Emily is a 7-month old Beagle mix who displays typical adolescent behaviors like
jumping, nipping, and periods of the zoomies. She already knows Sit and Down pretty
well so we will focus on Wait, Stay, Leave It, and Loose Leash Walking.
"We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment."
- George Eliot
Today we fitted Duncan with a sleeve to cover his head, sort of like blinders for a horse,
to help desensitize him to his surroundings on a walk. Although he did overreact to a
couple of dogs he saw, they weren't as extreme and didn't last as long as I have seen in
the past. I'm hopeful this new 'tool' will help.
Cali is a young, energetic dog who would do well to learn some impulse control, and
today we taught her Wait, Stay, and Leave It. She did extremely well with Wait, but her
Stay and Leave It will take a little more practice. Good job Cali!
For the second time this week we met with Bulleit in an attempt to build on our last
positive session. When I first arrived Bulleit was once again reactive, but he quickly
settled down. Another positive night.
Apache, an 11-year old Shiba Inu, is having some trouble adjusting to his new sister Jace,
a 6-month old Siberian Husky. Over the next few weeks we will help them during this
Stella's reaction towards me was less severe and didn't last as long when we met tonight.
She even relaxed enough to get some training in: as I taught Farley the Leave It cue the
owners followed my lead and taught Stella at the same time while less than 10 feet away.
TIP #1: THE OPPOSITION REFLEX
Ever notice when your dog pulls on leash, and you pull back, that makes him pull even more? That's called the Opposition Reflex (the same reflexive behavior also happens when you push). To break that cycle of tug-o-war simply stop moving when the leash gets tight and wait for some slack in the leash. When that happens, click and offer a treat by your side. When he comes back to get it you can then continue on your walk.
TIP #2: DITCH THE BOWL
When we have 20+ inches of snow on the ground it is more important than ever to make sure our dogs' minds are mentally stimulated. To make that stuffed bone or Kong last even longer, and to challenge your dog's brain even more, prepare her meal the night before and pop it in the freezer. Quoting Dr. Ian Dunbar, "Mental exercise tires a dog physically more than physical exercise does."
Week 2 saw our puppies learn how to Down on cue, as Sadie is demonstrating. The pups also learned how to greet strangers without jumping, and the pet parents learned the proper way to greet other dogs.
Buster likes to beg at the dinner table, so tonight we taught him an alternate behavior - Go To Spot. After he learned the cue, which in his case means go to his bed (which is about 10 feet from the table), we then worked on duration. We started out by clicking and treating when he would stay for just a few seconds, and gradually worked our way up to staying in his bed for 5 minutes by the end of the session!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI