Oakland did a wonderful job with her Loose Leash Walking tonight. We began the session by teaching her to Heel to improve her focus on us, then reinforced her behaviors we wanted, like looking at us or walking beside us. Her owner said it was Oakland's best walk ever!
We finished Monte's basic training with a socialization outing to a park. He saw some
bikes and joggers, and he practiced sits, downs, stays, and come when called. He has grown so much, both physically and emotionally.
Charlie is a 7-month old terrier mix who needs some help with his manners, especially
impulse control, because he loves to chase anything that moves. Love those ears!
TIP #1: SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION
In its most basic sense, successive approximation is a series of rewards that provide positive reinforcement for behavior changes that are successive steps towards the final desired behavior. For example, if you can’t quite get your dog to lie down, break the exercise into smaller steps. First mark and treat him for following the treat to the ground, then for bending an elbow, then for bending both elbows. Make sure you mark and treat liberally when you get a full down.
TIP #2: USING A U-TURN TO LEAVE TROUBLE BEHIND
A "U-Turn" is a great tool to have in your training repertoire. A U-Turn is exactly what it sounds like: You and your dog are walking forward, and on your cue, you both instantly turn 180 degrees and move in the opposite direction. A U-Turn is a behavior that is incompatible with your dog barking, lunging or stiffening. It is a cue that you use when you know your dog will be too aroused to perform a Watch or has already barked or lunged at another dog. The goal of a U-Turn is to get you out of sticky situations, and if you and your dog master both the Watch and the U-Turn, you'll be able to handle most of the situations that life can throw at you.
- excerpted from Feisty Fido
Buddy is a typical 6-month old Labrador Retriever. He is mouthy, jumpy, and pulls a little
on the leash. We will be addressing these issues as well as teaching him his basic manners.
We had a great Loose Leash Walking session with Monte. We first taught him Heel so he learned to focus on us a bit more. We then clicked and treated (reinforced) any behavior
that we appreciated, like looking at us or walking next to us. Good job, Monte!
Today we taught Athena how to Wait and Stay. She loves her food, so the wait took several repetitions until she learned not to get up until given the ok. Stay, however, she learned very quickly and didn't move, even when we went into another room.
TIP #1: CAPTURE AND REWARD
A good rule of thumb is to reward your dog whenever he naturally does something you are working on teaching him. For example, if you find your dog lying down, tell him, “Good down” and treat or pet him. That will also make your dog more likely to add lying around quietly to his list of hobbies.
TIP #2: LET YOUR DOG DECIDE
Remember that every trainee gets to define what reinforcement is best, so we can't say which is more effective for your dog - toys or food. Toys have the advantage of overwhelming nervousness with positive emotions that are associated with relaxation and comfort, but chicken is the way to many a dog's heart.
- excerpted from Feisty Fido
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI