Today we had our first platforms class. For those who don’t know, platforms are small rectangles that are a few inches off the floor. They are good for training your dog to be in specific positions, and really straighten them up. Last night Brad and I made a couple of platforms using this method:
But we were too tired to try them out with Hestia. So class today was the very first time we tried introducing the platform. Brad got a video of this first time! I started out by putting the platform on the floor and as soon as she put one foot on it, I clicked and treated (c/t). Once she got that down pretty quickly, I waited for her to get two feet on, then c/t. Gradually I shaped her into standing with all four feet on the platform.
Hestia caught on pretty darn quickly, I think she is smarter than I give her credit for! It was hard to c/t at the right times since she is just so quick in her movements, but it worked well. When she got to the stage where all 4 feet were on the platform, I c/t over and over and over again with her staying in that position. Then throw a treat off to the side and re-set for another session of 4 feet on the platform.
By the end of the class she was very excited to see the platform, and would jump right on. The best part about this is I have been unable to teach Hestia to stand. But platform training is all about standing on the platform (sitting is on a smaller platform). So we made a lot of progress today towards getting her to understand the idea of stand without me having to manipulate her in any way physically.
The last 10 minutes of class we all played with our dogs. This play session after a training session is supposed to help cement what they learned into their heads more.
Hestia was exhausted after class, but we had to go by Sam’s. Hestia was so tired in Sam’s that I was almost dragging her and walking really slowly for her. Brad got a picture of me checking out some pineapple while Hestia rested.
I eventually gave in and carried Hestia. He got a couple pictures of me carrying Hestia and managing the shopping cart at the same time. It takes a bit of practice, but isn’t that hard to do. And Hestia was very happy not to have to walk around any more!
Here are all the pictures!