Home from the vet.

March 31, 2011 at 11:06 pm 6 comments

At Clicker Expo earlier this year, I remember Kathy Sdao saying that if there is a behavior that we like in our dog, that we want to see more of, we “capture” it with the clicker, and reinforce it. She told the story of a client (?) who clicked and treated whenever her dog did a play bow and sure enough, the dog was offering more play bows and the client was very excited and impressed. Before long, Kathy Sdao heard from this client again, this time in a state of hysteria: “Help. How do I make him stop?” The dog had turned into a play bowing monster.

* I will soon be updating this illustration with more poses & expressions!

I was reminded of this story when I took Boogie out for a walk this morning. When we got out onto the sidewalk, Boogie stopped and turned his head away from me. I called him, he looked at me and turned his head away again. He walked a few steps forward, then stopped and looked away again. We did not get very far and I was worried that he wasn’t feeling well because not only did he not seem enthusiastic about going for a walk, there were also lip licks and eye blinks. (Hello, Calming Signals!)

So we turned around and I led Boogie back towards the apartment, but he stopped again, didn’t want to move forward… more head turns, eye blinks and lip licks. OK, this little dog does NOT want to go home. What’s going on?

So I changed direction again.. OMG, Mom got it right. Suddenly Boogie sprang to life and trotted forward as though nothing was the matter. So THIS was the direction he wanted to go in… and off we went (he was walking politely on loose-leash too). When we got onto Rodney Drive, Boogie stopped at the tree where he saw that squirrel a few days ago.

The squirrel wasn’t there but Boogie had to check.

My dog has mastered his polite calming signals, but I am clearly not his Cookie….

This photo was taken at the vet today. Boogie did not want to be on that table.

So, Dr. R prescribed some Clindamycin antibiotics for his skin infection. Boogie also had a nail trim, his anal gland expressed,  parvo & rabies shot updates, and a new batch of Comfortis.

In other news, I am still doing Susan Garrett’s Recallers online course (see previous blog post & comments). It’s hard.  I am probably  going to be slower than everyone else while I recondition myself not to “click” or “verbally mark” everything.

Entry filed under: Training, Vet visit.

Becoming the Cookie, Becoming the Moose, and Boogie’s prey drive… Cookie in the crate.

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chunyo's Corner  |  April 1, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Thanks for sharing your training tips. Bostons can be too smart for their own good sometimes 🙂 But you gotta love them!

    • 2. lili  |  April 1, 2011 at 1:26 am

      How could we not love em? 🙂

  • 3. barrielynn  |  April 1, 2011 at 1:18 am

    How did the RZ exercises go today? I’ll tell you a secret, I didn’t even get around to doing them with any of my 3 today 😦 BUT, Brit’s new crate for Crate Games (which I have never done with her) did arrive this morning 🙂

    • 4. lili  |  April 1, 2011 at 1:25 am

      Hi Barrie,
      thanks for sharing all those tips! I’m still on the the Collar Grab game… taking it very very slowly (more like a collar “touch & hold” than a “grab”) and it’s going well. I’ve been doing it anywhere and anytime. Going to start the Call Once game tomorrow! Need to get some hot dogs first 🙂

  • 5. Carly  |  April 13, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Hey! I just ran across your blog and about died – Boogie is the name of my next dog! Ha! I love, love, love it! I’m a huge University of Kentucky basketball fan and one of our players last year had the nickname Boogie. Ever since then I’ve dreamed of my future dog Boogie. Haha, I expect him to be a Golden Doodle, but you’re little guy is super, super cute!

  • 6. bitterzuur  |  November 8, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Hard to keep the mouth shut isn’t it? The brain vaguely knows you are supposed to be doing classical conditioning, but the mouth keeps marking behaviour.


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