Posts Tagged ‘dog training’
Lucie’s lessons came to an end this past Saturday. Kind of. I decided to continue her training lessons because we both enjoy it so much and she is doing so well. I worked out a payment plan with my trainer and it is something I can afford. But mostly, it is good for Lucie and me. She is so smart and picks up things so fast.
Last week she worked on sitting on the tubs and best of all sitting and staying. I must admit she and I have been working on this quite a bit at home. I put her in down stay and walked away. Sometimes out of sight. So she preformed well at school and earned many a treat from her trainers.
So this week I am training her to sit on command during our walks. The reason for this is if a dangerous situation arises such as another dog appears or whatever the case may be, she will know that I am going to handle it and I am in control. So far, so good. She is supposed to stop amd sit at my side but at this point she only stops when I stand in front of her. She does stop and sit and sometimes lays down. We will get there.
She is getting so much better riding in the car too. Lucie has now claimed the back seat as her own instead of lying across the front seat and gear shift. I have a Volkswagen and it is hard to shift with a 63 pound dog lying across the shifter.
Buddy, my 10-year-old Chihuahua is another story. He has taken to howling constantly, so much so that he is horse must of the time. He freaks when I leave the room and pees on things when I am not there. Last week when I took Lucie for a walk he peed on her bed and my flip-flops. Yea, passive aggressive or what?
So, that is another challenge. Nothing new.
To be continued…
Tags: Buddy, dog training, Lucie
Yes, I do believe that Lucie my big, red dog and Buddy have the easy tasks in school. They only work about 10 minutes to learn new behaviors. Me on the other hand, I have to spend time thinking about what I need to do and when. It is work but I do not think it is as bad as some people led me to believe. I think I know why.
Let me start by saying I made an observation the first day of training. When dogs pull or get distracted on a walk or when just out and about you have to get them to refocus on YOU. Important because that is how you get them to obey. So the first day I learned that when walking and the dog pulls you walk backward pulling the leash until the dogs focuses on you. You know this is happening when they look at you. You can also walk them in a circle to calm them down and do something that is really fun although the people in the neighborhood might think you are nuts.
It is called “Dancing with Dogs.” Basically you dart around back and forth and round and round and the dog follows you because he or she as the case may be does not know what you will do next. So simply put, they have to focus on you. So back to the jist of my story, I saw a lady at training and her dog was pulling and not following her lead. The trainer yelled for her to back up (yea they do yell when needed) and the lady said, “It is not working!” Right then the trainer ran over and grabbed the leash and said, “Oh yes it does!” Let’s just say IT DID. So from that day on I knew it was up to me and I had to be in control and not give up even if the dog does not do it right the first time. Start over until they get it right.
This was an important lesson for me not only in dog training but in my life. I realized later that if I can train a dog. A reactive, crazy redhead dog I can train myself to take control. I did it with my nut job neighbor a few weeks ago. So working with my dogs this past three weeks we have accomplished Lucie learning to walk without pulling, walk without fear through relaxation techniques, sit, down, and stay. She knows “leave it” where I throw down a treat and she is not allowed to get it. This is great on walks when she wants to pick up trash or even chase a cat. Trust me this has happened several times. It also works when she wants to get and chew Buddy’s stuffed Booda toy. Sometimes she will sneak it out of his bed but drops it as soon as she knows I am aware she has it. She was the demo dog for “leave it” at our last lesson. Oh, so proud of my little pupil!
I learned how to recognize aggressive behavior through looking at her ears, tail and stance. The relaxation technique I use involves using the palm of my hand and rubbing in a half circular fashion starting at the back of her neck and working my way down to her tail. In under a minute her head will go down, then her tail, then she will sit and finally she will drop to the floor. Amazing.
I only train her with treats part of the time. I do not want her to only react for treats. So far this is working. I know because I introduced a new lesson this week. It is called “Taking Control of the Door.” I always walk out of the door before her. I then tell her to sit and stay. I started slowly by standing by the door. Then I started walking around the yard. Next I went where she could not see me. Each time I was gone longer and longer. She did not get up. She came outside when I invited her and the same with going inside. So imagine my surprise when I forgot to test her and I went in the house and forgot she was out there. I went to the restroom came out and she was sitting on the porch waiting to be invited in! I told her to come in and let out the biggest YES ever. She got major treats for that and she did it more than once.
Most importantly this would not have been possible a few weeks ago.
So, I am happy about all of this and glad I get to keep my dogs and learn new things. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. So to speak.
Tags: Buddy, dog training, Lucie
Well, not really but he probably should have been the one with the dunce cap in the corner. Things were going really well. Lucie, my big red dog and I were learning about “yes” and “no”, exercise alternatives and the big “leave it.”
Buddy was in his travel crate and right in the middle of class he started howling. You see Buddy can not just bark when he wants something he has to HOWL. It does not matter if it is the middle of the day, night, or traveling in the car. Buddy HOWLS. Loudly. Annoying HOWLS.
Anyway, one of the trainers took him and taught him to do circles. Before that I walked him around the yard but he was a total distraction to the other dogs there. Most of them wanted to eat him I am sure. All the other dogs were big. We tried putting him back in the crate, but no. More howling. Lucie pretty much lost her focus after this and would not participate in the tug lesson. She later did at home.
So, we came to the conclusion that Buddy will not be attending any more lessons. He will now be home schooled. This does not surprise me. I have lived with the little bad-mannered dude for ten years.
I am still happy with the progress that my dogs and I have achieved. There has been no fighting or bad karma since we started the training. I do not have to stand over them in the yard or worry about them walking past one another. Lucie and I have pleasant non-pulling walks. I am able to calm her and refocus her when she gets excited and I am looking forward to more progress. Maybe even putting a end to the howling. Yea, we will see.
If you live in desert southwest (Tucson, Phoenix area) and your dog or dogs are out of control there is help. Go to Seize the Leash and talk to Jaime and Deena. They can and will help you! They along with their pack will help you solve your dog’s behavior problems. Trust me it works. Even if you do not live nearby the Seize the Leash site has a plethora of information that will help.
Tags: dog training, Seize the Leash
Sort of short post but if you want you can check out Buddy jumping a pole. He took a bit of a spill but he is a trooper. Next week I will take my camera and get some more photos of these two and me of course.
Oh, please excuse my butt at the end. I did not know I was being filmed or trust me I would not have bent over. Good thing I started working out two months ago or that could have been really scary.
Tags: Buddy, dog training, video
*Update* If you go here you can see Lucie in action.
I would have never believed that I could spend one training session with my dogs and have them turn around so much. On Saturday me, Lucie my big, red dog and Buddy went for our first training class. I thought it would be a nightmare because of the Vet visit from hell. But, it really was a great day and all three of us had a great time.
When we got there Lucie jumped out of the car and I grabbed Buddy in his crate and we walked right into the trainer’s backyard. There was probably four other dogs there and everyone was really nice. Especially the trainers.
In the backyard was a dog obstacle course. There was a pathway, a low ladder lying on the ground and a higher ladder. There was three stars for the dogs to step over plastic sticks while walking in a circle. After that was poles to leap over and a hoop to jump through. There was a teeter toter, tunnels and ramps to climb.
First I took Lucie on the pathway and she did great. Next she went on the low ladder. Again not too bad. After that we went on the high ladder and she did not completely stay on but she did pretty well. Next was the stars and then the leaping poles. I could tell she really had fun doing that. She leapt the small pole and the high pole. Everyone was really pleased with her progress. We tried the tunnel but that was a no go. We will work on that one in the future.
Next up was Buddy. I has serious doubts that he would do anything as up until now he would not even walk on a leash. He not only walked he did the pathway with ease. He did the low ladder and he jumped over the pole. Not once, not twice by at least four or five times. He even considered the tunnel, went in a little and then came back out. Lucie barely put her face in.
I also learned relaxation techniques to use on them. I learned a noise to make that gets Lucie’s attention. I learn how to poke her as another way of getting her attention. I know now what caused the fight and injuries. Lucie my big, red happy-go-lucky dog has a sniffing problem. In other words she sniffs too much and it is aggrevating to Buddy. Buddy then growls and she grabs him. The reason Buddy got hurt is because I pulled them apart. I learned how to get then apart by walking up her back with my hands and grabbing her scruff and picking her up with it.
So after one hour my dogs changed and we then went home a happier family. I continued with my new techniques all the rest of the weekend and when I got up and took Lucie on her walk on Sunday I was so surprised that she hardly pulled and when she did I backed up and pulled on the leash and she would refocus on me. When we were coming upon housed with dogs I would just tell her, “Oh, look at that it is a dog!” I also used the relaxtion techniques and she barely whimpered. Before she would try and jump on me and pull even worse.
So, I am looking forward to going back and learning more. I came so close to giving Lucie up. The great part about this is the lessons are free. Yea that’s right. Free. The shelter pays because too many people were returning animals because of behaviour trouble. That is what would have happened to me.
So, keep you all posted and next week I should gets some photos and maybe video.
Tags: Buddy, dog training, Lucie