I told Hithger that if I could get Ceelo to the point of being able to be haltered easily I'd tie him a better fitting halter. I took measurements the other day & tied him one this afternoon. Of course I was all excited about trying it on! I've been meaning to start approaching him in the regular pasture in the afternoons, so today I went out & see if I could go say hi to him.
First he saw me & brayed, then came towards me a bit, I was still walking towards him. Then he changed his mind and trotted away. I didn't pressure him too much, just gave him a break, then approached him again, which he dealt with better. I realized that it might be pretty intimidating to not have only me walking at him but both R&D who are stuck to me like glue! So I tossed them some grass & was finally able to actually get close to Ceelo. I had him target his new halter a few times.
I then decided to tie R&D so I can actually see how Ceelo's new halter fit, they'll run him off, and they won't leave me alone lol. After I got them tied almost immediately Ceelo came over and was all up in my business like 'hai, whatcha doin???' I easily slipped his halter on & got it all adjusted. I then had him follow me into the small pen so we could do a short targeting session. He did fantastic, he's really understanding that he has to touch it to get a click, not touch me, or sniff me, or try to figure out where the goodies are.
Had about a 5 minute session, that went great (haha no grass to graze on!), unhaltered him and praised him. Then I let R&D loose. I think Ceelo had fun. He looks quite good in his new halter, I even put rings on the noseband so Hithger can use it to start teaching him to ground drive!
'if I sniff you will you click?'
Just need to shorten the tail, but otherwise I think it fits pretty good!
Yesterday afternoon I was getting ready to leave & I looked out the back window and there was little Ceelo happily eating grass in the back yard! Earlier I saw him grazing next to the fence that borders that area. I checked my cord for the charger, it was hanging half way out of the outlet - so it must not have been working! lol
I went out and said hi to him, and gave him a couple scratches. Then I went & got a halter, my clicker, some treats. I walked back out, said hi again, and haltered him with ZERO problems. Grabbed the lead rope and snapped it on the halter - he was like 'ok'. Asked him to follow me - lol leaving the tasty green grass!! and he politely walked behind me! We went through the garden gate ( he was on the lawn that borders the garden, thankfully he didn't help himself to my lettuce and other goodies), walked through the main back yard (said hi to the garbage can lol). I opened the gate to the north pasture, before I could turn around he blasted through the gate & stopped on the other side at the end of the lead. He could've easily ran me over, but he went around me, and once he was on the other side he stopped. I thought about what could have made him react that way, there are some boxes piled up next to the dog run that are waiting to be disposed of, I think those & the combination of my puppy scared him (she seems to enjoy waiting til he gets really close to the run & then going beserk and making him run away). I was just happy he didn't bolt all the way, he literally got to the other side, and stopped & waited for me.
I then led him to the main gate to the donk pen, by this time R&D are at the gate waiting for their turn - they were watching him the whole time he was grazing on his escape. So they both wanted out because he got to graze and they didn't. It took me awhile to convince them that they were NOT going out. Ceelo waited outside the gate patiently while I shooshed and shoo'd R&D back. Once we had a nice open path Ceelo walked right in!
Closed the gate & unhaltered him, I also gave him a goodie for being so willing. mini paycheck :)
It really made me realize that all that training so far is paying off! One point I want to make is, I didn't go into the yard yelling at him or telling him he was bad. It was an opportunity for him - fence was off, he's short and there was grass on the other side. It's really my fault that he had the opportunity, but if I went in there & scolded him that would make him go 'oh...you're not fun, I don't know if I want you near me'. Just like if your dog is doing something bad, and you call them back to you, you're not going to scold them. Because the only thing you just taught them is coming to you is not fun. I believe it's the same with the donks.
I double checked the fence and it was indeed not hot. I fixed it up and kept an eye on him. If he slips out again, I'll put up another strand to keep him safely in the pasture.
This morning he had a great session, the last two mornings he's been a bit more interested in grazing. This morning he was actively engaged with me. It was so cool. Haltered him right away with no problems, proceeded to do some target training with the actual target stick- he's getting that alot better now - starting to take steps to touch the target, and then did some training on accepting being hugged...cuz he's so cute I'm sure people want to hug him LOL. I also got to scratch him quite a bit today, down his back, on his chest ( which he especially likes). Very happy how active he was today in the session.
Little man is coming along nicely! Yesterday I was able to halter him 3x, and he stood quietly while I did!!
this morning, I worked on haltering again. Put it on twice, then the third time I tied it, he started backing up. He's telling me I went too fast! I didn't pull on the halter or try to stop him from backing up. I just stayed with him until he stopped & removed it. I put it on 2 more times, but didn't tie it. I c/t for him standing still with the halter on, but not tied. I'll continue to do this along with fiddle with the strap like I'm tying it.
He also met the target stick today, he touched it right away! But then Daisy figured out that I was playing clicker games with him - I think it's because she saw the target stick. She is beyond obsessed with that thing. while I was shooing her away, still with the stick on me - but pointed backwards behind me, I must've scared little man just a bit. when I asked him to touch the stick again he said no. I had him target my hand again, which he did. Then I brought the stick back, but had it only sticking out from my hand maybe 6", I asked him to touch it & he did!! So when they get 'stuck' or if you went too fast, go back to something they know & are confident with.
I've been able to approach him & scratch him quite a bit, he's doing really well. I even gave him scratchings last night in the dark!!
Little man is getting the idea of hand targeting! This morning he reliably targeted my hand about 4x! I even got to pet his neck. Much better than the responses he was showing me earlier in the week - basically he wanted nothing to do with me! So cool to see his little brain working, my goal is have him WANT to be caught & haltered by the time the rescue picks him up. He's well on his way for sure! So far everything is at liberty obviously, since we're working on 'being caught', so if he doesn't want to play the game, he can choose not to. I think though he'll find that it's rather enjoyable and will look forward to me approaching him & asking him things.
If we get to the halter targeting section of our training, I'll be tying him a new halter that fits properly :) Good thing for him I only have brown! LOL seems like a manly enough color! Also hope to get some video of his training progress, it'll be cool to look back & see how far he has come!
I was asked to foster a little donk for a few weeks, until the rescue can come & pick him up. He's a cute little guy!!
I finally finished up the britchen I was working on!
When properly adjusted ( even maybe just a tad too high) the tails of the straps were wayyy long! I was a little disappointed in that. But overall I think it turned out nice, I braided some turks head knot keepers to help tidy up the tails. It looks much better!!
Daisy modeling the britchen
Keepers on the saddle tugs
Keeper on the spider strap
I also made my pup a new collar, I've been dying to try out betathane, so I found some & made her a collar. I think it turned out pretty good for my first try. Love that it'll never get stinky!! or loose it's intensity of the green!
Then I was playing around the other night attempting to draw donkey cartoons LOL these were done super fast.
Inspired by Daisy, Ms. TUDE!!
Inspired by Rocky, pretty sure he just saw a UFO
just for fun :)
started this drawing. by the end I gave up, not quite like drawing on real paper, but fun...,