Thursday, November 11, 2010

Puppy Class #4

Dog Blog Post #153: Focused.

If I could sum up this class in one word, that would be it. My little man was seriously Focused.

And yes, it was on me!

(As I am all too well aware that this will come crashing to a halt in a few short weeks when his hormones kick in, please excuse me while I take a moment to enjoy it... (insert Moment Of Bliss here)... sigh)

OK, where was I?

Oh yes, Focused. Henry showed almost complete mastery of Focus in puppy class tonight. He was Focused as puppies showed up. He was Focused as Wendy was talking. He was Focused when the friendly dog next to us decided she wanted to play. He was even Focused when we were were working on focus!

(Don't laugh, I've actually had that happen before.)

I have no idea of he still finds Wendy's assistant unnerving, as he was so busy doing Sit-n-Stare that he barely noticed her.

I finally tossed a treat bag a few feet away to try to break Focus, so I could then reward the reacquisition of Focus... and it worked... for a moment or two... but then he decided we were playing Zen and picked up where he had left off.


(I supposed if you've never had a dog incapable of focusing then this post will make no sense at all. Be thankful!)

We did work on other things, like Sits and Downs (his Down is still terrible), and Come (he was brilliant!) and Stay (he's fine so long as I don't turn my back on him. I think that breaks Sit-n-Stare and he tries to come around to find my eyes again.)

We played Pass The Puppy - where we got to spend a moment with everyone else's puppy. Alas, I have no idea how Henry behaved for others, which is probably a sign that nothing horrible was going on,

Puppy play time was short, but fun. Just two groups, and Henry was in the braver of the two. He seemed fine, neither a bully nor a coward, not starving for play but not avoiding it either.

Hmmm... I guess that's just about it.

Did I mention that he was Focused?

(I love Sit-n-Stare!)


Robin Sallie said...

How did you install your Sit-n-Stare?

BZ Dogs said...

"Install"? Makes it sound like an iPhone app! I "installed" it by heavily rewarding my brand-new puppy from day one for sitting and staring at me. Any time he was sitting and staring I gave him a treat. It only took a day or two to have created a Sit-n-Stare monster! (Just checked, on day three I posted this:

I think it really helps that we go to an indoor sports place for my son 3 times a week for 1-1.5 hours. We bring a mat, a bag of small dog (tiny) kibble mixed with a few treats. I sit on a chair in front of the mat and toss him one when he's Sit-n-Staring (or Down-n-Staring).

With little else to do there, he basically spends the entire time doing Sit-n-Stare.

Anonymous said...

What is Zen?

BZ Dogs said...

Zen = Self Control.

I updated the post to link the work "Zen" to Sue Ailsby's Training Level's for Zen. When you first teach Zen, you put a cookie in your hand, close your hand, and show the dog your closed fist. Eventually, after mugging your hand to try to get it, they will stop (if only for an instant) and THEN you give it to them. You gradually work up to an open hand, then cookies on the ground, etc. That's where Henry is at, and that's what he was thinking here: that this was a Zen test. In order to GET cookies he needed to AVOID the cookies, might as well Sit-n-Stare at mom!

Zen is usefully for many, many things. See: for Beau learning "Duck Zen"!