Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 2

Well, today was day 2 of our clicker training. We did three sessions.

#1 - Late morning - Out in the pasture. We still worked on touching the halter. I used his daily wormer for his treat. He tired very quickly, and left after eating about half of it. (It's not much, as he only weighs around 500 lbs.)

#2 - Mid afternoon - No dice. I walked in the pen and he followed me. As soon as I moved towards him he whirled and kicked at me. I think he was feeling the pressure of being in a confined area. He ran out the gate and loped about halfway down the pasture. He stopped and turned around this time though, instead of running all the way to the fence and keeping his hind end towards me. So I guess that's progress. I followed him until he let me approach him and stroke him. I touched the halter a few times, clicking and treating, until the wormer was gone, then left.

#3 - Bingo! This session was split up into three short sub-sessions. I just used a little 10% feed and hung the bucket over my left arm.
a - I approached him in the pasture, and we had a very short session. Then I walked to the fence to see the neighbor's donkey.
b - Little Man came right up behind me to see what Kong was getting, so I turned around and we had a session. When I felt we had worked enough, I gave him a peppermint treat, stroked his neck, and left.
c - Student initiated! Little Man followed me as I was leaving! He was walking so close behind me that if something had startled him he would have run over me. I eventually stopped, and we had another short session, just a minute or so. Then I stroked his neck again and left. He looked at me for a minute, then turned and went back out towards Kong.

So, I'm thinking that evening is his best time. He does seem to be more mellow then. But I am so pleased that he came after me! Of course, he probably came after the treats, but it's a start. He still won't let me hold the halter, but I just know that will come with time.
For now, if I can touch it, I click and treat.

I'm very pleased, and I wanted to share our progress.

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