Training Conundrum

KromfohrlanderI have a training challenge. His name is Maze. His breed is Kromfohrländer. He’s not new to my household. I’ve had him since he was a baby, since November 2014. He was born August 20, 2014. I absolutely adore him. Let me get that on the table right off the bat. I love his personality. I love how he rolls on his toys and his chews, even outside in the snow. I love how he’s learning to “Voof” when I’m in the kitchen and he wants something. I love how he lays against me sometimes, even though he has to do it in his own time on his own terms. And I absolutely think he’s the cutest dog I’ve ever seen.

One of the things that I’m trying to convince Maze is a fun thing to do, is get on something that moves. This is mostly for the teeter in agility. But also is good for balance and coordination. Maze, however, is not being convinced that it is a good thing. I’ve been working with him on the wobble board, and little moving board, since September 2015. My other dogs have been just fine with moving things, and usually they will throw themselves all over the object for treats.

Maze isn’t very treat motivated. With him, I could easily make the mistake of making treats bad, if I pair them with something bad… instead of making the thing good. He likes toys, but still not so enthusiastically that they would convince him things he’s unsure about are good and fun. So I’m trying to figure out how to convince him things that move are not scary. He doesn’t like the noise made by the moving objects either. And the bang of the teeter can send him running.

I haven’t trained the wobble board with maze since December 23, 2015. I decided, since I didn’t think he was making good progress, that I’d stop all together and train other things instead. So we’ve been doing some Nosework training and little games.

Here’s some of the videos I’ve taken of him and the wobble board and moving board. I think, perhaps, I’ve actually pushed him too much and he’s now developed an conditioned emotional response to the wobble board and thinks of it in a negative manner. And I even think this may be leeching into our other training, so while he seems to want to enjoy training, there’s just an underlying feeling I get that he’s feeling like the training is too hard, or I’m pushing him too much, or he’s just feeling too much pressure from it.

Two training items he seems to really like. One is the Nosework. I get a happy feeling from him about Nosework. The Second is he loves it when I throw treats then run the other way. This probably makes it so he doesn’t have the pressure of ME right next to him.

Speaking of pressure right next to him, another thing he does, when I sit on the floor and ask for little sits and downs, he always backs away from me. So, after discussing this with a friend who has a lot of experience and great ideas, I think I am too much pressure for Mr. Maze and I need to reward away from myself with tossed treats.

I’m thinking about him a lot. I love how he is challenging me to train in new ways and find things he loves, and convince him training is super fun. I want a happy dog!

Most Recent time on the Wobble Board, December 23, 2015:

December 18, 2015 Wobble Board:

October 9, 2016

First time on the Wobble Board, September 25, 2015:

I follow Denise Fenzi’s blog, and she had this awesome blog post recently. She titled it Controversy She said if you are a trainer, instead of arguing about how you train, just post videos, turn off the comments, and let the videos speak for themselves. Well I added a bunch of words. But I’m going to disallow comments on these posts because sometimes I get too overwhelmed with input. So please feel free to read and follow me, and if you absolutely need to talk to me, you can find me on Facebook. 🙂