Monday, November 10, 2008

Home training with Lisa

Today I spent the morning sending out a ton of emails, Thank you's, and so forth to many of the people that have done some really nice things for me over the last few weeks. So that took up most of my morning, aside from spending some time with Meaghan too. :)

This afternoon, Lisa came to work with Rei and I. She had called last night and asked how things were going. I mentioned the three things that I was mainly wanting help with:

1. Barking at dogs/people

2. Not wanting to lay down when at a table with food- having made an attempt to sneak some food from my plate over the weekend.

3. Not coming when called & really distracted when off leash or only on leash and not in harness.

Aunt Nancy came to stay with Meaghan for me while we were working on things. We first went outside to show Lisa how she was pulling as well as where she was barking at the neighbor dog. So we headed outside and Lisa showed me several techniques to work with Rei on, in order to get her to pay attention to me, instead of watching everything going on and being focused on the environment. One was just a hard double handed correction when she pulled too hard. The second, which had a couple of uses for me in our situation, was to start walking, the leash over my right hand thumb and when she started pulling really hard, was to turn and do a 180 without saying anything, thus allowing her to give herself the correction for not paying attention since she's supposed to stay at my side all the time. Lisa said it was one of the techniques to teach the dogs to heel and she should be paying attention to me on heeling, so with time, doing this, will keep her focused on me and if she lets me out of her peripheral field, she's going to wind up with a correction.

So we gave it a couple of tries and sure enough she picked it up fast and was staying at my side well. Then we went to the end of the driveway and I explained that a couple of times while I had Rei on long leash to go potty, she would hear the dog behind diagonally behind us barking, and would take off running to the end of her leash barking and when she'd hit the end of the leash, I'd be hanging on and getting a hard yank. So Lisa was trying to figure out the lay out of our yards and where exactly the dog was so we walked down the sidewalk and she saw that the dog wasn't adjacent to our fence, since we'd left the eavesment open on our property. So she told me to try walking up and down the eavesment with her, practicing the heeling technique above, to get her to learn to ignore the neighbor dog completely and only doing that for this particular situation. So we have that to try yet.

After this, we went to go inside and get the harness to go for a walk around the neighborhood. We went to the door and I had her sit and stay like we did in sooooo many doorways at the school and when I told her inside, she did her full lunge forward into the house as she has been doing when excited to go in or out and Lisa confirmed that my hard corrections were good in working with her on this as well having her do the sit/stays. We grabbed the harness and went back out to the driveway to harness up and Rei heard the neighbor dog barking again and she barked back. Lisa then had me do what she called "Doggie Push-ups" which absolutely cracked me up. This was making her sit, then down, up sit, then down, multiple times and she had to do them right with the first command or a correction followed. I too learned that I shouldnt have been pointing down or bending over at all, except to correct her in a downward motion. So we did that for 4-5 repetitions until she'd long forgotten the neighbor dog and was paying attention to me.

So we then harnessed up and went for a walk around the large block, hoping to encounter barking dogs, but no one was out today. I did get to show Lisa where Katie's school was and the layout of our neighborhood. So it gave her some bearings around our place. We came back to the house and came into the garage and unharnessed Rei to work on some recall work. Grabbed a long nylon cord and tied it in a knot to hook her leash too and tried to let her walk about and so forth in the front yard. She really didn't do a whole lot, being that she's never been loose out there and able to roam about. So we moved to the back yard and then she started to wander and nosey about. Of course then she had to do a bathroom break, so let her do that and I asked Lisa if I could use the command that Valerie at the school had me to use when I'd been able to let her out and to run with the other dog on class, which was GO PLAY! She said that was fine and I told Rei to Go Play and she took off running in cirlces around the yard and then grabbed the rope and leash dragging behind her and tossed them into the air and was having a good ole time!

After she'd ran some energy off, we let her wander about and when she'd get out a ways, and wasn't looking at me, I'd call her to come to me and she'd come part way and then turn and run again. Lisa taught me to step on the rope as she ran past and tell her NO! Come! and with stepping on the rope, she'd hit the end of it and give her self the correction, usually about the time I was saying No! So giving a few yanks on the rope, she was quickly coming back to me when I'd call, which was NICE! So have that to work on too! :)

We then came on inside after a LOT of praise and loving to work on food things. We grabbed a piece of bread and when I started to get the bread out of the bag, she immediately jumped up to get it and a good strong two handed correction followed simultaneously with a strong NO! That definately got her attention and then we placed a piece of bread on the edge of the kids play table. I went over and sat down in one of the chairs at the end where the bread was laying and Lisa sat at the other end. Rei sat down right in front of the bread but didn't dare touch it. Lisa said she knew we were setting her up. LOL! I said she was too smart for her own good! So Lisa then tore the bread in half and set the two pieces close to her on the table top and still she didn't dare touch them. Lisa then took one of the pieces and laid it on the floor by the doorway, where we'd pretty much have to pass within inches of it to go by it and through the door to the kitchen. We made our way and she dove for it, which I gave a strong correction and NO! She immediately left it alone and was watching what I wanted her to do next. We turned around and Lisa had laid the other piece down for temptation and while she left the first piece she'd been corrected she started for the second one and when the correction came she hurried away from it. We turned around again and went back to the kitchen and she eyed them but didn't dip for them. One last time into the playroom, she didn't even look at them. So we'll work some more with this as we progress to more unresistable foods and keep on her and I have to just be diligent overall with her on all of these things. I think once we get through this adjustment period of learning each other, we are really going to be a good team. :)

1 comment:

Katie in MA said...

She sounds like a sweetie of a dog. Once you two get used to each other, I bet it will be a great partnership! That story about the blanket is too cute!

Katie from GDF talk