Luna had a very busy day. We taught her to Down without food in hand or touching the
floor. We then taught her to Wait patiently for her food to be put down or a door to be opened.
We then taught her to Stay while we walked away and out of sight. She did them all very
Zoe had a busy night. We taught her Stay, Drop It, and Leave It. With stay we were able to leave the room and Zoe did not leave her spot, something she could never do before. This new skill will be put to good use when she goes to her owner's busy office.
Lucy greeted me by jumping on me and wanting to play. Of course I don't encourage a dog to jump on me, but it was the first real sign that she trusted me and was not afraid. And that resulted in a great Come When Called lesson. She loved playing the recall games inside, so we then took our practice outside. Out there she was more distracted and didn't come quite as quickly, but she still did very well.
Ten days ago Bex was rushed to the emergency vet because he stole grapes off the counter and ate 50 of them! Thankfully he is ok, but an experience like that highlights how important teaching Leave It can be. We taught him that today and then practiced with food on the floor, on tables, and on the counter and he passed all tests with flying colors.
Asher is like a jumping bean on caffeine, so teaching her Wait and Stay was challenging. When I teach a dog to wait patiently while I put their food down I just bend over and, if the dog gets up, I stand up. After a few repetitions the dog usually understands that its behavior of getting up makes me get up, but if it sits the food goes on the floor. But Asher is so food motivated, even just for kibble, that he couldn't wait. So I had to use a technique called Successive Approximations - essentially clicking and treating for smaller, successful steps that lead to the final outcome. This technique is especially helpful for teaching complex behaviors or tricks. Give it a try!
Rex and Rugar did wonderfully on their socialization outing to Lowe's and Petsmart. The carts and some of the noises were a little scary at first, but the boys learned pretty quickly that they weren't a big deal. They interacted well with the strangers they met, and didn't care much about the dogs they saw, which was great!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI