Walking on leash: Boogie makes progress!

May 15, 2009 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

DISCLAIMER: This blog post was written in 2009. We no longer do Obedience Training using “dominance”-based methods. We no longer use collar corrections. These methods made Boogie MORE TENSE, MORE TRIGGERED and more prone to aggressive behaviors. We switched over to reward-based methods in February 2010 and saw improvements. 

 

Posted Date: : May 15, 2009 12:01 AM

Here’s a video from today when Wes was walking Boogie. LOOK! No more pulling on the leash! And he sits when Wes stops. 🙂

It is SO true what people say about this dog training stuff  – with any tiny bit of “freedom” that we give Boogie; we lose a tiny bit of “obedience”. Consistency is key.

For example, this morning, I had Boogie on the bed with me (after he had spent another full night in his crate)

When I wanted him off the bed, he wouldn’t get off. I gave in, and let him remain on the bed while I showered and dressed etc. Then I called him off the bed again and still he refused. I had to give him a correction so that he would get off the bed. And then on our walk this morning it was as if all the rules that he had mastered in the past couple of days had gone out the window. He refused to sit when it was time to sit. I had to correct him something like 3 times – thank goodness no Rodan-esque yelping – before he sat. And prior to this morning, he was doing so well with the “breaking HEEL”/SIT action. It was only after 20 or so minutes of walking did he get back with the program…

Regardless of my own inconsistencies, Boogie is doing REALLY WELL.

Now he willingly goes into his crate whenever we lead him towards it. We no longer have to pick him up and put him in there. I think he digs his crate.

Likewise with “his place” (cushion or doggy bed). When I lead him to it,  he willingly lies down and chews on a toy or goes to sleep.

– He knows “Stay”. Now he sits and waits outside the kitchen door while I prepare his food. He stays there even after I put down the bowl and waits for me to call him to it. (WOW!!)

– Now he knows that it is not OK to jump up onto the couch without being invited. He still does it though. And when we send him off the couch, boy oh boy, does he sit there and BEG and look so CUTE it’s hard to turn away. “pleeeeease let me come up on the couch… pleeeeaaase…”

Yeah, sometimes he doesn’t respond. He does what he wants to do, but a “Uh-uh!” or sharp “Hey” will stop him in his tracks.

Re: “Down” command, we have a teeny bit of success! Last night I said DOWN when Boogie was seated, and slowly pulled his two front legs towards me. The trick is to pull them forward and down, not to one side. The second time I gave the DOWN command, Boogie responded on his own! And again today. However… this command only works when he is sitting on carpet or on his cushion and only if I have a treat in my hand. No soft surface and no treat – Nope. He refuses to lie down.

Training is hard because it means breaking all the habits that I am used to. It means having to emotionally let go of the Boogie that I know, so that he can become a different calmer, obedient, more ‘fulfilled’ dog.

Is Boogie more fulfilled now? I don’t know. The fact that my dog is no longer running to the door to greet me, or snuggling onto my lap whenever he wants to, or bringing me his ball, or leaning against me under the covers or following me around my apartment from room to room …. I think I am experiencing more separation anxiety than he is…

P.S. He still lunges and growls at big dogs on the street.

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Entry filed under: Social stuff, Training.

What I learned today Boogie goes DOWN! (sort of)

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