I am doing a training challenge for myself (and anybody else who wants to play!). I have decided to do Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol (RP) with Inara, and also vow to teach her a new trick. Once she has learned this trick, I'll teach her another trick, so she's always learning something new. I figure we can still work on practical stuff, but learning tricks will be fun for both of us and confidence-building for her.
So we just did day 1 of the RP. Super easy, but I'll do it each day as instructed. You're supposed to do it twice a day so I'll do it again later this evening. I put Inara in a down on a special mat that rolls up like a sleeping bag, that way she'll eventually associate that mat with relaxed, happy feelings, and I can take it anywhere.
For our first trick we're working on a "beg," with her up sitting up on her haunches. I'm training it with the clicker and treats, luring her closer and closer to the finished product. We've worked on it a couple times today and she is confidently lifting her front feet off the ground a few inches while keeping her butt down. The last couple times we did it just now I didn't have to have the treat in my hand when I lured her into position, so that's great.
She occasionally develops a case of "pogo butt" and lunges for the treat/my hand, but I just pull it back and look away from her for a few seconds. The only thing I'm not sure of is how to get her to tuck her front feet in in the "proper" begging position. Maybe it just comes?
So if anybody else wants to play, join in! Maybe we can all vow to teach our dogs something new.
Here's the link to the Relaxation Protocol if you haven't seen it: http://www.dogscouts.org/Protocol_for_relaxation.html