Day 22: Better Pay Attention

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Mellie Sad

I got in trouble today… I like to look out the window and Natasha was asking me to do things using those hand signals again but I was too busy looking out the window behind her to notice what she was asking me. She would call my name and I would look at her for half a second and then go back to looking out the window without doing anything. I guess that wasn’t a good thing to do because after a bit when I wasn’t listening Natasha walked into my personal space so I had to jump backwards to keep her from stepping on me. Then she asked me to sit and I did which made her click. Then we did some sit stays, and some downs then I started staring out the window again and again Natasha walked into my personal space making me jump back. I started to pay more attention to her after she did that a couple times because it seems that if I don’t pay attention to what she’s doing, she’s going to step on me.

Once I was paying attention we worked on the one where I touch her hand but today she was putting her hand far away so that I had to stand up to touch it but that must be what she wants because she clicked when I did it. I also got jackpots when I laid down quickly if she put her arm up. So, I’m pretty sure that she wants me to lay down when she puts her arm up in the air. I might do some more testing of that one to be sure but we’ll see. Sometimes, when I sit she waits 12 whole seconds before she clicks. I’m sure I’m doing the right thing because if I move then she doesn’t click and she asks me to sit again. I think I’m really understanding how this works. When I do something good she clicks and gives me a treat.

 

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Day 21: Hands

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Mellie SittingI nearly got to play with some friends today but then they didn’t want to play with me. Natasha says I got too excited but who wouldn’t be excited to play with friends? I when to see one of the boys and just jumped on him and he turned and told me to leave him alone. The other boy put his bum up in the air and bounced in front of me so I ran up to him and jumped on him pretending to bite his neck and jumping all over him but then he started getting mad too. I kept playing like nothing was wrong but he didn’t look like he was having fun and Natasha made me stop. I just wanted to be friends with them. I don’t know… 

Later we did more of the silent exercises where Natasha makes a movement with her hand and waits for me to do something. I know sit really well, that one is easy she does this motion that looks she flips her hand from palm down to palm up. I have trouble remembering that the one where she puts her arm straight up in the air is down. And we worked on the one where I have to touch the palm of her hand. She started putting her hand further and further away though. It got to the point where I had to stand up from my sit or down to be able to touch it. I never had to walk though, just stand up. I love coming to school, there’s always something going on.

 

Day 20: Car ride!

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Mellie Bus

OMG! We got to go in the car today!! I don’t know why we went in the car but we did! When we got to where ever it is we went Natasha put my harness on and we got out of the car. I was really really really excited but I made sure to stay right beside Natasha. I found it really hard to focus because there were so many new things to smell and see. I could hear another dog but I couldn’t see it. Sometimes I remembered to look at Natasha and when I did she would click and give me a treat. We walked around a little bit but we never went really far from the car. At one point we were just standing beside the car and Natasha would click when I would look at her. Then all of a sudden there were 4 people all about 20 feet from me! I couldn’t handle it, someone looked at me and smile, and I tried to launch myself in their direction to go say hi. That didn’t work very well though. Natasha didn’t let me go and she said something which caused the person stopped looking at me and keep walking without stopping to say hi to me. After that I looked at Natasha all sad but she clicked. I guess it’s because I looked at her instead of trying to follow the person. It seems that no matter where I go if I have the harness on no one is going to talk to me. I wonder if it’s because I don’t look good in it? No, that’s silly, I look good in everything. Mom only buys me nice things.

 

Day 19: Walking Wonder

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Mellie Thinking

When we went for our big walk today there was a lady walking towards us on the side walk but I didn’t try to go see her. I stayed beside Natasha and then we followed her and I still stayed right beside Natasha. It seemed to make Natasha very happy because she gave me a bunch of treats and we even played a little. A little further down the road there was a dog barking at us. I wanted to go investigate but I was reminded to stay with Natasha and I did which got me more treats. She doesn’t give them to me as often anymore. I have to walk 20 or more steps right beside her before she’ll give me something. We went all the way around the block again but around the other way from usual and then we went all the way to the gas station and back. I found it harder to concentrate when we were at the gas station because there were so many things to smell but Natasha kept reminding me to stay beside her and she would give me a treat when I did. We did a lot of stopping while we were walk and more of those dizzying circles. If I stopped right beside her, she would give me a jackpot but if I stopped after her she wouldn’t give me anything and she would ask me to come back beside her and then she would give me only one. When we did circles I got rewards for staying right beside her and not tripping her or falling behind. She’s also been saying “sit” outside when we stop. I don’t think it means the same thing as it does when we’re inside but then she pretends to have something in her fingers and moves them up and back and I end up sitting then she clicks. She use to do that inside when we started working on this “sit” thing. Maybe it does mean the same thing. I guess I’ll have to test out that theory when we go out and practice those outside again. There’s so much to learn about being a good dog.

 

Day 18: The Mime

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Mellie Down

So, I think I have this whole arm up in the air thing figured out. Natasha put her hand up and stared at me again and then after a bit she said, “down”. The next time she put her arm up I laid down and she gave me a jackpot! So, I tested my theory again and when she put her arm up I laid down again and again I got a jackpot. Just to be sure when she put her arm up again I just looked at her and she said, “down” and I only got one treat for it. She tried it again and as soon as she put her arm up I laid down and got another jackpot! Clearly when she puts her arm up in the air she wants me to lay down.

Next we did more of that exercise where I touch her hand with my nose but today she started saying, “touch” as my nose was touching her hand. I’m not 100% sure yet but I think it’s going to be like the down, when she says, “touch” I’m supposed to touch her hand with my nose. She also started making just the hand gesture that she normally does when she tells me to sit. I don’t know if she has a sore throat or something but we did a lot of nonverbal work today.

Mellie Sit Stay

 

Day 17: Face Palm

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Mellie Far Touch

Natasha really likes this game of me touching her palm…. I’m really not sure why but if it makes her happy then I’m willing to play it all day long. She started putting her hand further away and making me stand up to go touch her hand. We also did more sits. She’s getting tricky about those, sometimes she clicks right away and sometimes she waits up to 10 seconds before she clicks. She also doesn’t click every time I sit any more but, I always do it really fast because she might click and I really want that click.

Mellie Sitting

Now she’s started this new thing where she puts her arm straight up in the air over her head and looks at me like I’m supposed to do something but I have no idea what she wants. After staring at me for a bit she’ll say, “down”. I don’t know if the arm and down are connected, I’m going to have to try a couple of things next time and see if she always put her arm up before she tells me to lay down. If she does then I’ll try laying down as soon as she puts her arm up and see what happens.

Mellie Down

Later we went for a walk and we went all the way around the block. We’ve never done that before. Natasha seemed really excited. She only told me to come back beside her a couple of times and near the end there was someone walking towards us on the side walk. Natasha stopped walking and offered me a treat but she didn’t let go of it right away so I was trying to get it out of her hand and next thing I know she let go of it and when I looked the person was already passed us. I was a little sad that I didn’t get to say hi to them but Natasha was super excited and she gave me a bunch of treats and bounced around with me so that was a lot of fun.

Day 16: School Sucks

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I wish Natasha would understand that I don’t want to just walk beside her. There are so many interesting things to sniff and look at around here. We did the “Drunk hander” exercise again today where Natasha will randomly change directions after she says “this way”. I think I was better at staying beside her but there was traffic and people everywhere so I got distracted a lot which means that because I wasn’t paying attention to which direction Natasha was going she tripped on me one time and another time the harness pulled cause I went one way and Natasha was going the other. I guess I’m going to have to pay more attention to what she’s doing.

We did more of the exercise where she puts her hand in front of my nose. She put it a little further away today so I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to touch it or not so I didn’t. Then she put it a little closer so I touched it and she clicked so I guess that really is what I’m supposed to do. We worked on sit again too. She’s also getting really slow at rewarding me for those though. I have to wait 6 seconds now before she clicks. It’s a good thing I’m a patient dog! Sometimes she clicks right away though. It keeps me on my toes since I never know if it’s going to take her a long time to click or not.

She’s gotten a little more demanding too. If I take too long to sit she pushes on my bum. I like to stretch and walk around a little before I listen so she’s going to have to be patient. I have to wait for my treat for a sit, she can wait for me to sit *huff*.