Seyal

Dale City, Virginia, UNITED STATES


Joined May 15th 2008

Number of Posts:
32

Number of Comments:
13

Karma:
7



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Recent Posts

Got another reminder on how fast he can pick up on some things, even if he struggles the first time seeing it.

Earlier this evening, I was running through so things and for one there was this dog that was jumping around and whining but Wally didn't even move towards the other dog. Usually he would be trying to get over there to see what the other dog was doing, or attracted by the whining and movement ("obviously, that dog wants to play - and I'm always up for a game!" must be what goes through his mind).

But this time, nothing but looking over and even then I could get him to watch me - for a little while - and was completely quiet. No barking or whining of his own or anything.

We just had a chance to practice that with the clicker the other day. We came up to a dog tied out in the yard and Wally was about to go to the dog, but I blocked him and had him sit and focus on me - then he got rewarded.

Seems like that was still at least somewhere in his mind.

But the example that really showed it was him practicing "go around" (meaning, go around the object I point towards). He used to have a hard time understanding it. Then when he did get it, going back some distance would mess it up again.

This evening, however, he ran around the pole with no problem. I even had him do it 4 times in a row, just going around the pole without even coming back. No way he would have done that before, but in about a couple weeks of and on, he picked it up like a pro!

Sometimes I forget that struggling still can equal learning for him. It might look like he's lost or confused, but somehow, somewhere, the lesson is sinking in. I just got another reminder of that.
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Premack vs Squirrels

March 21st 2011 23:27
Well, spring has arrived, and with it, all the little creatures Wally is..."curious"...about - namely squirrels (and some birds, but mostly squirrels). Wally gets so alert when he sees one and sometimes he will just focus on it and nothing else.

Fortunately, though, the good old Premack Principle kicked in. This states that the animal will do the less likely behavior if it is rewarded with the most desirable behavior. For example, Wally wants to chase the squirrel. That's the most likely behavior. Least likely is staying in position and not going after the critter as it zips across the field.

Wally for his part was just staring at the squirrels, but he did stay (relatively) in position. Most important thing is that he didn't go after them on his own and he was still able to listen to my directions or follow where I was going. This was achieved by using Premack, in other words there were times where I WOULD let him chase the squirrels if he gave me the behavior I liked prior.

Of course, there are times where things like this aren't possible, which is why I don't use Premack with everything. In those cases, though, I try to provide if not an equal reward (what reward matches the thrill of the chase?), but a reward he will regard highly.

While I always believed in the Premack Principle, it is good to see it in action and helping Wally stay "good" even when tempted so strongly.
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Play Changed Things Between Us?

March 16th 2011 02:15
I was just thinking today about how things seem to be even better between Wally and I.

Only thing I remember doing majorly was playing with him every morning when I see him. If I call him and the door is closed, he'll whine sadly and poke the door with his nose. He never used to do that. Before he would bark, but never get a whine.

I give him a good 30 minutes of indoor play with him nipping and pouncing and shaking his toys and some of those scratches right around the base of his tail which gets him rolling around on the bed like he's ticklish! He really gets into it and loves stalking the toy, chasing it, play fighting it, and especially when I make it "hide" under the covers or between the pillows and he "burrows" under to pull it out and shake it.

Ever since this became a routine for us, he seems to be even more into me and what I'm doing. He's usually sleeping on his bed in my room when he's napping, now he wants to curl up beside me (like he is now) or asks to get in my lap and sleep. He's always super excited when I get up and move, and it's almost like a little death when I have him stay for when I don't want him following me.

I don't know if this is the reason or if it's just more and more time together, but it is really coincidental that the subtle shifts in behavior occured right around the morning play sessions.

It is interesting that play can be this impacting. We certainly will be playing more in the future!
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One thing I often forget and get too lax about is keeping things already learned fresh and practiced in Wally's mind. He's so interested in learning new things and I'm so interested in teaching him new things that the stuff we've learned in the past gets left behind and gets out of practice.

Experienced some of that this afternoon. Was reminding him of what "front" and "finish" was and he wasn't as good with it as he used to be. He would stop to short, have a hard time correcting his mistake, didn't line up well, it was like re-teaching it from the beginning again


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Spring.

Robins (and Crows) come out. Squirrels running around. Chirp chirp, Rustle Rustle


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My, what strong legs you have!

March 7th 2011 02:25
I was just inspecting him from after one of our walks training session where I have him do some "walking" on his back legs and such, and I was noticing how strong his legs have gotten.

No wonder he seems to be getting faster, I guess. These back legs of his probably are propelling him forward with more power


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Basics Revisited As Well

February 19th 2011 06:49
Seems like some of the basics, I've let slip by the wayside in the pursuit of all the more 'advanced' stuff.

Namely, heeling. That's already been a challenge for him, and now he's starting to lose the position again. So tonight we did a lot of work on mostly just heeling, BUT also threw in some directions, this time with turns


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Directions Revisited

February 14th 2011 05:58
Wally and I have started up on trying to work with directions (left/right/back...still don't know what word I want to use for going forward...I guess...forward, eh?) and we've started a new kind of game to help him learn it.

I use the coffee table as a barrier. I'm on one side of the long end (it's rectangular) and he's on the other in a sit, facing me


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Yes, Wally, Even In The Snow

January 30th 2011 04:10
The latest round of snow has caused Wally to "ask a lot of questions" lately about stuff.


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To Have and To Hold. To Carry and Play.

January 24th 2011 08:30
Having Wally carry his toy we're going to play with to and back from the park seems to be something he enjoys.

He sometimes let's go of the toy, and I'm trying to figure out what might be the cause of that. Perhaps his mouth gets tired or he's not used to the feel as he walks (it's the first time he's really attempted this, I did it once some time back, he didn't do well, and I never revisted it until now


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Recent Comments

I agree 100%, especially the rings argument. I guess Dilfer is better than Marino too. Of course, no one would say that, but yet rings still matter a lot? Very subjective where that gets pulled.

It's almost like "I can't say anything else to support his play - let me throw out a team achievement (52 other guys on that team have a ring too, including the bench) to support him!"

Great analysis.

And I would argue that his making QBs "the" position is actually a bad thing. It turns the ultimate team game into 1 guy is more important than the rest. It makes media (and GMs) try to say you "must" have a "top" QB to be a super bowl team - sometimes making them make moves they shouldn't.

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Comment by Seyal
on My New Friend

January 14th 2011 06:47
@Amy - yeah, that would be awesome

I'd definitely like a cat like that. I wouldn't mind one that explored everything and was super curious either - sounds like fun

@Queenie - yeah maybe so! I wouldn't mind that at all - a lot of times, he'll (or she, I have no idea) come running up with his tail standing straight up (friendly sign, I know) and then rub his head all up on the palm of my hand


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Comment by Seyal
on My New Friend

January 13th 2011 07:22


No, I don't hate cats. I don't really hate any animals.

Well, maybe except crickets because they wake me up. (and I'm probably jealous since Wally can sleep with a cricket right under his bed).

But yeah, it's just differences, and I guess dogs just mesh better with me.

Of course, there's this one cat that's really, really curious about me. Only one in the neighborhood that wants me to pet him. The rest run away LOL

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Comment by Seyal
on My New Friend

January 13th 2011 06:57
I think this is why I'm not a cat person. No animal is going to look at me like that and think I'm going to do something for him LOL

I'll tell the critter - "you're so great, get the food/ball/toy/water/whatever yourself!"

See, dogs know how it goes - it's a cooperative relationship. Not a master/slave one.

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Comment by Seyal
on AFC Playoffs: Rivalry Rage

January 13th 2011 06:47
Man, I can't wait for that Ravens-Steelers game, but I'm going to be anxious and probably yelling at the tv every time Flacco (or someone) screws up! To make it "worse" it probably will be a one-possesion game all game long, making everything even more tense.

I hope the offense is calling the right plays and Flacco throws the ball like he means it. That ridiculous short-hop ball he threw to lose the game in the 2nd meeting was pathetic. I mean...come on.

And that Jets-Pats game should be tight, and I think it could either be ridiculously high scoring, or surprisingly low scoring. Obviously, the Jets want it low - but you never know.

Sheez, some awesome football coming up - and this is just half of it!

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Comment by Seyal
on Are They Deserving?

January 5th 2011 02:35
This is why I don't understand why sports need divisions.

Why not just throw all the NFC and AFC teams together - just one "division" per conference. Then say the top 6 teams make the playoffs with #1 and #2 getting 1st round byes and highest seed in a match up getting homefield?

That way 7-9 almost never would get a sniff and if they do, it's more an indictment on how weak the conference was that year than having a whole division be terrible, yet someone has to go in.

Why do we need divisions?

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Comment by Seyal
on Michael Vick: Hatred and Hypocrisy

December 23rd 2010 07:30
@Anon

Maybe he meant that you have to do that in order to 1) ride them, 2) make them run like that because the jockey spurs them on.

Perhaps a wild horse would buck the guy as soon as he hit him with that riding crop?

And the outrage as that it's done, not to serve a functional purpose, but to run themsleves and abuse their bodies for our amusement?

Just trying to see where he may be coming from.

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Comment by Seyal
on Michael Vick: Hatred and Hypocrisy

December 23rd 2010 07:27
Agreed. It's pretty amazing where we as a society will draw lines and make justifications for things and how we determine what's worse than something else.

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Comment by Seyal
on Orble Blog traffic over time: what to expect

December 23rd 2010 05:58
Nice information - will try my best to hang in there and hopefully am doing something right..

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Comment by Seyal
on What's to Blame for Concussions In the NFL

December 14th 2010 07:57
The thing about these helmet-to-helmet/blow-to-the- head hits is that only certain ones are illegal but they all could cause a concussion.

They really need to define it and do so in a way that it can be called consistently. There's enough "judgment calls" or "borderline calls" in the game as it is. Don't need one for tackling, imo, and it definitely doesn't need to be position based. If you can't slap the head of a QB when trying to swap the ball out of his hand you shouldn't be able to do it when trying to strip the HB of the ball.

Make it uniform, make it a defined area, and take out the subjectiveness and reputation factor. Judge the PLAY not the players involved in the play.

And I also wonder if trainers are now going to the too cautious side perhaps out of fear of league penalty. Are there more true concussions or are their more "borderline" cases that in the past wouldn't be, but now are called concussions just to be safe?

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