Thursday, April 26, 2012
Dog Obediance Thelma & Louise update
I do have to say that these hound dogs are simply quite intelligent. They are so eager to please.
Their eagerness is what makes them easier to train.
We are working on a couple of things simultaneously as they fit so well together.
The 'come' command. I began to use a different command for each dog, but quickly learned that 'come' will work just fine. [I don't want to confuse my husband who will work with the dogs eventually.]
The 'sit' command; it is useful for them to do this each and every time they come to me.
And the 'pay attention' to my whereabouts...it is not a command, but it is crucial to everything an obedient dog must learn.
We are working on the long line. Louise has now figured out that a long line does not mean run like heck to the end of it. She has figured out that she can keep within 15 feet of me and watch me out of the corner of her eye.
When I change directions, she comes at a lope. When I stand still and quietly say 'come', she comes on a run and sits close to me.
She has figured out that the sit will get her a nice long hand stroke down her back each and every time she does it. Since she craves that, she is becoming an expert at sitting after I call her...and holding still.
This is pretty important for a dog that already weighs about 40 pounds. Louise is also learning that it is not a good idea to try and get under my feet or stop in front of me while I am walking.
I knee right into her.
This may sound cruel, but it saves me from injury from tripping over her. Twice I kneed her in the past few sessions. She now avoids getting under foot.
She has learned that her job is to watch ME and not for me to watch HER.
Thelma walks on one side of me or the other. She keeps within 8-10 feet and reacts quickly when I turn left or right. These are the precursor steps to learning how to heel on leash.
She has a habit of trying to go between my legs when I stop or she is unsure. She doesn't want to sit and we worked more on that today with the long quiet stroking while she remained at sit.
Her 'come' is very good too. Another month of doing it on line and the both of them will be ready for off line 'comes' in a field.
Today's work was done with distractions and both dogs did very well.
The workout for each dog was short, about 15 minutes.
So the work for today was for the girls to keep an eye on me, not to tighten the rope, 'come', and sit.