Today we are going to Muse about training an unruly puppy. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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Teddy the Terrorizer
We have a bundle of energy running through our house. It is Teddy, our Norfolk terrier, now going on seven months of age. We refer to him as “The Terrorizer” because when he gets going he does not stop.
Kiko, our Shiba Inu, is the focus of much of Teddy’s attention. She is going on fourteen years and has slowed down as you might expect. But Teddy is giving her new life. He chases her and she chases him. It is fun to watch. He runs circles around her. He is short and fast. Click on the word “movie” and you will see them in action.
But the energy needs to be channeled. A week or so ago, Jeanette took Teddy over to some friends’ house. I was out of town. She reported that he jumped on people, climbed on the furniture, took food from the table, knocked over a wine glass and generally misbehaved. BAD!
So, we have engaged a trainer, Sandy Gosselin. She is amazing. During our first session Sandy queried us about Teddy’s various behaviors. Among many things, we were concerned about his running out the front door when we opened it to greet someone or when we went out for some reason. Sandy said, “As a demonstration I’ll teach him not to do that now”.
No running out the door
She got Teddy’s attention, then went to the door and traced a line across the door sill with exaggerated gestures, back and forth. She next stood with her back to Teddy and kicked her feet backwards several times. Then she opened the door and stepped outside, with her right foot first.
Teddy followed and the instant his paw touched the door sill she gave a short jerk on the leash attached to his collar, placed him back in the room and gave a second short jerk on the leash. This scenario was repeated five or six times. Each time Teddy’s paw touched the door sill she would give him a short snap of the leash, put him back into the room and give a second correction. The whole process took about ten minutes.
Now when the door is opened Teddy approaches it and looks out. Pretty amazing. My other dogs always ran out the door when company came to the house.
When you want the dog to go through the door you exit with your left foot first. I had never given it thought but your feet are what a dog sees best. Right foot or the left foot is part of the training.
Sandy says you can use this technique to prevent the dog from going in certain rooms or going upstairs. You can use it while travelling to keep your pet in a hotel room. Pretty interesting.
In the next lesson, we learned “Place”.
There are times you wish your pet to stay in one place. Perhaps you have company and do not want your pet annoying them or, like in our case, we want Teddy to give Kiko a rest and to stop pestering her. We use place.
To create “place” Sandy had us take a bath towel and rub it all over our body, trying to pick up as much of our smell as possible. The towel was spread on the floor and Teddy was put on the towel while we said “Good Place”. We stepped away, right foot first. Teddy started to follow. When his front paw went outside the towel area, Sandy gave a short jerk to the leash, put him back on the towel saying “Good Place” followed by a second short jerk on the leash. This was repeated several times.
He tested all sides of the towel. He would drop his toy outside the boundary of the towel and then look at us like he had to go out to retrieve it. He would yawn to let us know how boring this was. He would lay with his rear legs off the towel, but his front legs on the towel. But he would stay on the towel.
Sandy said at his age, he can stay in place for an hour. Older dogs can stay in place for up to three hours.
We are now learning to heel. Just started yesterday. This will take a little work. I’ll let you know how we do. And, if you need a dog trainer Sandy is great! Let me know and I’ll give you her number.
more to come
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