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Big Dog School

1750 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  seazr
Dakota started intermediate last night. From being the biggest in puppy school, last night he was almost the smallest. Try to imagine this energy--there are three labs, a golden, a PIO hairless, and the smallest was a corgi mix that HATES any dog bigger than her (she had a bad night)! :lol: Although Dakoata was quivering like jello with excitment, he did great! It was largely a review to see where each dog was. He did wonderfully on the "leave it". The golden in front of him kept eating the treats as soon as the instructor threw them. When the treats were thrown in front of Dakota, I gave him the "leave it" and he turned and made eye contact with me--exactly as he is supposed to. The one new command we are learning is "wait". Dakota, as he often is, was the demo dog. He did so well that the instructor commented that we must have already been teaching him this command. We haven't; he's just quick to learn. I always give the commands and do the training, but last night my husband insisted on doing the loose leash walk--without using the gentle leader, because he had walked down the block earlier and Dakota did fine. Well predictably, Dakota stared out fine but would up dragging my husband back to the training area to be with the other dogs. Sheesh! :roll: All in all, we're proud of our smart little guy. Little? Six and one half months, 53 1/2 pounds! :wink:
Diane (and Dakota)
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Congratulations on the training with Dakota. I wish I could say Sadie was doing even half so well. She has really become a problem "child" with the come command lately. She has figured out come means the end of the fun - either into the car or into the house. So she plays keep away and it is really hard to catch her. Not sure what to do - we have been giving her lots of praise when does come - and treats if we have any on us - but she has figured out that the freedom is more fun than the treats.
How did you do it with Dakota?
"Come" isn't Dakota's strongest point. He's great with "come" in class but in the backyard it's still hit and miss. Here's how I'm trying to instill it. I try to make it a fun thing to do and not always the end of playtime. I'll call him to me and sometimes his reward will be a treat and sometimes it will be throwing a ball or some other game that he loves. If you use a treat every time, at least in Dakota's case, he gets to the point that he only wants to work for food. It works pretty well, but he is also a teenager and does test me to vie for higher pack position. Most important is be consistant--or in this case consistantly inconsistant! :wink: His PetsMart trainer, who I really like, also says only to give a command once (you can use other happy, encouraging words when appropriate.) If they don't respond to the command use a negative word indicator (they taught us Eh! Eh!) and then give the command again. The frustrating part is if we are in training and I can't get Dakota to follow a command, the instructor will take the leash, give the command and Dakota follows through for him every time! :roll: I guess it's about training us as much as it's about training our dogs! Hang in there; Sadie will get it! :D
Diane (and Dakota)
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Boy, I know what you mean about "keep away." Grace is terrible with this and once the game begins there's no catching her. I've had to learn to outsmart her when she runs away by grabbing a ball and playing with it by myself or shaking the car keys (then she'll come running). But teaching "come" is really hard. I'm redoubling my training efforts with her and have found a treat or two that is irresistible, but so far, if she doesn't see the treat in your hand she won't come unless she feels like it. George is totally different. He'll come if you just start to say his name!
Congratulations Diane and Dakota! You must be very proud!

I want to reassure you all, I have struggled with training the puppies too...but now that my dogs are adult (Chase is over a year and Bayley and Lexie are 2 years now) they do everything right. I don't even know how they learned it! They just did.

When I call them, they come to matter what they are doing. They have been really wild at the door, but lately I've been taking their collars, holding them and talking softly telling them to "settle" and they do! Now, when I say "settle" they stop barking and is so cool...but I don't give treats, I don't give a ton of praise...they just do it because they know me so well that they know when they make me happy or not. Smart dogs! Very smart!!
Hi Jac
That is very encouraging and I hope Sadie will do the same - but, at the same time, a part of me wonders if it will get worse if we don't get it under control now. I need her to come every time I say the word, not just when she feels like it. I am reluctant to let her outside without a leash anymore (we are in a wooded area with few neighbours). I am not worried about her running off because she sticks really close to us, but when we call her to come and she thinks she should have more time to play, she starts this keep away game where she runs up to us, waits for us to move towards her, then backs off and runs around us in circles when we try to catch her. She doesn't need a voice for us to hear - "Hey, let's keep playing - why stop the fun now" Cute the first time - annoying when you are in a hurry and need her to come!
Dakota was in a wacko mood last night and was doing the same thing. I started to get angry with him but then thought better of it. I turned my back on him and walked into the house leaving the slider open. Within 10 seconds, he was in the house too. Of course, Dakota is in a fenced yard, not in the open. I don't know if you have a training opportunity near you, but I know pet training facilities offer private lessons to address specific problems. I think you can get a one hour private lesson at PetsMart for $69.00--it might be worth looking into. I may consider this down the road for specific issues.
Diane (and Dakota)
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