I actually like the peer pressure involved in meeting up with other dedicated dog nerds. It is so easy, when out alone, to say, oh well, let's quit while ahead. I mean, one the most ubiquitous bits of dog training advice is quit while your dog still wants more--and this advice is great stuff, really...
Except when it turns into a lack of reflection as to Why doesn't my dog want to do more?
Thank goodness for video, as it allows me the chance to review, reflect, and learn.
Sometimes what I think is happening at the time isn't.
I thought Sonic was not that into me, but video says he was, there he is trotting at my side, stopping when I stop, following me everywhere with his eyes. What I interpreted as 'meh' from Sonic, is, in hindsight, confusion, uncertainty, and a state of waiting for the next cue. Oddly enough, I've been imbibing bits of dog training wisdom from multiple sources.
Michael Ellis reflecting on the wisdom of jack-potting (3 easy minutes of talking head video). Well, maybe the general wisdom is not always a good idea. It made me realize that when Sonic does an incrementally slow 'down' that it's quite possible he is just not sure about that, and by not celebrating his final successful position, I've left him to be even more uncertain about that cue. Stay tuned for a jack-potting experiment: next time I get one of those weird slow 'downs', upon completion, WE WILL PARTY. And I'll see what happens. I love conducting harmless experiments.
Mon Ansty wrote a Facebook post on using food to train. (<--good reading) The basic premise: if using food, you still should be making it fun, putting in the effort, talking up, scritching, encouraging chase etc, not just standing there like a pez dispenser. Sonic does not get excited about pez dispenser me (there are exeptions, that tricks me into thinking I can get away with this),
I am --
Busted! Because yesterday's session was a little meh, why isn't he into me? Wellllllll, it was raining, I was in my big boots bundled up, the leash was heavy wet dirty mess, and......yep, it was meeeeeee. Little trooper still put in a good effort in spite of.
Drinking From the Toilet, Podcast Episode 95
And, listening to part of a 2 hour make my eyeballs roll esoteric jargon filled episode of Drinking From the Toilet (podcast) on back chaining (excellent podcast, just this particular episode, I need to digest in small bite-sized chunks) got me to realize that I never give poor Mr Sonic a predictable sequence. I leave him in a constant state of 'what next' and THAT is what I ultimately see happening in the video above.
He's there, he's present, he's with me 100%, but he's wondering what next, waiting, being a really good dog--so I have some work to do for next time, which will involve a little planning ahead, and using what I know about teaching dance to humans, and treating him like one of those students--stay tuned kids. It's all about fun.