Tonight we taught Rhett how to "say hi" by touching a person's hand instead of jumping.
We also taught him how to Down without us bending over, and we cleaned up his Sit. By
the end of the session he was worn out.
Tucker had a busy night. To stop his jumping on visitors we taught Tucker how to touch a person's hand as a way to "say hi". We also taught him Drop It and Leave It. And, if that
wasn't enough, we brushed up his Down and Stay that his people had already taught him.
TIP #1: TRAINING HEEL
Why train a heel? Because you want your dog to be by your side and looking at you while you pass by something distracting.
To train it, start with a handful of treats, your clicker or marker word at the ready, and your dog in a sit by your side. Put a treat in front of your dog’s nose, keeping your hand with the treat by your pant seam. Take a step forward and immediately mark (click or yes!) and treat your dog as he joins you by your side. Continue treating at a rate of one treat per second as long as your dog stays by your side.
Once your dog is walking alongside you for 10 yards begin using the Heel cue while you slowly increase the time between treats. For instance, treat every 3 steps instead of every step. Then, treat every 5 steps. And so on. Continue to reward occasionally, and be ready to reward more generously when asking your dog to heel through a particularly interesting environment, like other dogs or crowds.
TIP #2: SIT, SIT, SIT SYNDROME
There is a behavior that the vast majority of humans reliably demonstrate when meeting an unfamiliar dog or puppy: they will tell the dog to “Sit! Sit! SIT!” Even without any evidence whatsoever that the dog understands the word, people will repeat it again and again, and say it louder and more emphatically, seemingly certain that the dog was too distracted or just didn’t hear them. It never seems to cross their minds that the dog doesn’t fully understand what the word means.
We humans EXPECT dogs – strange dogs, baby dogs, ALL dogs – to do this one thing when we say they should. But why? We wouldn’t dream of saying the same thing to a CAT we just met!1 And pushing its butt down when it didn’t sit! We don’t do this to chickens, or goats, or guinea pigs, or parrots.
Think about it: We don’t do this to ANY OTHER ANIMAL! Just dogs are singled out for this expectation – and many, many others. I think most people would immediately understand that they need to manage, train, and condition ANY other species of animal to go along with the things we routinely just expect dogs to do, including cooperate with baths, intimate grooming and touching, riding in cars, getting along with other dogs, and so on.
Anyway, I should also add that I DO often say “Sit!” to dogs I don’t know – but I do it for the same reason that I would say “Hello!” to a strange person: to get information, NOT to “order” him to do something.
I can usually tell from a person’s response to “Hello!” whether we speak the same language (or not), or whether the person is even willing to have any sort of communicative exchange with me. Similarly, I can usually tell from a dog’s response whether he has any interest in “speaking”’ with me, and if so, whether we might have any language in common. A dog who looks like he might know what “Sit!” means and is willing to comply is the equivalent of a person who responds to “Hello!” with “Hi, how are you?” To me, it means that we can start to have a conversation in the same language.
- Whole Dog Journal
Mabel is a 10-week old Border Collie/Australian Cattle Dog mix. She is already doing great with her house training, but her nipping can get out of control at times. Over the next several weeks she will learn her basic manners as well as self control.
Although he has short, little legs, Finn can still walk fast. Today we finished his basic manners training by teaching him how to walk nicely on leash. He and his people did a fantastic job!
Daisy had a very good session working on her reactivity to other dogs. Although she did bark, we were able to ask for her attention and she would give it to us, and sometimes disengaged on her own. We then worked with the decoy dogs and she did very well "meeting" them.
TIP #1: WON'T TRADE? UP THE ANTE
When practicing Drop It, if your dog doesn’t drop the toy/chew to take the treat, then either he likes the toy/chew a lot more than you thought, or he likes the treat a lot less, or both. The fix is to find a less interesting toy and more interesting treats. Remember that soft, moist, smelly, meaty treats usually trump dry, odorless ones.
TIP #2: PLAY HIDE AND SEEK TO STRENGTHEN RECALL
Training doesn't have to be laborious. In fact, it shouldn't be! Take some pressure off by turning your recall practice into fun and games. This can help you and your dog enjoy the training and take it to the next level. Hide and seek is a fun game to play in the house, in your yard, or on off-leash walks. It can be played with your dog knowing the game is afoot or as a surprise game, played at unexpected times throughout the day. It helps your dog learn to look for you when he hears your recall cue and, when played randomly, it also helps your dog learn to come when he's otherwise engaged.
- Whole Dog Journal
Baxter and Chevy learned how to Come When Called by teaching them that coming to us
means nothing but fun: petting, praise, treats, and play! They did an awesome job!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI