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I have been working on heel with Annie for a long time - she had a pretty good natural heel as a puppy, and then adolescence hit and I've been struggling to regain it. Yesterday, it clicked! She did a beautiful heel, eyes up, attention on me even as a snowplow went by - following me through turns, etc! It lasted maybe 15 s, but it was a heel!!! And better yet, we did it another 5 or so times through the walk (Heel !- good, good, good - oops, turn, regain heel, good, good, good - toss toy!). Better yet, she seemed to be having fun doing it. She has just turned one, and I am very proud of her right now.

What about you guys? Any accomplishments (big or small) you've been working on for a while that have recently clicked?
 

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Woo hoo! Go Annie!!

Might seem like a silly one, but Peggy finally settled beside the tub while I had a nice long bath the other day. My last girl was a devoted bathtime companion from day 1 and I was committed to working on this with Peggy despite her wild tantrums. She would try and climb in the bath with me and then bark and bite and just generally melt down until I gave up.

My husband was convinced I should stop torturing myself, so I took couple of weeks off and then tried again, this time with a few minor tweaks to our routine.

SUCCESS!

Zero tantrums and she even managed a little snooze. I smiled the whole time.

463038
 

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Peggy you hit on something that I think often happens with learning new things. You can work on it and see little in terms of good results, take a break and then all of a sudden there it is. It's like they need to digest it before they can do it.
 

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Peggy the Parti - a calm bath-time is a very important and major accomplishment! I think i'd go nuts if I didn't get my daily relaxing (poodle-free) bath. Good girl, Peggy! I do find Peggy a bit funny though - when I was having issues with Annie and separation anxiety, i started putting her in her crate while I had a bath, as that's the one time she doesn't want to be anywhere near me, lest I decide SHE needs a bath too!

And Lily cd re - completely agree. I've been working on tricks training lately, and I am often amazed how, if Annie is struggling to learn something, if i stop and come back the next day, she already has it figured it out. It's like her brain needs time to process which responses were "correct" and earned the reward.
 

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Peggy the Parti - a calm bath-time is a very important and major accomplishment! I think i'd go nuts if I didn't get my daily relaxing (poodle-free) bath. Good girl, Peggy! I do find Peggy a bit funny though - when I was having issues with Annie and separation anxiety, i started putting her in her crate while I had a bath, as that's the one time she doesn't want to be anywhere near me, lest I decide SHE needs a bath too!
Haha! Peggy thinks that Annie is nuts! She says the bath is one of the most fun places in the house. She especially loves dunking her disgusting furry toys in the warm water—like a biscuit in tea!—while the naked human shrieks.
 

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Haha! Peggy thinks that Annie is nuts! She says the bath is one of the most fun places in the house. She especially loves dunking her disgusting furry toys in the warm water—like a biscuit in tea!—while the naked human shrieks.
Oh my... that's a ... picture...
 

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I need to keep remembering that, for poodles (or at least Annie), training clicks BETWEEN sessions not during. Last night, we went downtown when the stores are closed and she did a credible heel for 60+% of our 40 min walk, loose lead almost 100%, and scarfed down a million treats. I hadn't planned on practicing heeling, but she offered it, so I took advantage. She even heeled, eyes up (glance away, look back) for a fire truck passing, people across the street, figure 8s around trees with a dog one block over, and, hardest of all, a flapping flag. That was with only one practice since the initial success at heeling. Today, she was able to heel a bit during the day time - (we usually struggle in the day to even get a loose leash walk because SQUIRRELS). So yeah, weirdest dog ever - my previous dogs have all improved DURING sessions, Annie exponentially improves between them!
 

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I'd have been over the moon! What a wonderful sounding walk.

And that learning style is so human-like! If I ever had to cram for a test, I would do well ONLY if I could sleep between the cramming and the actual test. Anything I tried to learn the morning of (even if it was RIGHT before I walked into the exam room) just didn't sink in.

I think those sudden clicks are also a great reminder that our puppies are always learning. If we're clear and consistent (intentionally or otherwise), they're eventually going to get it.

Today's "click" was a cute one:

This morning Peggy greeted me affectionately and wanted to hold a piece of my hair in her mouth while she leaned into a hug. (I have very long hair and have tried to break this habit of hers for months. Usually I have to walk away.) Today I murmured "No" and prepared to remove myself, but when I looked down she'd dropped my hair and was gently holding her leash instead. I thought that was a rather clever attempt at self-control. And she got to enjoy her hug a little longer.
 
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