Posts filed under ‘Social stuff’

What is a “normal” walk?

This is copied and pasted from a post I read on the  Functional Rewards yahoo group:

(I hope that the author doesn’t mind my reposting this)

“Reactive” dogs just can’t be compared to the mellow, ho hum, relaxed sort of dog that is comfortable, pleasant, and predictable on a leisurely walk.  If that is the type of walk that the owner of a “reactive” dog hopes to have, then the owner is setting his/herself and the dog up to fail.  Some reactive dogs may be able to achieve that at some point, or at least a semblance of it… but most will NOT achieve that “bomb proof” status.

I also believe that there is a type of “grief” that owners of challenging dogs go through in realizing their dog may not be able to meet the owners’ desires/needs or do the types of things that the owner hoped to do with their dog.  I believe this is an important part of loving our dogs for who they are (and HOW they are).

Now, that’s not to say that we shouldn’t continue to re-train/rehab our dogs – though admittedly, sometimes I do think we do overdo this and should consider just letting our dog be who they are and CHANGE OUR THINKING and activities to SUIT THE DOG.  But in using remedial training methods, mostly I just think our goals, expectations, and measures need to be comparing our dog to his/her own behavior… not against the typical dog.  Does that make sense?  I also think that our goals with reactive dogs are better focused on increasing management and safety, and REDUCING reactivity (the number of triggers, the intensity of the reaction, and recovery time) as opposed to shooting for a “normal” walk.  One of the lessons I always remind myself:  MAKE SURE MY EXPECTATIONS (of myself and my dog) ARE REASONABLE AND ACHIEVABLE.

This is an illustration that I did over a year ago.

I am still very mindful of all these ‘management rules’. However, I am pleased to say that I am better at READING Boogie, and at catching and responding to his signals, which means that we don’t always have to turn away/cross the street/avoid civilization.

These days, I rarely use the “Look At That” cue. (aka BAT – Stage One) I say “Boogie, WAIT” and we wait. Then I watch him to see what he is feeling. 80% of the time he wants to move forward, NOT move away. Using moving forward as the functional reward, I wait for Boogie to check in with me. He gets a YES! and Treat and we move forward.  This way, I know that the trigger is no longer (or never was) an issue.

The other 20% of the time, Boogie freezes. He becomes tense when he sees the trigger. This is a cue for me that we need to get away. I tap his butt, call him, and we do a 180, away from the scary/offending person or dog. Boogie pees on something. Relaxes.

Yep, NORMAL dog-walking for me.

I would be happier if Boogie could be relaxed with *slow-moving hunched-over old people with grocery bags who stare at him*….

May 31, 2011 at 6:44 pm 10 comments

National Dog Bite Prevention Week

May 15th – 22nd is my birthday week! It also happens to be National Dog Bite Prevention Week!

Just look at this soft sweet face of my pumpkin-headed boston terrier. Hard to believe that he is hypersensitive to so many things and “aggressive”.

I think about Dog Bite Prevention every single day. It’s a drag, but that’s how it is.  Boogie had a bite history even before I adopted him which is why his previous humans put him in a shelter.  I didn’t let this knowledge stop me from adopting him because at the time I had no idea what it meant to have a dog that bites. I naively thought at the time that “dog training” would be as easy as it looked on The Dog Whisperer Show, and I had no idea I had SO MUCH to learn about dogs…. and about all the stuff that people (unconsciously) do to upset dogs.

Sharing here some new drawings  and links.

1. a new illustration of dog body language showing stressed/distancing signals as well as happy/friendly ones.  My references: Turid Rugaas, Brenda Aloff and Boogie.   Links to download or purchase are HERE.

click on image to see larger sizes

2. Sneak peek at Grisha Stewart’s book on BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training) which will be out this summer and available from I am dying to share some of these illustrations but we’ll all have to wait for the book! 🙂

3. Madeline Gabriel’s blog: Dogs and Babies is awesome.

Read this blog entry: Ask The Dog (Part 1)

There is also a post on how little children become magnetized by dogs… and how to nip this behavior in the bud for everyone’s safety, and more importantly so that  kids learn respect for others’ personal space.  Here is the first in a series of articles .

Here are Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

For example, when your child crawls in the general direction of your dog, stop and point out the dog.  “Look, our dog is resting.  When our dog is lying down, we move around.  Let’s move around the dog.”  Show your child by example what you mean by “around.”  Aim for at least a three foot buffer to allow room if the child were to fall or the dog stretch out a leg or roll over.

Tell your child, “You did it!  You walked around our dog.  She feels safe when you walk around.  You are a good friend to dogs!”

4. Liam J. Perk Foundation: Why Dogs Bite and How They Warn Us

“This is a classic example of inter-species miscommunciation. The reporter was showing affection for the dog by leaning in and putting both hands on the dog’s neck. The dog did not interpret this as a friendly gesture, but rather saw it as a threat and acted accordingly.” (via )


Never punish your dog for growling. This may seem counter-intuitive and may even go against the advice of your dog trainer or dog trainers you have seen on TV. If your dog growls at your child he is sending a clear warning that he is very uncomfortable with the actions or proximity of the child. Be grateful that your dog chose to warn with a growl rather than going straight to a bite. If you punish the growling, you may inhibit the warning growl the next time and the dog may bite without growling first. Punishment or scolding will not make the dog feel better about the child, in fact he may even feel more anxious and be even more likely to bite in the future, especially if you are not there to control the situation. If your child cannot follow directions and/or has got into the habit of being rough with the dog, then the dog and child should be separated until the child has learned to treat the dog with kindness and respect.

5. Dr. Sophia Yin has an excellent article on Dog Bite Prevention

Dave Dickenson, interim director of the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation: ” One problem is that we’ve been told many times that you should greet a dog by letting him sniff you hand, but in reality, the best way to greet is to stay outside of the dog’s personal bubble and let the dog approach you at his own rate.”

I did the illustrations for this poster which can be downloaded here.

I also animated this video –

* Please share! 🙂

6. I like this tweet via @Fearfuldogs:

If a dog doesn’t hurt a person or other dog when it bites, chances are this was a choice not luck.

May 13, 2011 at 6:14 pm 11 comments

In search of a private fenced yard…

Here is a photo of Boogie and Franklin from Monday’s session with trainer Irith Bloom, taken in a peaceful Huntington Palisades neighborhood.

Franklin is a very sweet and calm English Shepherd so he was the perfect “big dog” for Boogie to hang out and do parallel walking with. The funny thing is that as soon as Boogie and Franklin saw each other from a fair distance, both dogs started whining. Boogie whimpered and looked at me and pulled towards Franklin. The dogs recognized each other from their BAT session five months ago! 🙂

Boogie walks beautifully on loose-leash in my neighborhood, but because this was a new and exciting location, he was pulling like crazy. The technique of “standing still like a tree” didn’t work because Boogie kept leaning and pulling forwards regardless. Irith gave me some tips on how to deal with this problem, eg – keep my leash hand at my bellybutton, do a 180 and boldy walk forward as if there is no dog behind me until Boogie catches up on loose-leash. I did this a few times on our walk and after a while Boogie became more mindful of my existence and kept the leash loose-ish between us.

Memo to self: In a new environment, go back to training the basics.

So… as I was saying to Irith, I find these “friendly doggie sessions” so good for Boogie. I notice that whenever we have a friendly and polite experience with another dog, the following day Boogie does not react to any dogs that he sees on the street. He looks at them, turns away and moves along like it’s no big deal. He is the same after every play date with Rosie. He is more relaxed around dogs in general…

It’s a shame that Huntington Palisades is so far away from me. And Rosie also lives really far away.

I would like to do more BAT set ups with unfamiliar dogs as decoys but we need to borrow a private fenced yard — with no other dogs present –preferably in the La Brea/Fairfax area of West Hollywood. The parks are too risky with loose dogs running around.

Fenced yard, anyone?

November 30, 2010 at 9:37 pm 3 comments

Boogie, Butch and the orange ball.

Butch has been fixated on the little orange cuz ball all night…  I could see Boogie eyeing the same ball so I took the ball away and put it on the table. I had a feeling that if one dog had the ball, there would be a fight so NOBODY GETS THE BALL.

Butch really really wanted that ball and he did not give up. He barked and whined and cried  and tried to clamber up onto the table. A few minutes later I turned around and there he was with the ball in his mouth. Yep, he had jumped up when my back was turned and stolen the ball.

So Butch had the ball. But Boogie was watching… as he does.

As soon as Butch accidentally dropped the ball, Boogie swooped in and stole it from him.

The relentless barking started again. Butch barked and barked and barked.

Then I saw Boogie throw the ball in front of Butch. No kidding. The ball landed right in front of where Butch was sitting and Boogie  got into a play bow. I called out “Good boy, Boogie!”

Butch looked at Boogie, looked at the ball, and was no longer interested in it. Instead he curled up right there and went to sleep!

Boogie was also no longer interested in the ball and he ran  into his crate.

A few minutes later, while Boogie was still in his crate, Butch  brought me the orange ball. “Play with me!”

Uh oh. Too late. Boogie has woken up…

October 19, 2010 at 6:49 am Leave a comment

Boogie, Butch and the Greenie Bone

I am dogsitting Christa’s boston terrier this week while she is out of town.

Butch has stayed over many times before and the two boys get along fine. Well, they don’t love each other (in fact, they both compete for my attention) but they don’t hate each other. They both sleep with me under the covers, and snuggle with me on the couch.

Things get tricky when it comes to STUFF.

1. Boogie does not like to share his toys.
If I offer a toy to Butch, Boogie swoops in like the wind and grabs it out of my hand so that Butch can’t have it. Boogie runs off with the toy and drops it on the ground as if to say:  No I don’t want to play with the toy. I just don’t want Butch to have it. It’s MY toy. When Boogie sees Butch gnawing on a toy, Boogie sits there and waits. The split-second that the toy drops out of Butch’s mouth onto the couch or floor (usually by accident),  Boogie runs off with it. Thankfully, Butch isn’t toy-possessive so he doesn’t care.


2. Butch becomes fixated on a toy if Boogie is playing with it.
I offer Butch many toys but he is only interested in the ONE toy that Boogie is chewing on,  so he stands there and barks and barks and barks.  He refuses any other toy. He wants the one that Boogie has. Boogie carries on with his toy and ignores Butch who continues to wake up the neighborhood until I take that toy away from Boogie and NOBODY has any toy. Sometimes I take that toy away from Boogie and give it to Butch… knowing that Boogie will eventually steal it back when Butch takes a water-drinking break.

Last night, things didn’t go so well. I made the mistake of offering a Greenie Bone to Butch.

At the time, I thought to myself: Boogie doesn’t like these bones anyway. He has NEVER chewed on a nylabone or greenie bone or any non-synthetic bone. I figured that he wouldn’t steal   this from Butch. Of course it didn’t occur to me that Boogie thinks of the greenie bone as a “toy”, not as the edible thing that it was to Butch. Butch may not be toy-possessive but he is a food resource guarder…

Butch was on the couch chomping away on the bone when Boogie approached him. As soon as Boogie got close, Butch stood up, hackles raised, and growled.

Before I could run over to the couch to grab that bone, a  fight had broken out between the two dogs. Five seconds later I managed to separate the dogs (then put Boogie in his crate) but in the process of prying apart two growly bitey heads, my finger got caught up in someone’s mouth and… OUCH. Bleeding, swollen left pinkie with two teeth marks in it.

After tending to my first ever dog bite injury, I released Boogie from his crate,  inspected both dogs  and saw some minor bleeding on both their chins. I applied hydrogen peroxide and neosporin. Butch licked my throbbing swollen finger (“Sorry”) and Boogie stayed away from Butch for most of the evening. He even refused to share the couch with both of us, taking off to the bedroom with a mopey look on his face. I eventually got both dogs back on the couch with me, snoring and pooting the night away.

Dogs were fine and “friends” again. Everything back to normal.

Today I bought TWO identical corn cob chew toys and both bosties happily minded their own business.

October 14, 2010 at 9:42 am 3 comments

Two events: ClickerExpo & The Boston Tea Party

*Update: I have registered for one day of Clicker Expo! I’ll be there on Friday! *


The more I learn about clicker training, the more I want to experience the magic of clicker training in action, in real life …not only on YouTube, and not only with Boogie (who is sort of at beginner level and can’t do complex behaviors)

I found this video of last year’s ClickerExpo on YouTube. Wow.

The next Clicker Expo is in January 2011, Newport Beach and I would love to go…  Unfortunately for this novice aficionado,  the $369  fee to attend the full 3 day event is ridiculously high. The  minimum price of $240 to attend one day is still expensive.

$240…I could buy 2 pairs of shoes or spend 1 night at The Madonna Inn.

Looking at the big picture, I think that attending the ClickerExpo would help me (and Boogie!) make better choices in life,  so please help me raise the funds by commissioning a portrait of your dog!😉

I think I will attend Day 1: Friday because there are more Foundation Level seminars…

I am interested in:

Aarrgh. Overlaps!!!

Who is going to ClickerExpo next year?


Another event that I am excited about is the Boston Tea Party.

This year’s event is hosted by two rescue groups –  Boston Buddies and Boston Brigade – and will take place in Temecula, wherever this is…

Boogie and I will be there!!! This is a free fundraiser meet-up event and there will be hundreds of boston terriers and their people. I can’t wait to meet Chopper the Biker Dog.

Here is the Facebook event page.

The Tea Party logo is a collaboration between the talented Brian Rubenacker and myself and you can buy it on t shirts!  $20 each

Last but not least, here are some cute photos of Boogie and Butch (Christa’s). Nothing like a good treat to get these little doggies to sit patiently and pout at camera.

September 3, 2010 at 5:30 am 11 comments

Back home with Boogie!

It’s good to be back home with Boogie, whom I missed terribly when I was away for 2 weeks in Malaysia. I met other dogs in Malaysia and thought of Boogie. I watched
How To Train Your Dragon on the plane and thought of Boogie. Speaking of which, there is a new DVD training series from Grisha Stewart – Organic Socialization which I cannot wait to watch. I have read that this latest DVD is even better than the first one, and what’s more, some of my dog training related illustrations are on it! 🙂

Meanwhile, here are some cool dog behavior related links:

Raising a Rubber Band Dog (Boogie is somewhere between a HDD and a SPD…)

Organic Training by Kathy Sdao

Never Punish a Dog For Growling

Dog Whispering Can Backfire (I have been drafting a very long blog post on how I feel about The Dog Whisperer. I wonder if it’s worth publishing seeing that there are already tons of passionate online articles on this topic…)

Sarah’s latest Newsletter – Who doesn’t already know about Cesar Millan’s “Exercise, Discipline and Affection” spiel? I love Sarah’s  own  Holy Trinity of Dog Training: “Maintenance, Exercise and Mental Stimulation”…

Sharing here a cute Boston Terrier magnet by TAPAS KIDS that I picked up at Hong Kong airport:

More later!

August 13, 2010 at 8:10 am Leave a comment

Boogie and Rosie!

Rosie is an adorable little boston girl – also a Boston Buddies rescue, who belongs to my friends Jen and Aaron. (See my drawing of Rosie here)

Boogie and Rosie met for the first time at the 2009 Boston Tea Party and yesterday, the two bosties had their first playdate. The flirtatious 2 year old Rosie was determined to win stoic Boogie’s heart and before long, we crazy BT parents had our cameras in our hands, laughing and  aawww-ing  at all the face-licking, cheek-nibbling, wrestling, BT500s, toy-swapping, grass-munching, and playful chases inside and outside of the house. Rosie was a riot. She followed Boogie everywhere, wiggled her butt, kissed his face, and even licked Boogie’s um… boy parts. Then he tried to mount her and she made him chase her around the house.

As I don’t have a fenced yard at home and it’s not safe to let him off-leash around here, it was so wounderful to see Boogie running around happily outdoors and with a playmate his own size who has just as much energy as he does, if not more! Rosie was the perfect little girlfriend and boy did she wear him out!

By the end of the afternoon….


Ssshhhh… Don’t tell the Boogs that Rosie already has lots of other boyfriends.

Some videos from yesterday:

More Boogie & Rosie photos:

My Flickr Set

Jen’s Flickr Set

May 30, 2010 at 8:44 pm 2 comments

Mailman Sessions part 2; applying this stuff to real life.

We had another two BAT sessions last weekend. On Saturday afternoon with Mailman Fred; and on Sunday evening with Fred dressed up as a “creepy fat person”. He had a pillow stuffed under his black coat, was wearing a hat, swinging a big white bag and doing John Cleese style funny walks… You should’ve been there! Sarah and I decided that a night session would be useful because Boogie is more territorial (more easily-triggered) when it’s dark.

Sunday evening – one hour later – our Friendly Finale: Boogie walked up to “Fat Fred” and gave him a good sniff-over (=gathering information) with his ears back, body relaxed, and the most important part of this was that Boogie turned away from Fred and walked back towards me. Sarah noted that even though Boogie had calmly approached Fred, he was still not 100% comfortable…he didn’t jump up and act all happy like he does with people that he knows and loves. However, to his credit, Boogie did get the information that he wanted in a socially-appropriate manner. Fred too, was polite and didn’t crowd his space.

According to Sarah, even if a dog likes someone, there is still social pressure to interact. Dogs that are socially-confident and relaxed know how to take breaks from any interaction by moving away from time to time.  And dogs with fear/aggression/insecurity issues don’t realize that they can make choices to interact and/or retreat and stay safe without blowing a gasket.

Also, most of the time it’s the human’s fault: We force our dog to be cute and interact and do us proud, or we punish or drag him away from a social situation because we don’t trust him….

To the casual observer, the BAT process is really quite repetitive and boring because we go through the same motions over and over again (forward, wait, mark, retreat, treat). In theory I understood what we were doing, but the actual process was so contrived that I couldn’t help but wonder how Boogie would  react to any other stranger who wasn’t Fred-in-costume.

One interesting thing for me was learning to notice and read the subtle Boogie signals that I would otherwise miss when I am not paying attention in any other (non-training) context. Ideally, I should be paying attention and have things under control ALL THE TIME .. and I guess the point of the repetitive nature of these set-ups is to recondition Boogie to stay under threshold and to make good choices on his own… without force/leash-pressure or treat-bribery.  And it follows that I will be able to relax and trust him more in day-to-day life …..

Good choices = eye blinks, head turns, sits, air sniffs, relaxed ears, ground sniffs, etc.

So… do these sessions work?

– I have been applying the BAT protocol to our walks and this helps! For example, a few days ago there was an old lady on the street several feet in front of us. The moment I saw Boogie slow down on approach, with his ears up and alert, I stopped. He stood and stared. As soon as he offered a calming signal (eye blinks,  head turn) I marked “Yes!” called him and we retreated in the opposite direction (+ treat), before moving forwards again. We repeated this several times before moving forwards, at which point the old lady was no longer a trigger, and we could both walk past her without incident.

– Another BAT example: Yesterday afternoon, I heard the mailman rattling on the boxes so I opened the door and stood with Boogie just inside the doorway. The mailman was out of sight but we could both hear him. Boogie’s ears were up and alert, his body stiff, but he stayed there and didn’t pull outside.  When I saw him sniff the air, I called him away from the door (back into the apartment) and gave him a treat. Then we went towards the doorway again and waited. We repeated the protocol about 3-4 times and Boogie got it. Perhaps he was thinking – Hey I know this drill! This is what we did with Mailman Fred! Really, I don’t know.  Then our mailman appeared into view and walked across my porch. Boogie stood there and looked, then he relaxed and turned his head towards me – YES! – and I led him back into the apartment again and gave a treat. Then back towards the doorway so that he could see the mailman leave. Pretty awesome. NO barking. No reactivity!

– Generally when a stranger approaches my apartment or appears on my street, Boogie stops and stares. This week I noticed that his body appears less tense; he isn’t pulling or leaning forwards like he used to. I am seeing head turns, air sniffs, blinking eyes – which I mark – then call him to me. He turns away and follows me. More often than not, Boogie wants to go forward again to check out the stranger, so we repeat the process… I let him “look”… and then when he is done, we move on.

In summary: What this training protocol does, is teach Boogie that he can make a choice and that good choices = rewards. It also teaches ME to read the communication from Boogie, and to know when and how to reward his good choices.

This weekend, we have a new decoy! Sarah will be accompanied by Irith – dressed up as a crazy old lady. Who knew that Dog Training could be so theatrical! Thanks again to Sarah whom I feel blessed with – she is such an awesome, passionate and dedicated behaviorist/trainer.  Boogie absolutely adores her and he cries when she leaves.

I leave you with another Boogie illustration…

Disclaimer: Boogie’s ears have to be read in context. If his ears are way back and his body is cowering, this is fear, not love.

May 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm 4 comments

A good example of different training techniques: When a dog jumps up.

The other day I stopped by a place in Hollywood to pick up some stuff and I had Boogie with me. The first time I was here, it was quiet with only one person working there, so it was a surprise that on my return visit the place was full of staff.

One guy entered the room and shouted: “Look! It’s a bulldog!” (People often mistake Boogie for a Frenchie because of his big bully head)

Boogie was relaxed and friendly but I still did my usual spiel: “He is in training and he is nervous around strangers so please don’t get close”.

Guy exclaimed: “Don’t worry! I am a dog trainer! I know all about dogs and I can read dogs very well. He’s not nervous! He’s fine! ” And then he proceeded to babble on about how well dogs can read people’s energy, and that he could see that Boogie was not at all troubled by his presence.

I said, “OK, here is a treat that you can give him”. Which is usually what I do with strangers meeting Boogie for the first time.

Guy said “Sit”. Boogie sat and received the treat.

Then Boogie jumped up (friendly manner) and this guy STUCK HIS KNEE OUT at Boogie.  Poor Boogie jumped back and cowered.

Me: “Did you see that?!! Did you see him cower when you stuck your foot out at him? Please don’t do that!”

The guy: “Yes, I did that to stop him from jumping up. That’s how you train dogs not to jump up.That’s how I train my dogs not to jump up. You stick your foot out”.

I was horrified. I don’t know what disturbed me more – that a total stranger had taken it upon himself to *train* my dog without my permission (how obnoxious!) or that he did not even see or care that Boogie was cowering in fear as a result of what he had done. After spending months training this hypersensitive Boogie that “Strangers are OK”, this douchebag comes along and shows Boogie that strangers are not to be trusted and can strike out at you when you least expect it! You can imagine how disturbed I was by this incident… Yeah, I naively assumed that because the guy is a dog trainer, everything should be OK!

I said to the guy in my calmest voice: “My dog was kicked by his previous owners and it’s a big issue for him to have people stick their feet out like that”.

Later on, I realized that “kneeing a dog in the chest” is in fact a legitimate dog training technique. Sarah confirms that there are lots of old school Compulsion-Praise trainers who do this. Some also STEP ON THE DOG’S FEET to stop them from jumping up (!!!)

Check it out: Kneeing a dog in the chest to make him back off

And also the action of stepping forward and body-blocking the dog – which is what Cesar Millan, the world’s most famous old-school trainer does.

On the other hand… Back in the MODERN Clicker-training universe…

In our lesson yesterday with Sarah, we addressed Boogie’s jumping up behavior.

I’ll be honest – I LOVE IT when Boogie jumps up to say hello!!! Yes, I know it’s bad doggie manners but the fact is, I have come to rely on Boogie’s “jumping up” on a person to gauge whether or not he likes someone. If he is fearful or nervous around someone, he won’t jump up on them (he will avoid them) and this tells me that it is not safe to make him interact with that person. So really, there is reinforcement and relief for ME when he jumps up to greet a person. The problem is that I can’t stop him from doing it to people who don’t want to be jumped up on. Boogie could also suddenly get scared if someone stuck their face too close to his, and he could lunge up and nip.

I wanted to know how I could train Boogie so that I am not eliminating the behavior but managing it. Sarah said most importantly we want Boogie to check in with me first before greeting anyone. He should not be allowed to initiate greetings. Solution: Train a SIT STAY (= Duration Behavior ), and here is where it gets interesting because we use a clicker-training technique called backchaining.

Sarah:  Duration behaviors have three cue/behavior pairs.

#1 = “Sit” (butt goes down + duration–1 second up to one minute and beyond)
#2 = “Ok!” (dog changes position or gets up)
#3 = “Click” (dog orients to you and eats)

To back chain, we train these separate behaviors starting with the last one (#3) first…

#2 + #3
#1 + #2 + #3

We train the OK! (release) cue first before we add the SIT cue. (The “Look At That” game is another example of backchaining where we train the head turns before training the verbal cue) This is how I understand it in my own “non-scientific” terms: As Boogie learns that he will be rewarded with a treat (or freedom to get up and move) for every release cue, this makes it much easier to teach him that it’s a good thing to sit and wait for the release cue. I have a lot of practicing to do 🙂

Sarah’s video on Backchaining:

The results of which we would then apply to the scenario below:

Yesterday, we trained the separate behaviors then tried this out with a friend entering my apartment. Interestingly, when I gave the OK! cue, Boogie ran forwards to greet her without jumping on her.  Since our lesson yesterday, I have practiced this protocol with a few other people and it was interesting to note that Boogie sat, then went forwards and also did not jump up. Sometimes he wasn’t even interested in greeting the person and would instead go off and do something else or turn around and come back to me!

A much friendlier “No Jumping” training method that kneeing a dog in the chest, right?

P.S. While  I know that the old school Compulsion-Praise Training method may suit other people and other dogs, with a hypersensitive dog like Boogie who is prone to freaking out and snapping at people, it makes more sense for me to use Clicker-training and I am so grateful that this method exists!

March 29, 2010 at 7:10 am 12 comments

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