Hello. I apologize again for my tardiness, its been hectic.
River and I aimed to do a video this Sunday morning (5th), but with the 5 extra persons in the house it has proven too hard to get time in a space that works. However, we have had plenty of time to work on our gentle alert. I had to modify Kristen’s suggestion to fit our schedule and situation this week, but it has worked well and River is progressing nicely.
I used the Chuck It and the ball. While sitting and visiting with family after work I would sit and have the ball in the Chuck It, I placed the ball on the ground. River would sit as usual waiting for me to throw. Before I threw, I asked her to “show me”. At first she was excited and would just rip it out. This resulted in me ignoring her and holding the ball. Repeating the process, River started alerting with her paw, as her usual. If she knocked the ball out, it resulted in me ignoring and holding the ball again. There were no treats involved besides the ball being thrown. River gradually gave a softer alert, it started away from the ball a few inches, I awarded quickly on easy alerts. We moved to the ball directly, when she alerted without knocking it out, she was rewarded.
This game was easy and allowed us to train while still entertaining our house guests. We have continued working on this and it is translating nicely into our training.
I will have my house back late next week and will skip to posting a lesson 5 video next Sunday. Again apologizing about our tardiness. Soon, very soon, they will all be gone.