Well, we are getting kind of close to finishing Level 2 of Sue Ailsby's Training Levels. We have a little more work to do, but compared to the HUGE amount of training contained in Level 2, we are close. The photos in this post come from over the last three months of training since Knightley was a little baby pup. Here's where Knightley and I stand.
Zen = complete, can leave treats alone on the floor in front of him for 1 minute.
Focus (eye contact) = complete except for using it through a car window which should be simple to polish off
Come = not complete, we are getting a lot better, in a controlled environment he is good, but the final steps are coming 12m (40 foot) and proofing it everywhere. He is good at home, but on public grass I can't hope for more than a 75% response which isn't good enough.
Down = not complete, but very nearly there, just have to do final steps that ask for a distance of 6m (20 feet) stay for 1 minute whilst walking around and talking, also being able to step over him and do it with kids around.
Sit = complete
Lazy (loose) leash = not complete, great inside at all steps involved but needs more work outside. Fine on a hard surface, but on grass he gets distracted.
Target = complete
|Go to mat|
Tricks = not complete, have started training a new trick, should be finished and proofed soon
Handling = not complete, all complete except for the fourth step which is allowing clippers, pills, thermometers and toothbrushes. Need a little more work there.
Jump = not complete, nearly all done, just have to introduce him to some new jumps, then make put a mat and jump side by side and ask for cues one by one to test cue recognition
Relax = not complete, nearly done, just have to make sure he can go from excited for 1 minute, then relaxed for 1 minute, to excited for 1 minute etc. We've done it for less time but haven't pushed it to 1 minute.
Communication 2 = not complete, have only just started this one, Knightley will back up on cue, will move out of my personal space, but won't move out of my personal space automatically to my left yet, he doesn't yet know how to untangle a leash from his own front leg, nor from a pole if he got tangled in one. Of everything, the most work to be done is here.
Homework = not complete, I have to list 10 reasons a dog might not "obey a command".
It's actually really good for me to summarise it, so I am very clear what I have left to do.
While I am rather close to finishing, the last minute of doing all the little bits to finish may take longer than I expected. Normally you are expected to do everything in order, but that was not so much the case in Sue Ailsby's older levels, which is what I started Knightley on first. So that's why I'm a bit all over the place. Level 3 I will follow through as she suggests.
Looking ahead at Level 3, I have been doing a surprising amount of it already - quite as an accident though, simply as a consequence of pushing Knightley just a bit further on my own. For example, Level 3 sit is made up from mostly teaching your dog to go from a down to a sit then doing it at varying distances from you. We've done LOTS of that, so that will be very easy. Zen 3 is to wait to go through a door until the dog gets an invitation - we do that already. Focus (eye contact) starts with holding eye contact for 15 seconds, we can do up to 25 seconds with no problems. If you've been reading my blog much you will already know I have already been doing Level 3 retrieve - more than half of the steps involved - and I don't think it is going to be all that hard to polish it off. The amount of distance we were doing for the 'distance' behaviour was already Level 3 standard when I thought it was Level 2 (book is written all in feet and I'm very much a metres girl!) Also, some of Communication 3 we have already done, like paw targeting. So I have a headstart for Level 3, when I fix these last outstanding Level 2 behaviours.
I'm proud of my puppy. Myself too actually, as this is the first clicker training I've done, and it appears I'm not bad at it.