Millie did great learning how to Come When Called. After she learned her recall games we
took her outside, a very distracting apartment community. Millie loves meeting her neighbors,
because they make a fuss over the cutie, but we were able to call her from them in the midst of being petted. That's pretty good!
Millie had a full day, learning Wait, Drop It, and Leave It. We practiced with food, socks, and paper towels and she did great with them all.
Ari loves playing with a toy, and after you throw it he happily brings it back and drops it at your feet. But when you try to pick it up he snatches it back. How do you fix this?
When a dog is doing an unwanted behavior the question to ask yourself is, what do I want him to do instead? The answer in this case was for Ari to simply wait for us to pick up the toy.
We actually taught him Wait a few weeks ago, and it means "be patient and something will happen for you" - like his food being put down, a door being opened, or a toy being picked up and thrown again. And sure enough, we threw a toy, Ari brought it back and dropped it, we asked him to wait, he let us pick it up, and we threw it again! No more racing for the toy. No more tugging. Play is now fun for everyone!
We have been working on Mako's impulse control on walks for several weeks, but we've
been struggling to find a reinforcer that he finds valuable enough to work for when outside. Today we struck gold - with whipped cream! If you are having trouble finding something your dog wants to work for, get creative with your thinking!
Roxie is very over-stimulated once she steps outside, which makes walking without pulling
nearly impossible. We began our training by teaching her how to Heel, with the goal being
she pays more attention to us. However, the results were mixed. We then moved on to
clicking and treating her for either looking at us or walking with slack in the leash but, while
there was some improvement, we just weren't getting the focus on us that we needed. Why
not? We weren't as interesting as the squirrels, birds, and people. We then adjusted our plan
and broke out the spray cheese and almost instantly the playing field was not only leveled, but maybe even tipped in our favor. Roxie began walking right by us, watching us instead of scanning the environment. By using a reinforcer she was actually willing to work for made all the difference.
Either he has never been taught, or he has had negative experiences when he did, but Fred
doesn't Come When Called. So tonight we started from scratch by associating the word "Come" with really good stuff, playing fun recall games, and letting him go back and sniff or play so he learned the fun didn't end when he came to us. All this resulted in him coming to us when
he was in the middle of barking at someone coming down the driveway! A great start.
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI