We met with Roxi, a beautiful, nearly 1-year old Pit Bull/Boxer mix who is having the typical, adolescent issues of excited jumping and mouthing when guests arrive. She already knows Sit very well but needs training on the other basic cues of Down, Wait, Stay, Leave It, Come When Called, and Loose Leash Walking.
Darby was very distracted during last week's training, so I was concerned how she would be this week when learning Come When Called, but she rocked it! We even got her to come when sister Daisy was chasing a ball!
In week 3 of Puppy Kindergarten we taught the pups how to Wait politely for things like their food bowl to be put down and a door to be opened. They also learned how to Stay. In addition, we taught them and their owners how to cope with handling as well as novel things and sounds.
Tip #1: REAL LIFE TRAINING
We are all busy, and one of the hardest things to do is find time to train our dogs. Dogs are learning with every interaction with us, so let's take advantage of those opportunities with real life training. Fido wants his dinner? He has to sit first. Bella wants to go out? How about a down? Want to come up on the couch for some cuddling? Rollover first! Having our dogs work for everything they want is very mentally and physically stimulating, and we can train them throughout every day!
TIP #2: END SESSIONS ON A POSITIVE NOTE
Training is mentally and physically demanding for a dog, especially if you are teaching a particularly challenging behavior. Make sure you end each training session on a positive note, even if it means having your dog perform another behavior he knows well. Shower him with praise, petting, and even some play time.
Sam & Sookie get so excited when someone visits so impulse control training was first on the agenda. It took a while for Sam to settle down, but once he did they both did really well learning Wait, Stay, and Leave It!
Shi Shi's big issues are jumping and lack of impulse control, so we started her training with Wait, Stay, and Leave It. She is such a smart dog and is so eager to please that tonight's training was a breeze.
Rigby's basic obedience program ended with Loose Leash Walking. Rigby is highly distracted outside and he pulls to get everywhere. But by teaching him that pulling no longer gets him to where he wants to go we were able to see improvement within the hour. Consistent practice will continue to yield good results.
Both Duke & Jax have their own, separate guarding issues. Duke's is with toys, and is not as serious, so we taught him how to Drop It in exchange for a treat. Jax, on the other hand, guards his food in an aggressive way, so we continued the counter-conditioning protocol we began last week. He is making progress!
Like many dogs, Tucker gets excited when people come to the door, so today we taught him to Go To Spot, and Stay. Go To Spot went pretty smoothly, but Stay took a little more work. But with small steps we were able to make big progress.
"We must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God's image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures. The Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism."
- Pope Francis
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI