Monday, June 10, 2019

Buddy Clicker Training Session 4 - Video!

I did some clicker training with Buddy after work today and he did great!  I started off reviewing sit and down.  He knows them so well!  He just needs to learn the vocal cues.  Buddy is the smartest, most enthusiastic puppy I have ever worked with.  When working on down I like to toss the treat a short distance because it gets them out of the down so you can ask for it again.  He runs after the treat, hits it with his paws like a cat sending it skittering across the room, chases it down, eats it and then runs back to me at full speed and slides into a down next to me (literally like a baseball player sliding to home plate).  My mom got a short video.  It's poor quality because it's in bad lighting and off a cell phone, but you can see what he was doing.

After that I worked on "go to bed" to have him go into his crate when asked.  He was confused at first because he was trying to follow my hands around the back of it, so I started reaching inside of the crate to drop the treat.  He followed my hand in and I would click and he'd find the treat.  Within less than a minute I was sitting a couple of feet from the crate and tossing the treats inside it.  One time he didn't see me put the treat in there so I just sat still and waited.  He lay in front of me looking at me and then jumped up and ran into the crate.  I love watching puppies learning how to problem solve and think!!

After that I was talking to my family about what to teach next and "shake" or "sit up/beg" were popular choices.  I tried out both to see which one he would catch on to quicker and I think I'm going to do sit up.  He's at the mouthy stage and grabbing his paw is too tempting to nip at my hands.  He sat up once, but then I could tell his attention span was gone so I ended the session.  He is so smart and enthusiastic it's hard not to get carried away.

I think from here on out I'm going to do weekly posts with his sessions because as the sessions get more frequent I don't want to fill up everyone's feeds with posts too often.  I know some people aren't interested in dog training and will probably skip over these, which is fine.  I'm mainly keeping this as a record for myself.  At this rate he's going to learn tricks so fast I won't be able to remember them all!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Art! Attempting to draw humans.... scary!

I have drawn animals my entire life.  When I was younger I never had any interest in drawing humans, but as my art improved I started wanting to branch out.  I have loved experimenting with different mediums (charcoal, colored pencils, chalk pastels, oil paints, etc.) and I've enjoyed branching out with landscapes, but I was always too afraid to try drawing humans because I'm awful at proportions.  Today I was feeling brave so I decided to just go for it.  The result is above.

This is completely free hand drawn with a reference photo (no tracing).  I'm extremely critical of my work, so all I see are the faults, but my family has praised the result so I decided to call it done and stop trying to "fix" it.  After stepping away for a bit I'm pleased with the result aside from the glaring proportion issues.  It will get better with more practice.  I really like the pose, the face shape and the hair.  I also like the individual features, but I do wish they were the correct size.  Oh well.  Please let me know what you guys think!  Feedback (good or bad) is helpful.  :)  Thanks guys! 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Clicker Training Buddy - Session 2 and 3

Session 2 - May 23rd - On Buddy's second session we reviewed sit, which he did perfectly and I started adding in the voice command.  Since it was going so well I decided to try down.  The cool thing about clicker training is you don't have to force the dog to do anything or try to trick or lure them into doing anything.  You just wait and they learn to think for themselves.  So I sat there with my fist (treat inside) on the floor to get him to think about going down because I'm impatient and I like to give the dog a hint. 

The thing with Buddy is he just sits there and stares at me or he goes in circles around me.  Completely by accident he ended up under my arm and I just kind of smushed him gently to the floor.  He laid down, so I clicked and gave him the treat.  It took no time at all for him to figure it out after that.  It was funny though because he kept going under my arm to lay down.  Silly pup!!  Eventually I had him laying down all by himself without any assistance from me.  I haven't started adding the voice cue yet.  I try to keep sessions short so that he stays interested.

Session 3 - June 6th -  I reviewed sit and down with him.  He got sit immediately, but it took him a minute to remember down (it had been a couple of weeks).  He picked it up very quickly though, so I decided to move on to the next thing.  Since he's very mouthy and nippy (herding breeds yay), I decided to teach him to hold something in his mouth.  The awesome thing about clicker training is that if they do something wrong (like jump on you), you teach them the opposite behavior (sit).  It's a positive way to correct misbehavior and it works great. 

I picked out one of his toys (a bone) and held it out in front of him.  He didn't want to bite it, but he was panting because he'd been playing really hard so I just stuck it in his mouth, clicked and gave a treat.  Within less than a minute he was biting it on his own.  We obviously have to work on holding it in his mouth for longer, but with dog training you have to work on one criteria at a time.  New behavior, then duration, then distance.  You don't do more than one at a time or they get confused.  Anyway I don't want to rant about dog training, but I'm definitely excited to be getting back into it.  :)

 Sorry for the crappy cell phone pictures, but he is SO cute!

That smirk!!