More Happy the tiny lab training.
My assistant today was True.
True shares Happys intense love of fetch and ball searching so he adds a different pressure dynamic then Roy. True & Happy are both totally ok with someone else getting the ball they just want the game to be in play.
For everyones safety fetch should only be played with one dog and ideally on sand or smooth ground, so with multiple dogs I release them to get the ball in waves and only when everyone is aware of each others path of movement. True had a very serious fetch accident a few years ago so I release him last or fake the other dogs out in a different direction.
I used most of our fetch session to work on Happys recall. Its hard for her to come in when she wants to go out for the ball. So all fetch and searching was contingent on Happy coming to front and then heel position. The presence of other dogs who also want to go get the ball is a difficult parameter so I started with rewarding her with ball tosses for any movement towards me after the cue. I gradually upped my criteria by requiring closer proximity until she was ending in a front postiion and then did a few final trials with calling her to front from a distance and then flipping her into heel from front.
Coming to me past another dog who is focused on getting the ball is very difficult for Happy. So I start by rewarding her for even a few steps towards me then I immediately mark it and toss the ball. I gradually add more steps towards me. Other parameters of difficulty changes are dog who wants the ball who is sitting-hard, standing harder, in motion hardhardhard. The multiple dogs stationary, multiple moving dogs=highest level of difficulty.
My assistant hands off the reinforcer.
Here Happy appears to be about to burst into tears at the request that she come past sadie towards me. BUT THEN SADIE WILL GET TO CHASE THE BALL AND I WONT GET TO!
ok i can do this. So cool this little dog.
Adding more dogs ups the criteria.
After a super prolonged fetch session we worked on some long stays.
Tired dogs learn faster!