Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year Everyone!
Today started out very cold but warmed up beautifully by noon! I was sad that Wendy, Amanda & I were not able to do our New Year's Day walk today. I don't have a vehicle & no one has room for 3 dogs in there's :(
At noon I went out with Kort & Lync for a walk. It was a long walk, about an hour & a half. We walked down to our local park & all the way around it, stopping for a bit of an off leash run in the middle.
Lync had so many new experiences today and I took full advantage to do some training on his reaction to new noises. I have learned from experience with Kort that I need to do something right now or it will get worse. I love the book Control Unleashed, I have learned so much from it & I still use some of the methods with Kort. I also love the clicker, Lync has some started clicker foundation so he knows that a "click" is always followed by a treat. If you don't have a clicker a marker word such as "yes" will do the same thing.
The idea is to click when the dog is looking at something he might be worried about, for Lync it is new noises, he folds his ears sideways to his head & his eyes dart around. Today I had soooo many opportunities to help him.
The first one was not even 10 minutes into our walk, a dog behind a fence, bark bark bark bark! Every time Lync looked at the dog I clicked, he heard the click & looked for his treat, reward. He looked back at the dog, click, treat, when I could, I moved him further away from the dog. It has to be his idea to a certain point, pulling him away will not help him deal with his worry. Within 1 minute he was just staring at me while the dog continually barked in the background. It sounds crazy, to click for the "undesired" behavior, but what you are actually teaching the dog is , it's ok for you to look/worry but its going to be fine, , nothing bad is going to happen, look, you always get treats when you are worried, how fun!!! Eventually, like with Kort, anytime he encounters a barking dog, or a noise that worries him,he will look to me for treats instead of reacting to the dog, does that make sense?
Lync saw, people, joggers, kids, skaters, tobogganers, hockey players, other dogs walking, he heard birds and booms & watched a magpie, it was an awesome awesome day for seeing new things!
When I got back home I put Kort in the house, grabbed Tate, & took Lync & Tate for another walk. This was just around the block but a good experience for Lync as this time we walked by a busy street & there were many cars whizzing by, & because it is melting there was alot of "swishing" from the cars, Lync did so well walking with Tate who reacts to absolutely nothing!
We had to walk by one house though that has a dog that jumps at his window barking, I had to do my click/ reward stuff & Lync bounced back much quicker then our earlier experience.
It takes alot of fore thought when going out for walk with a puppy! You need pockets full of treats, everything is an opportunity to train, so never go out thinking it will be a quick walk, it never ever is!
I am now relaxing with a glass of Drambuie while all the dogs sleep, it's a good day :)
Posted by onecollie at 2:40 PM