Rocky is so darn smart that we were able to breeze through his basic manners training and had time left to teach him a some tricks. Today he learned how to Play Dead which, combined with everything else he already knows, is enough to earn him his Novice Trick Dog title at only 20 weeks of age!
Being deaf certainly doesn't diminish Ozzy's ability or desire to learn, as we taught him both Sit and Down today. He's just a happy-go-lucky puppy!
Being that she is just 14-weeks old, Diamond does typical puppy things like stealing slippers and playing with pillows, so today's lesson on Leave It was timely and important. After a slow start - Diamond wanted to play - she finally settled down and did a great job.
Today Sydney learned how to walk nicely without pulling. We first taught her Heel so she
learned to give us eye contact, then we used a high rate of reinforcement (many clicks and treats) for behaviors we wanted, like looking at us and walking with a loose leash.
TIP #1: SET UP FOR SUCCESS
If your dog is having trouble learning a behavior there is no need to correct her for getting it wrong. In fact, corrections could stymie her training. Instead, set your dog up for success by reducing the distance, duration, or distractions until she can get it right. Then you can slowly add back in the 3 Ds - one at a time - until the behavior is learned well.
TIP #2: EXPANDING YOUR TRAINING SPACE
When you select a new training space, remember that the change should be gradual. Jumping from the relative quiet of your house to the mayhem of the park will be too much for your dog. If your regular training has always taken place in your kitchen, try moving to the living room. Work through the entire lesson plan in that room, then change locations again. How about the bedroom? The bathroom?
Once you've exhausted the options in your house, take a look at the next most gradual change that you can make. How about your porch? Backyard? Front yard? In front of your neighbor's house?
If you introduce new places thoughtfully, they should be dull enough that your dog can work with a loose leash with his total attention on you.
- excerpted from Beyond The Back Yard
With his new, front clip harness on and by reinforcing good behavior at a high rate, Rocky
was awesome during our Loose Leash Walking session. We even had the opportunity to meet some strangers and other dogs and he was a perfect gentleman.
Ozzy is a 13-week old Dalmation mix. He is also deaf. But don't let that innocent face fool you - he still does what puppies do, like peeing in the house and chewing furniture. Nor does his deafness stop him from learning, so we will be using hand signals to teach this sweet boy his basic manners.
Diamond had been taught Down but would only do it if you had a treat in hand and touched the floor. In just a few minutes we taught her to do it without a food lure and while standing straight up. We also taught her how to Stay for duration and distance.
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI