Honey was awesome today, learning how to Down and Stay. We practiced with several scenarios, including answering the door. But the most challenging was asking her to stay while a piece of food was dropped on the floor. She loves food, so it took a few repetitions, but she did it!
Today we worked on Maverick's impulse control when greeting people and when the cats are around. The crunchy treats weren't worth working for, but he would Look, Sit, and Leave It for turkey, which we used with great success.
Lish, at 11-years old, learned how to Leave It today, and he did it very well. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
On walks Trotter pulls, and reacts with barking and lunging when he sees other dogs. Our first step is to teach him how to walk nicely. We started in a low distraction environment
(backyard and driveway) and used a high rate of reinforcement of a yummy treat (turkey and hot dogs) for doing things we liked, as in looking at us or walking without pulling. In no time Trotter was walking much better. We then took him out on the street and, at first, he was not responding because he was too distracted, so we again increased our rate of reinforcement until he learned that paying attention to us was way more valuable to him.
Finley learned how fun Coming When Called is by playing recall games like Rocket Recall and Puppy Ping Pong, which earned him high value reinforcers like cheese and turkey. He had a blast!
Trotter learned how to Wait patiently at the door, and how to Leave It. We put them both to
the test when there were squirrels outside, and he did well. We also practiced the Leave It with the cats' food, and he passed that test too!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI