This was our second training session. Reflecting on the morning session, here are some of my thoughts.
The Join Up approach was partially successful. I did not accomplish a full “join up”. However, I began the process of establishing a leadership position and of getting Timber to understand that I was asking him to learn new things.
Timber started to learn that I wanted him to face me when changing directions and how I ask for him to stop moving and face me.
He also started learning that being close to me resulted in less work and if he left me he had to work more.
I believe the failure to get Timber to “join up” with me is due to the fact that he’s not ready to be touched by a human. He has determined a bubble distance from me that he is willing to come up to, but no closer. That distance is just out of reach of my hand.
Moving to the carrot stick approach gave me the opportunity to “touch him” and for him to start getting used to the idea that being touched by a human can be an OK thing(even if it is currently by proxy, using a stick). He started accepting getting rubbed on the neck and shoulders and even accepted having a string flipped over his back and rump.
Using the carrot stick allows me to reach along his side. The further back I reach, the closer my hand comes to his head. Several times he smelled my hand and didn’t back away. Here, you can see that I am able to flick the string up over his neck and he is accepting it pretty well.
I am trying to be aware not to have too long of a session to avoid overloading or over stressing Timber. I gave him a break with a distraction of having Goldie come out. I need to try to listen to him when he is telling me he’s had enough for now.