Monday, September 7, 2015

Back To School isn't just for Kids! Postive Pet Training!


Hey everyone! It's that time of year again! Summer is coming to a close and Fall is here. Well at least it is in Oregon! Everyone is getting ready to send their kids back to school and Fall Dog Classes are starting up, too! Now might be the perfect time to enroll your pup in a new (positive reinforcement-based) training class, if you haven't already! Is your dog bored with basic pet manners? Maybe it's time to try an Agility or Rally Obedience class! There are so many fun dog sports out there! I've personally been dying to try the girls at Barn Hunting!

Our pups are currently being "home schooled" and school is in session year round. We do have some things that we need to brush up on, though!

Right now my biggest focus has been on loose leash walking. It seems like that one is always a struggle. I'm trying to be very consistent with the rules and not allowing them to be reinforced for pulling. If they pull I stop and they are not allowed to go forward. They must come back to my side and put slack in the leash before we continue walking. I am also rewarding randomly any time there is slack in the leash and they are walking beside me.


Phoenix is learning a new trick! I'm teaching her how to "cover" her face. She's starting to actually get it! I will do a video of it once it's better so everyone can see!

Zoe showing off "cover"!

We are working on stay. I've been doing a lot of recall photos with my girls and we have not practiced stay enough. I've noticed that they are breaking their stays too much! It's totally my fault because instead of walking back to them and reinforcing them in position I've been releasing them and rewarding them when they get to me. So it's time to fix that. Putting the dog up on something when you first start practicing a stay can make it a bit easier for the dog.

Phoenix says it's so much easier to stay when you have to stand on something!

We are also working on recalls. Being able to recall your dog is so important and we are constantly practicing it! Practicing recalls in different locations is important so that your dog generalizes the cue. Below is a video of the girls practicing their recalls at the beach!


The very last thing we are working on right now is behavior modification. Since moving to this apartment, I've had a problem with both of my dogs that I've never dealt with before. Barking! Our last apartment we were situated on the ground floor on an end and we only had one neighbor to deal with. It was not noisy at all there and the dogs never reacted to anything. Our new apartment is on the second floor, facing the street and there's three stories. We have 12 units in our building and we are situated in the middle. Everyone has dogs and my dogs have suddenly started barking whenever they hear other dogs pass our place. Jingling tags is a huge trigger for them. So I'm working on counter conditioning them to the noises and redirecting them when they bark. We recently received a remote control treat machine for review and I've only had it a few days and it's already greatly improved my behavior mod training life! That review and the videos of them using the machine will be up soon!

Are your pups going back to school this Fall? What are your Fall training goals? Comment below!

Thanks to Cascadian Nomads, Rubicon Days and Tenacious Little Terrier for hosting the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop! Be sure to click on the links to see what everyone else is doing this month!


17 comments:

  1. Great ideas! We'll have to work on those!

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  2. Awww, so adorable. I linked this post to Awww Mondays. Great advice on training too.

    Have a woof woof Awww Monday and Labor Day too. My best to your hard working mom. ☺

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  3. what a good dog! Happy Labor Day!

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  4. DOGGY school rules! Normal school drools. BOL.

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  5. We're constantly working on recall too. Zoe looks cute doing "cover." I call it "are you ashamed."

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  6. Fun goals! LLW was a pita with Nola, until I figured out that her biggest reward for not pulling was getting to pull! Even now I'll have her heel or just walk normally, and then let her "alright, go ahead!" and pull for a bit. She loves it.

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  7. We're doing home schooling here too! I can't wait to hear how you're coping with barking. I have had little success in this regard. My goal is to have my dogs bark briefly when someone is approaching our house (we live in a secluded place) and then to stop when I ask them to. I'm looking forward to your post about this so we can learn from your expertise!

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  8. No, no plans for them to go to school this fall, but they get some ongoing work at home (they've both completes a few basic obedience classes and each have their CGC credentials, though it's been a few years). They LOVE training classes, though. When I'm not taxi-driving my kids so much I'll get them into another structured class. It'll be good for all three of us. :)

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  9. Loose leash walking is my Everest! I've washed my hands of it. I'll take "not barking lunging and dislocating my should walking." After all, perhaps Kol just likes a brisker pace than my casual stroll. Maybe he wouldn't pull if I could just learn to keep up ;)

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  10. New tricks are always fun to learn! I have reeeeeeeeeeeally tried to teach loose leash walking with my huskies, but it is just not happening LOL!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  11. Good luck with everything...it looks like they are coming along well though!
    It took me a while to differentiate between "heel" and loose leash walking. Now that I've figured out, we have some work to do on that loose leash! I've always had trouble with that standing still if they pull thing. It's like a battle of wills...they just stand still too....LOL! Who do you think has more patience?
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  12. That would be a challenge, having dogs pass by the door all the time. Counter-conditioning the jingling tags is a good idea!

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  13. You guys are always working on something fun! My girls are home-schooled, too. I would love to do a class with Ruby but her reactivity doesn't allow for it. The trainer who taught Boca's basic obedience suggested we try freestyle - the lessons are one on one and she does it with her own reactive dog. Maybe we will look into it in the future. I'll be happy if I can teach Boca a few more tricks - she is so much harder than Ruby when it comes to training! I'm lucky she is almost perfect already.

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  14. Loose leash walking is really just the worst, isn't it? Nala's has gotten a lot better--but I've also learned that it's much, much easier for her if I pick up my own pace. Fortunately Zoe and Phoenix are smaller than Nala--you probably won't have to run as fast as I do to match their trotting pace. :D

    I bet your girls would love Barn Hunt, especially critter-happy Zoe! I think Nala would be really into a noseworky sport, too.

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  15. Zoe is adorable - we love the 'cover' shot especially.

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  16. Ah, jingling tags. And keys. I admit I am not very positive when there is a barking fest over jingling keys... I ask the boys "do you feel dumb?" :) But even settling a key barking fest is helpful to get them desensitized to jingling. We have been doing homeschooling for a while now and I am aiming to get back to some classes. I know Huxley misses agility classes. Doing the same thing over and over with me is boring!

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  17. Great goals! I work on stays with Atka a ton. Recently, I put Atka in a down-stay in Petco (during an adoption event!) and walked to a far corner of the store where he couldn't see me. Of course, I did have a trainer sneak-watching him just in case! He was successful and I couldn't have been more proud. It's the little things that really get you excited to push forward!

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