Rocky did great learning how to Go to Place. That skill can be used to teach him to settle,
to stay as we answer the door, to prevent begging, and so much more. We also practiced
some SMART x 50, a training concept to encourage us to notice and reward good behaviors.
Lizzy is very reactive to moving things when outside (vehicles/people/critters) so teaching a
reliable recall is important should she ever chase something. Today we taught Lizzy that
coming to us do not mean the fun ends (the Premack Principle). When she learned that coming was now fun she started coming to us, even when she was distracted.
Maverick recently bit the 12-year old in the home when he tried to take something away
from Maverick, so today we taught Maverick how to Drop It. He did fine with his toys, but once we gave Maverick the object that he had when he bit (a shoe insert) he would not give it up. Although he didn't growl or try to bite me he was definitely protecting it. We took our time, offering Maverick treats, until he finally dropped it. I picked up the shoe insert, gave him some treats, and gave it back. You read that right. I gave it back to him! Why? Because we had to build trust. Maverick has to learn that "drop it" does not always mean something gets taken away. We did this over and over until he was eagerly giving it up, and then we could trade the shoe insert for something else. Next session: teaching Leave It so Maverick doesn't take things in the first place!
Rocky did very well learning how to Come When Called. At first, he wouldn't go to his owner when she called him, but once she switched from boring old treats to peanut butter Rocky was running to her as fast as he was running to me.
Remember: behavior that is rewarded gets repeated. But the value of the reward is decided by the receiver (the dog), not the giver (us).
Dachshunds are notoriously tough to teach to Down because, well, they already are down! Luna was no different, but with a lot of patience we eventually taught her to lie down on cue!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI