferring value back and forth from food and toys. Until now he has picked tugging over food most of the time, even with high value food. This week I started using chicken necks as his treat for this instance (his PRECIOUS!! His fav thing right now) - and oh boy! He had to work hard. I had been videoing tons of footage, and I think it was 2 minutes of DWDH (don't wanna-don't-hafta) - screw the tug I want the chicken!!!! Then FINALLY some sincere tugging with the chicken necks in my other hand. Each time we have a breakthrough, the next time we tackle it - it takes way less time to work through, and he attacks the task with more intensity. It was the most exhausting 3 minutes of my week. But one of the most exciting moments too. I loved that he persisted for that long. Did I mention how much fun we are having together?

Here is the condensed version of what we are currently working on: TONS of recalls, running flat-out, lots of chase mama around the house, hide and seek,  being quiet in the crate (he sleeps to and from training now YAY!!!), impulse control games, learning to RUN the plank, learning to RUN the tunnel, progressing with handtouches, advancing body awareness skills, watch me, adding distance/duration/distractions to sits/downs, backing up, releasing the toy, trimming nails without a fuss, looking at teeth without throwing a FIT, shaping and building value for a jump, shaping silly things to keep us both busy in the evening, heeling, retrieving, circle work and shadowhandling ... my homework is keeping me busy :)

Here is a fun video from today ... Fitz retrieving Bumpers with Bird Wings at Blazingstar (say that three times fast) This was the first time I was able to see some the payoff with all of our recall, distraction and retrieving practice - and really put it to use. It was the first time he'd seen a person throw for him, and the first time at any distance with an actual wing (off of a string attached to me) - he retrieved them like a little pro - didn't drop them, didn't tear the wings apart, and didn't bugger off. I was cautiously optimistic as to how he'd do ....


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Taryn said...

You definitely deserve an A+ for your agility foundation training! He looks great!