Friday, March 3, 2017
Tanka Does Obstacles -
Since Tanka is afraid of people and we have a limited number of people over, I have invented "people" for him to see. I use an upside down snow shovel in the shrubbery or move a dark trash can around. Yesterday I came up with an easy and cheap scarecrow. It's an old oak bar stool, a piece of cane, an old coat and a hat.
I placed this scarecrow on the way to the big pen and Tanka said "I dont think so" . I ended up doing the forward/backward, advance/retreat thing for awhile. Walk away do a circle come back a little closer. We got about 20 feet from it. He was not willing to go too near it.
I decided to abort mission to put Tanka in the big pen and put him in the round pen. Pony and Wiseeguy had no problem with it and they hung out in the big pen where they could see their big buddy.
I put the scary scarecrow in the obstacle course area near Tanka in the round pen.
Later on, the trainer came over and we ended up working on the big log round I had put out there. It's pretty stable, I sunk it into the sand a bit, about 2 feet across and about 14 inches high. Tanka got a chance to look at the new item, sniff it and I told him "Touch It" and he did.
I got on the stump and off the stump while she held onto Tanka. Of course, Tanka is amazed and a little upset by my growing taller and shorter in this new setting. He pulled back but he settled down quickly.
I worked with me above Tanka and getting him to turn and walk in both directions as he went around me. The trainer told me to spiral Tanka into me but Tanka kept stopping and turning towards me :) It wasn't real smooth but we did it.
Eventually we worked on Tanka stepping up to be underneath me. We didn't quite perfect that but once we got some reasonable results, I got off the stump and onto the stump and then sat on the stump.
Tanka isn't good with other people so we chatted for awhile with me sitting there and the trainer standing near him. Then we headed for the obstacle course. The trainer sat on the chair/scarecrow while I did obstacles and walked Tanka in front of her and the chair/scarecrow and we wove in and out of my little obstacle course and around the chair with the trainer.
Finally, we parked out and gave Tanka the chance to interact with the trainer. He eventually touched her hand. I gave her the rope and she gently had Tanka move back a little and up a little. We relaxed near the trainer and hung out.
Tanka is still not convinced that the trainer is okay but at least he got to just hang out with us and relax.
I need to keep working on my timing and doing an ask, a firmer ask and then a tell. I am swinging that rope tail a little too much, a little too soon :) The trainer gave me some pointers/admonishments on a couple of things like having Tanka step up next to me and then walking off [let him be a partner and not drag him up to me], a few little things.