Spring is Springing, 3-19-14, Trailering Skills Session #134

Yesterday was a fairly nice day, considering the recent (and many) snows that we’ve had this winter. That being the case, I finally got my truck hooked back up to the trailer and was able to move it back down next to the paddock so that Atty and I could resume training.

Once the trailer was in place, I went to get Mr. Atticus to see what he would do. Since I had to fiddle with the gates at the end of the lane, I think that he got it into his head that he would be going out into the fields. Unfortunately, no. Not yet. No grass to speak of and the ground is a bit mushy.

He went down to the gates to see if they were open, found that they were not, and tried to find some grass. Not much. When he offered to walk back toward me and the trailer, I clicked and went to him to deliver the treat. By this time he was walking toward the trailer on his own. He got right on! Yay!

I went up front and treated several times and made a few small moves toward the back of the trailer. He got off. Oh well. I dropped a few more treats in the hay back and he got on again. This happened two more times where I attempted to move and he got off. Then the magical fourth try. He stayed on as I worked through all the facets of trailer loading: walk back and touch a hock (2x), walk back and hook up the butt bar (2x), walk back and close the back door, close the side door. After each piece, I walked up front, CT’d, and waited for him to touch his boat bumper three times, CT’ing after each. I waited a few seconds and then opened the side door and treated. Then did everything in reverse, CT’ing after each piece. He got off fairly promptly after the cue to back. Jackpot and we were done! A lovely start to the season. 🙂

On the dog front, I still have Sophie as I can’t seem to find her a different home.

We’re currently working on, and will be for some time, Sophie allowing me to trim her toenails. She does not want her paws held, or have the clippers touch her paws, or the Dremel tool (on or off). She doesn’t even really want to get up on the couch if she thinks it’s a toenail session.

I have made a tiny bit of progress, but, as I said, she doesn’t really want to come up onto the couch. And she yawns while I’m working with her, a sign of stress. But she’s attentive and keeps giving me a paw so she can get more treats. I keep experimenting with ways to do this. I’m sure that eventually we’ll work something out.

Keep calm and click on.

About Laurie Higgins

I play with clicker training - with my horses, dogs, and cats. I also attempt to grow vegetables with the hope of one day being able to feed my family from my garden. My daughter and I are learning ballroom dancing. Well, we were. But she left me for a paying horse job, so now my husband and I are learning ballroom dancing. I'm also now helping Peggy Hogan, of Clicker Training Horses (and The Best Whisper is a Click) to teach people how to train their own horses using "clicker training".
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