Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Training Updates! Impulse Control & Nosework

Happy Training Tuesday everyone!

Phoenix has been going to Impulse Control classes on Fridays and if you've been reading my updates you will know that she's been struggling in the classes. She is a lot more afraid of other dogs than I originally thought. It really makes me sad because she's her true happy self, she plays and takes food and has a great time up until the first dog arrives. After the first dog gets there, she starts acting fearful and she's been getting stressed. 

This past Friday, I got to work early per my usual routine and I decided to try something different. We played for the first 15 or so minutes and then after that I asked for relaxation. I've been working for a very long time with both of my dogs to relax on the mat and that's what we did. I had her lay on her side and gave her a massage and some nice calm petting. She almost fell asleep but our instructor arrived and that was that. I have no idea if it helped or not but she did so much better. The dog that ran up to her two weeks ago was also absent and I honestly think that was a relief for both of us.

Phoenix was able to participate in all of the lessons and we didn't really use any barriers. In the photo above, she's actually out in the middle of the room with the other dogs close by. She settled on her mat as other dogs walked past her and she also was able to walk past other dogs and around the room. She did really well and she was a lot more relaxed than any of her previous Impulse Control classes. She has 2 more weeks of this class and I'm really hoping the next sessions go as well as this one did. 

Zoe is loving her nosework classes, probably a little too much. :D The only solo photo of Zoe is on the skateboard! Sorry about that! This was our second nosework class. I was not able to get any photos of her searching because I was too embarrassed to ask someone to do it for me and right now she's kind of a destructo-dog so taking the photos myself is an impossible task. Zoe has played way too many shaping games with boxes so when she gets to the box with the scent she offers all sorts of random behaviors. Most of them are hilarious but not exactly needed for an alert. Right now she's decided that flipping the boxes is what I want. She puts her nose towards the bottom of the box and flips them. At least she ignores the other boxes that don't have the scent so that's good. 

I was given advice by our trainer and several other people to try and get the treats into her before she can start offering crazy behavior with the scented box and I've been trying my best to do that. She definitely sticks to her alert but it's "be crazy time" with the scented box and I'm hoping I can get rid of all of that behavior soon. She's having so much fun in class and I'm really excited we found something that she likes to do! Phoenix is also learning the nosework lessons at home and both dogs are really loving it! We had a pretty good week this week and zero reactivity! Woohoo! 

Have you taught anything new to your dog lately?


  1. Hailey was embarrassing in a scent class. She would bark at the other dogs for being too slow! We have been working on some leash manners and nosey work at home.

  2. Playing with boxes and smashing them is an issue with a lot of dogs. Getting the reward in fast is helpful, but sometimes it just takes time and practice for dogs to finally stop doing the destruction. There was a younger, newer to nose work dog last night in Bailie's class who smashed all the boxes.

  3. Working with her can help with this issues and I know you're doing everything you can. It takes time and lots of patience.

    Have a woof woof day you two. My best to your wonderful mom. ☺

  4. The last thing we learned was "High 5" which seems an awful lot like our "wave". BUTT mom pays us off so it's all good!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  5. What a great week!!!! I'm so glad that Phoenix had a better class and was more relaxed. That must have made you smile.

    Isn't nosework fun? I find that the only way to get any photos or video is if I set up tripod or use my nephew's Gopro on a chest harness. I'm so glad your girls are enjoying it. We sure do!!!

    Funny, this week in my Fenzi class, a lecture was on impulse control. The instructor took one look at my video of Shyla doing the exercises and said that my job was to do NO MORE impulse control - instead, I needed to make Shyla wild and crazy. I've been trying :)

  6. When we first started noseworks, Barley climbed into one of the boxes and everyone laughed so for a long time she decided that was what she was supposed to do every time. Eventually once she really learned that she was supposed to be sniffing, she stopped being silly--but it took some time for her to learn to focus instead of being a class clown :)

  7. Glad they're enjoying their classes! I want to try nosework with Nola, though I foresee the same "issue" Zoe is having. :p

  8. Good work, handler! Way to think and manage. :) Glad they're enjoying the nosework! Crazy box time sounds hilarious, even if not the intended goal!

  9. So glad to hear training is going well, and I laughed out loud when I pictured Zoe offering all sorts of behaviors with the box :) Laika does the same thing now since I've played that game too many times.

  10. OMD, Phoenix, I totally understand! You are doin' WAY betters than me, butts I am gettin' a little betters at not barkin' at other doggies on our walks, unless one surprises me, then all bets are off. *sigh*
    I am pullin' for you gurl! um, not leash pullin'...really Ma...☺
    Ruby ♥


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