The beginning of this week I continued training fronts with Riemu. In our third practice on Monday I still used the target stick but at the five last trials of the third session (translator’s comment: each practice is like a block that consists of smaller sessions, each session has 10 trials) I left the target out and Riemu positioned herself in front of me without the slightest hesitation. On Monday I also added the sit. The next day I used the target stick only a couple of times and again I did 3 x 10 C/T sessions. My criterion now was that in addition to being straight the puppy offers me eye contact as well. Riemu did not come particularly close to me, she sat about 10 cm away from me but after staying too far a few times and not earning her C/T:s, she quickly corrected her position closer to me. A few times I clicked at the wrong time, though, I clicked for her looking at my hand instead of my eyes.
Twice Riemu almost offered a finish for me instead of a front but I moved a little and she quickly went back to offering the fronts. After clicking her I always treated her in position by delivering the treat very close to my body, then I re-set her by tossing another treat behind her. After this ‘release’ treat, Riemu immediately offered the front again. When the release treat was directly behind the puppy she came to the front position straight. Some of the treats, however, landed at an angle, but regardless of that Riemu came back to the front pretty straight. In other words, it is looking good now, my next steps are to focus on the eye contact and start tossing the treats to different positions.
Soon we can start training the release of the dumbbell :-)!