Direwolf Guardian in Training "Half-Step"
Updated: May 10
This is post one of little Half-Step's notes for training. It is bound to be informal, confusing and cryptic. Mostly intended for recording of training notes for myself.
Now that the dust has settled and the litter has left, the last remaining pup is growing quickly into the well rounded dog I knew he would be.
Wow...no notes since January? Whew! I better et on the ball! Rest assured pen and paper have been active.
The end of January in Evergreen Colorado was one of the coldest on record for the area. Spotted with bursts of sunny days, we were limited on the public access outdoors. He's doing extremely well inside, at home. We have not gotten into
Jan 5th 2020 - We're beginning to work with sound alert training.
I use my phone with a common alarm - set it to go off at random times during the day. I started with it "on" me, and am progressively moving further away, so he has to *think* about where the sound is coming from. Thats my main goal for now, he needs to locate the sound.
I do believe our lil guy has entered the AA "Shy Stage". How do I know? 'CAUSE HE'S GETTIN STUFF!! He is not destructive, but he has started to grab certain household items and explore them with his mouth. In my experience with AA's, the correlation is undeniable. It has to do with a surge in intelligent learning. Everything becomes new again to them, and needs further exploring.
Let me define "Shy". It is not FEAR per se, but more of what we think of as a Human's Shy. They don't want to put themselves out there, for the uncertainty is too hard for them to process. They become suspicious of new people and things. Vocality will pick up. Both whining and barking. Whole hours will be spent watching something, trying to figure it out. A strange cardboard box placed on the sidewalk will throw them for loop. If you aren't aware of this stage in the young American Alsatian, you can really damage their phsyche by throwing them into the fray. Unlike a herding or hunting temperament, this is the time to let the companion dog call the shots as far as what they can handle and what they can't. Too much stimulation can be unrecoverable. Be patient, keep in mind its only a stage, will last until about 7 mos.
Half-Step will soon rocket into physical growth. He will double his caloric needs some days, so I have bulked up his daily meals (with ZIGNATURE brand limited Ingredient Kangaroo) and Dr. Harvey's Pediatric Canine herbal supplement. He still gets half an apple when he first wakes up, carrots, green beans and sweet potatoe slices for periodic snacks. Biscuits, greenies, freeze dried raw sometimes. So far so good - no tummy upsets loose stools or anything to indicate digestive issues. (whew!)
Jan 28th. Full day long training. Space negotiation, staying by himself. First "Alert to Alarm" training outside of the house. Harness acclimation.
Space negotiation: Staying behind boundaries, not letting his leash get tangled up, and remaining calm and separate from ongoing activity.
3/24/20 COMMAND - "Sit" - END GOAL: Drops but where he is, doesn't move out of position until released or chained. Clicker. Vocal correction/guidance.
3/25/20 - TASK - "Touch"
END GOAL: Be able to manipulate objects/buttons with his nose. Turn lights on & off, any switch really. Elevator/door openers.
Successful 100% from no farther than 3 feet. Success from any further is random - 50%, always with a lead in and point to the placed card. Clicker. No corrections
3/26/20 PHONE ALERT - Can respond to 2 different tones. Can ignore decoys with 80% reliability. Can locate phone from anywhere in the house, and in the yard - within earshot. Operant Conditioning. No corrections
4/3/20 Beginning "Lay Down" Full belly, elbows on the ground, Sphinx position.
Excellent beginning. Quick draw to get back up. Follows my hand with his head, breaking position to seek more treats in my hand, or crumbs that have fallen. Requires clicks often, vocal corrections more stern and quick. Clicker. Vocal corrections.