I had another teaching squee
moment yesterday evening when I figured out the "easy button" for Bertie as far as gathering his focus and cueing him that a sit is coming.
I'm not sure if people on here also have been paying attention to the threads on some of the training groups on facebook? There was somebody who posted a video showing foot cues as far as teaching heel position.
My initial reaction was a "yes, well I do something like that but using my hip instead because my dog isn't supposed to be looking at my feet anyway".
But then while pacing back and forth with Bertie yesterday I was giving that video more thought, particularly as I'm transitioning to less guiding and more expectations as far as the pup knowing what we are doing and sitting when I stop vs me telling him to sit each time or luring him.
So as mentioned before he is automatically sitting when I stop walking and I do not have to tell him to sit anymore. He will sit.
But when I stop with my hand flat to my hip (holding a treat, when he does 3 sits in a row I flip my hand away and drop the treat straight down to him), this pulls Bertie forward or sideway out of heel position. So I have to do extra guiding (footwork or even a finger luring him in) to encourage that straight sit in heel position.
I switched to putting my hand lower, like to the side of my leg or knee. And this drew his focus to me doing the half step and then foot plant cue for sit. And it was awesome to see him switching gears from prancing to tucking his butt in perfectly straight, sticking his chest out, and looking up at me all without me saying anything or luring him with a treat finger. o_O!!! I practiced those sits several times, and each time I got the same results.
So long story short, I realized that even though Bertie like Jacks will probably have his head up by my hip when he grows up.... his head is NOWHERE NEAR that spot right now. So watching that video got me thinking about how I went too quickly from having a hand out and luring a sit to holding my hand to my hip. Because even though he doesn't need the treat lure anymore, he still needs some kind of focal point that doesn't pull him out of heel position.
One really fun thing we also did yesterday was teaching "hurry up abouts" - basically training him to drive into the about turn.
Another happy happy brag too.... I'm still working on bringing out his inner-retriever with retrieve games various times every day. Yesterday was the first time I had two breakthroughs....
1. After we came from our puppy-walk, I walked him over to where he left his favorite toy (red bone stuffy) in the yard, picked it up and did a "take it" give to him. And then I encouraged him to "bring it in".
He carried his toy the entire way into the house!!!!
I know part of this is him really getting to that age where he's playing with toys now vs just chewing on them. But by golly it was nice seeing him bring it in the house properly.
2. Yesterday was the first time that I lined him up towards a toy a few feet away (something that was just there, hadn't been thrown, etc) and told him to get it.... and he DID. I was so excited - especially since I was stressing out about him not being a natural like Jacks.