Sunday, March 27, 2011

Do's instead of Don'ts.

Its been over a week since I last posted, and boy what it week it has been. Rob is helping me renew my commitment to my personal dogs training as well as his. I'll admit that I've been slacking with Bubbles and Texas, after all they are "just pets". Right?

Texas, covered in cobwebs from an excursion who-knows-where

Over the last 4 years and 10 months I have been involved with the service dog/dog training I have un-wittingly placed my personal companions training as less important than the training of my service dog pups. While yes the SD pups will have a more "important" job, I still have to live with my pups, and their.............. quirks.


So this weeks, as I was making my rounds through training blogs such like, I came across a webinar offered by Susan Garrett, helping you towards creating your dogs brilliant recall. Unfortunately to get the ENTIRE series it's about $300...which if I had the money to blow I would in a heart beat, but the first three videos are definitely eye opening and thought provoking. GO HERE TO SEE THEM.

One of the things that was brought up was, its harder to teach a dog not to do something, than it is to DO something. I have to lower my head in shame as I realize that I've been doing a lot of "don'ts" with Bubbles and Texas. School has played a part, as well as having a service dog that *does* need training, however I don't think that justifies my lack of communication towards my other pups.

Don't Dash out the door as soon as I open it.
Don't bark at random things outside the house.
Don't react to my roommate coming home.
Don't react to random people who show up.
Don't dive into your food bowl Until I tell you..
Don't whine at the gate when I'm just on the other side...
Don't dig in the garbage
Don't ignore me when I call you.

Ouch.I didn't realize how negative I was being with my dogs no wonder they ignore me for the most part. So this week, instead of constantly "getting onto" my dogs..I need can give them something can "do" verbalizing it. I think the following list was my intention all along, but sometimes you just "expect" the dog to "know" these things by know...when really they still need that CLEAR communication from me. Not an assumption.

Do sit/stay until I release you to go outside.
Do come and sit when I call you.
Do "go to your bed"
Do sit/stay when its time to eat.
Do "go to your bed"
Do "look" at mom and "come" and receive something *more* rewarding. (as if there is something more rewarding than garbage! Ha! - Texas)
Do (practice with your dogs and get them back to responding to their names) lol.

That, of course, is just off the top of my head, I'm sure I'll get more creative the more we work on this. Feel free to chime in with ideas if you have some! :) Though the barking will be challenging, as Texas figures if he barks more he'll earn a treat when I quiet him and he gets quiet. Still haven't figured out that one! :)

I am doing the same thing with Rob as well, instead of just "reacting" in frustration towards the mis-behaviors I am seeing out of my dogs, I can give them something to do that they just may be rewarded for doing.

Today was our second puppy meeting with Mr.Rob and my game plan was to 1.) focus and reward his good behavior ignoring the "bad" and 2.) keep his leash loose. That is all. And I'm happy to say we surpassed both of those. Our leash pulling was "iffy" but not a surprise as we were in the most distracting environment we have been in to date. I carried him a while as I wanted to encourage as little pulling as possible; even though he did want to play with the other dogs, the time we've spent working on him responding to his name paid off....but you can read more about that on his blog. :)

However I must sign off, At the moment my hands are full attempt to keep Texas and Bubbles from tearing the heating vent out of my floor. There is no "do's" or "don'ts" in this situation. Just a putting of them out and closing the doors.

Which they can push open. unfor.



Frankie Furter said...

It sounds like you are getting a good balance going now.

I have missed you.

3 doxies said...

Okay...which post did I just comment on. I thought you just posted one when I was reading dis one and nows it ain't in my dashboard nd I am really remarks on me bein' confused Texas;)