more on Kory’s feeding protocol

There was a 36-hour delay in publishing my last blog which was written Thursday night. Here it is Saturday morning and it just got published.

Kory’s put-your-head-in-your-bowl-and-eat protocol has progressed nicely.

On Friday he again ate his meal in the basement in the general area where other dogs eat, but in their absence. He again was clicked and encouraged to consume a large bowl of food without stopping or pausing. He again created “poopage” immediately upon consuming this large meal.

Friday evening we added distractions. My mom and sister were here so I fed Kory about 3 feet from my family. He was slightly distracted but got down to business and finished his meal, then pooped for me!

Saturday morning he got to pee before I left to swim. I was gone from 6:30 to 9:15. Upon my return I let all the dogs out in the yard where Kory immediately peed and then pooped!  This was a great bit of progress on regularly scheduled poop performance.

I put the older dogs into the basement, left Kory in the yard, and laid out the pack’s food bowls. As they got busy with their meal I brought Kory in, held his collar, and let him watch. He was fascinated by the feeding frenzy and wanted to check out all the steel bowls. I hung on to him while most dogs finished and began milling around.

I then opened the basement door and shooed Kory and 7 dogs out the door.  Banner and Wizard (my slow-pokes) finished eating and we left the basement.

We came into the house and I got Kory’s breakfast and my clicker. We walked to a spot just six inches from the baby gate separating him from the pack.

Kory took one look at the pack, all of whom were staring at his breakfast, and dove into his meal (earning a click and praise).

I stood nearby until he was diligently working away at his meal, then stepped back 4 feet. He hesitated, I stared at his bowl, he dived back in, I clicked and praised, then stepped back another 3 feet.

By the time he finished his breakfast today, with the entire pack drooling nearby, I was able to walk around the living room putting away my swimsuit, opening windows, doing chores.

Now I need to start putting the pieces together — 1) Kory eating in the presence of the other dogs in the basement feeding zone,  and  2) Kory observing the other dogs eating their meals without hassling them.

Tomorrow is a workshop day and Tracy Waite is going to be my assistant instructor. She’ll have 4 beginners and 4 intermediates. I’ll have 9-10 advanced dogs on my end of the floor.

So today I’ll be setting equipment in the building, doing some straightening up, then may take the pack down to the building for an outing. They love to experience the “wilds” beyond the building and chase each other around the agility field.

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