(Video and pictures below.) Today’s training session I worked on training me rather than Hestia! I wanted to work on a few things. I wanted to work on always giving the treat in a pocket hand (more on that in a minute), always marking her behavior before a treat, and reinforcing heel position with lots of treats.
The pocket hand is when you hold your hand like it makes a little pocket, put the treat in there, and then reach over your dog’s head to feed it to them from their left. This turns their body into you and tucks their bum in. I have one picture of that here, but 21 others in my google photos album, so if you are interested, check out the pictures!
I also am creating a box in my mind of where I want Hestia to walk. I want her a little forward of heel, but not at a completely forward heel position. So every time she got into that box, I said yes and treated. I am using yes instead of a clicker as with the kong stuffing as treats, I don’t have big enough hands to manage holding the can and a clicker at the same time.
Finally we worked on heavy reinforcement for heel position. Brad got lots of pictures of that, they are the pocket hand pictures above.
And here is our video regarding the pocket hand, and my attempt to narrow the criteria for heel, and yes and reward every time she is in the right location.
After taking the video, I took Hestia for a little walk and we stopped by a neighbor’s driveway to talk with them about their car troubles and their new mailbox. I should have worked a bit on having Hestia stay in front while we were talking, but it didn’t occur to me to do that at the time. Oh well, next time!
Training the person is sometimes harder than training the dog!