Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Small Dog Training

I've been researching and looking for puppy socialization classes and small dog training classes. As I said before, I thought this would be good for Charlie.

Small dogs present with a bigger challenge than large dogs to train. I did okay with Morris but I think I could have done a better job.
Charlie may be smaller than Morris.

Most classes that are what I am looking for are one hour away from home. That means a fairly long drive. It appears they may be a puppy class held at a local vet's office but I haven't seen any updates on classes since 2014. Hmmm, that does not look promising either.

So I took Charlie on his first solo hike yesterday. Since he is so small, I figured the woods would present a huge problem for him. But I also figured if he felt lost he'd respond by coming to me faster than he did in the yard.

I thought it best to see if he would learn to come to my whistle and when I call his name.

Charlie's aptitude was rather surprising.


You can see that I had to hold the camera on the ground to catch a shot of him. By my boot imprint you can see just how small he really is.

I was reading that to train a small dog like Charlie, a person must get down on their level. Uh-oh! Well, I can do that. I want Charlie to always come when called, always. I want to teach him also not to jump on people. Even though he is tiny and cute, jumping on people is just poor manners.

So I let Charlie become distracted by something and then ran ahead on the trail and whistled. He saw that I'd moved away and came on the run.


However since he is part mini dachshund, he does have a nose. When something too interesting distracted him, he couldn't help himself.


Look at those raccoon tracks in comparison to Charlie's size! He was fascinated by the smells and followed the tracks.

Soon the cold wind and the icy snow was making him shiver. Well, I think that is why he was trembling.
So I decided to see if he'd travel in my sling camera bag. I'd stuck a towel in the bottom of it and had taken out the camera holder.

Apparently this was satisfactory to Charlie as long as he could see out and chew a bit on the edge of the bag.

After about 10 minutes in the bag he was ready to rock and roll again in the woods.


I figured he'd wimp out over large logs. However I was very wrong. He scrambled up onto the log and walked it like a tight rope until he decided to leap off.

His balance and dexterity are amazing for such a small creature.

When we got to the gravel road, I put him on a leash. He doesn't like being constrained. I walked with him on a loose lead and when he decided to fight it, I stopped and waited until he figured it out.
It took a lot more time, but in the end I think it will be worth it.

We also did a 'come when called' exercise on the road. I let him loose and then ran like the devil while whistling loud.
Charlie is fast! He came on the run, even while temporarily distracted by an mystical oak leaf that fluttered before him.

I kneeled on the road and praised him and pet him.

I picked him up to walk the rest of the way home with him. I figured he'd had enough of the outdoors.
No, Charlie struggled and wanted down.
He walked from the mailbox to the lower end of the driveway on his leash.

I try to keep things short for him as puppies don't have a huge attention span. But the walk in the woods was excellent exercise and training at the same time.

I see an independence streak in him which is fine. He is a bit mischievous also. But he has caught on to potty training rather quickly. Yesterday he only had one mishap. That really was my fault for not paying attention.

Adventures with Charlie. This coming year should prove to be interesting!
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