Goat Diaries Blog by Alexandra Kurland
It's been a couple of weeks since we've been able to work with our boys. Too much going on around here lately! But this morning Sputnik and I had a really good session. I worked with him on leading by the collar. It didn't start out well and we weren't getting anywhere, so I changed to a leash and tried some different things to get him to willingly come over and stand beside me. With the leash attached, when he charged off and pulled the collar out of my hand, I could let him go but still guide him back where I wanted and then reward him. Pretty soon I was able to ditch the leash and we worked on weaving around the patio with my hand on his collar. He went from pulling away from me to leaning into me, neither of which was right. But with some patience we eventually walked all over the patio on a loose collar hold. It wasn't perfect, but it was an improvement. Part of it was toning down his excitement in the beginning. One of the problems with taking a long break from training is that they can get too wound up to pay attention when you start up again. But this time we were able to work through the excitement phase and Sputnik eventually got into a frame of mind to be able to figure out what I wanted.

Then we did a little target training. It was going very well and I was working on getting Sputnik not just to touch the target but to follow it around as I moved it. Then Finn, who had been watching us the entire time, suddenly snorted, spooked violently, and bolted off around the corner and out of sight. I didn't see what spooked him. Perhaps he just suddenly realized that all the other goats were gone. But in any case, it sure rattled Sputnik! He had a hard time focusing after that and kept looking for the whatever-it-was that scared Finn (we never did find it). I decided to end the session, but as soon as I put Sputnik off the patio, he turned around and begged for more training time. So I worked with him just a little more from across the gate. I put a mat down on the ground and had him step on it when I pointed to it. Then I'd have him move off the mat to touch a target. It was just simple stuff to make sure we ended on a good note.

The other day Phil had Finn balancing up on a high log and following a stick up and down the log for a target. That was fun!

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RE: Goat Diaries Blog by Alexandra Kurland - by Nanno - 04-16-2018, 12:13 PM

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