Gracie has made good progress with cars and people going by, so tonight we focused on her Go To Spot reliability. She knows it, but because the client wants her to be a service-type dog we want her to do it automatically when she hears the bell. She is a smart dog and by the end of the session she was going to her spot without using a voice command, only pointing.
Cooper completed his basic obedience training tonight with Loose Leash Walking. His family reports that he continues to make improvement with the other commands he has learned. They have done a great job with him and I am sure he will continue to progress.
Back in the swing of things after vacation with new dog Jax, a nearly 6 month old German Shepherd mix. Jax has tons of energy and loves to jump and mouth people. Typical puppy stuff, but annoying nonetheless. We will teach him basic obedience, but more exercise will go a long way towards solving some of these issues.
“He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."
- Gene Hill
Cooper was taught the Wait and Stay commands tonight. We also went over some management options for when Cooper is in the backyard. Cooper likes to chew on mulch and flowers, as puppies tend to do. I advised the clients to have Cooper on a leash for a while when he is outside so they have a better opportunity to correct him when he gets into things.
We reviewed Gracie's reactivity to cars driving by and she did extremely well - by mostly ignoring them! The client then informed me that she was also reacting to people walking by. So we repeated the same exercise as we did with the cars by using the Leave It command as people walked by. Once again she did very well.
“Lucky ain’t a puppy no more and he don’t bark for just any old reason. It takes a mailman, a squirrel, a car, a bird, a blowing leaf, or a tumbling scrap of paper to get him stirred up now.”
― Sandra Kring, Carry Me Home
We worked on Off and Come When Called (Recall) tonight with Cooper. He actually doesn't jump much, even when enticed, so it was a little difficult to work on. Hopefully that's a habit he keeps as he gets older. But Cooper had a lot of fun racing back and forth playing the Recall games. We also reviewed the Leave It command and how it can apply to almost anything you want your dog to ignore or avoid.
Tugger finished up her basic obedience program with a session of Total Recall. We went over all the games to play to reinforce the recall, the Premack Principle, as well as some long line work. She did so much racing back and forth that she was too tired to even attempt to learn a trick at the end of the night. I will miss working with her and her committed pet parents.
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI