Phase 3 Obedience under distraction & marking the "back kick" behavior to use later for nail grinding
Setting: 8 am at a huge park in town with a fenced dog park in the back.
Supporting characters: Mild amount of joggers, some with leashed dogs, and mowers. Lots of bold, active squirrels on the ground.
Tools: 2" flat buckle collar, Starmarck collar, Mini Educator E-collar (set to 20), Baskerville basket muzzle, 26' Flexi leash (strapped to my waist), quick release leather leash (made by Butch Capell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOcMfyCb6xk ), and a pocket full of sliced turkey.
-Once out of the car (w/ leather leash on Starmarck & muzzle on), I release Shinobi to go pee. Every time he back kicks I mark w/ a "yes" and reward with turkey. We get several reps in. Gets to a point where he needs to poop, so I say his elimination word every time I think he's about to drop it (3 times total). After he goes, I reward him with more turkey and some water. I put him in a down while I pick up after him, he heels with me to the trash can (does all of these well), and I put him in a sit while I switched from the leather leash to the Flexi. The Flexi is attached to both the Starmarck and the 2" flat buckle collar as a safety
-I release him to do whatever he wants, being mindful to stay far from any oncoming walkers or joggers. Not long after I release him, he spots a well-camouflaged squirrel I didn't see and takes off after it (blowing off my 'leave it' command), hitting the end of the leash. A situational awareness failure on my part! BUT I never lost the leash since it is strapped to my waist (learned that lesson a few months ago). He's standing at the foot of the tree the squirrel is in. I call him back and when he doesn't respond right away I give him a tap on the E-collar (at 20) and he starts to come back, though when he stops to look up the tree, all I have to do is tell him "No" and he comes back all the way.
-Next, I try to set him up for another recall with the squirrels (with me at a distance of 10 ft or so). He shows interest and begins to stalk like he is going to chase and I tell him to "leave it" right before he takes off. In my anticipation for him to bolt, I tapped the emergency button (~ 40) but at the last second, he decided to turn and leave that squirrel when I tapped it. I felt bad but he just shook it off (no vocalization) and happily came back to the heel position, his default. So we heeled around together for a bit and I would release him sometimes if the area permitted and while he would take a glance at the squirrels nearby, he left them alone on his own.
-Most of our time was spent letting him explore and occasionally interrupting them with fronts, recalls, sits, downs, heels, and leave its which he did very well.
- We approached the dog park area, but because there were already dogs there, we didn't go in. Instead, I sent Shinobi to jump on a concrete park table adjacent to the dog park fence to practice some position changes with distraction. Inside the dog park, a chocolate lab and a Dogo Argentino approached, and Shinobi started hackling and getting huffy. When he started to break his down, I told him "No", he didn't try, so I tapped the E-collar (20) and he went down. The other dogs walked off, and I continued working the position changes, facing him, with my back turned, and at a distance. He did those very well and I released him.
- At this point, he was starting to get tired and hot (it is now about 8:40 am and it gets hot quickly) and he lays down in the grass. I go to another park table just to sit at a distance from him, to see how he reacts. He runs over and jumps on the table to lay next to me, so I give him a water break.
- There are now more people at the park and we are a long way from the car, so I mostly have him heel with me back to the car. He's doing this all on the Flexi. I only attach the leather leash right before we get to the parking lot.
(I wish I was able to have some of this recorded, but I was working by myself today).
Continue working on "leave-it"s from very distracting things (squirrels, other dogs). Start trying to add on a signal for the "back kick" behavior