Since he actually went somewhere yesterday, three-mile trip around the block back to home, I wanted to check to see if he would get back on the trailer today. And, for an added challenge, the trailer is still parked in the parking area – not down beside the barn where we’ve practiced for the last year and a half.
We walked out the yard and I let him graze. If his head came up, I clicked and treated him until he put his head back down. It was clear that he wanted to stay near the barn or possibly go down by the house. In any case, I don’t think he wanted to go uphill toward the trailer.
After several minutes, I asked him, through feeding for position if he’d follow me toward the trailer. He did. He’s such a good boy.
We then spent several minutes grazing up near the trailer. More like walking around, though, than actual grazing. We circled near the trailer a couple of times and then I asked him to stop and I just fed him.
He looked into the trailer once but I didn’t catch him with a CT. Bad me. Then I asked him, with a very light tug, if he would look into the trailer rather than off to the left. He did.
He sniffed the trailer floor and offered one foot on. I clicked him for that and he backed off to get his treat. I then just treated him there for a couple of minutes. Then he offered to get on again. Two feet, pause, then all four.
The hay bag already had a Stud Muffin in it a few Alam cubes. I walked up front to click and treat him, but he started to back off. I went back and caught up with him and just fed him at the back of the trailer.
I decided that since my place is fully fenced and the gate was closed, I could just let go of the line. It was over his back and I just let him be. He self loaded again and this time, I could get up front and CT.
At this point, we just went into our usual routine. I waited for him to touch the boat bumper three times, I CT each one, then I go to the back. The first time, he backed off by himself off cue. But then he got right back on, I walked up front, and we went through our routine.
The next time I went to the back, I went to hook up the butt bar. He started to back off slowly and I just held the butt bar up. He backed into it every so gently and stopped. This is HUGE! A year ago he would have just kept backing! This was so fun!
I hooked up the butt bar and went up front to click and treat and wait for his three touches of the boat bumper. When he did, I went to the back and undid the butt bar and walked up front again to click and treat.
I would never do that at someone else’s place, especially if they don’t have a fully fenced place where the trailers are. In fact, most places that I know of don’t have that safety feature. But I’d like to have that patient waiting on the trailer in any case.
I just love how he waited on the trailer with the butt bar down in this “new” place while I went up front to CT him. I waited for him to touch the boat bumper three times (CT each one) and then walked back to ask him off.
He waited for the back off cue! Again, I was so “chuffed” as they say in England! He was so comfortable in fact, that he backed up only to the edge of the floor and stopped. He waited some more and I waited a few seconds before cueing him again. He then backed off and he got lots of treats, one at a time.
We then walked back to the barn and his buddy, Ollie.
Atty is such a star! 😀