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Dog walking this morning - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
heleninwales
heleninwales
Dog walking this morning
I must work out how many miles I've been walking recently and do an Eowyn challenge update, but I just wanted to share my progress with walking Brith. He is in many ways very nervous, though he is also well trained. J (the professional trainer) can do amazing things with him in the security of his own home and garden. As well as all the usual sit, down, roll over, stay etc, she can hide toys around the house and ask him to fetch a particular toy, for example, "Fetch rabbit!" or "Fetch ball!"

With me out on a walk, however, things are very different...

At the point where we turned for home, I decided to try to get him to focus on me and do a simple sit.

Me: Brith, sit!

Brith: *pays no attention and keeps on staring around*

Me: Brith, sit!

Brith: *stare around some more*

Me: *rustles treat bag to remind him of its existence*

Brith: *suddenly focuses*

Me: Brith, sit!

Brith: *sits instantly, gazing intently into my eyes*

Me: Good boy! *gives treat*

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/45387.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]

Current Mood: relaxed relaxed

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Comments
nutmeg3 From: nutmeg3 Date: May 29th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
If it'sany consolation, Kaiya often behaves exactly that way with me, and I've had her since she was 8 weeks old. (She's 4 now.) Cupboard love is a wonderful thing. *g*
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: May 30th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Brith is starting to relate to me more, but we're not doing badly, considering I've only been walking him for a couple of months.
pickledginger From: pickledginger Date: May 29th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
As the T-shirt would have it, it's not that he has a short attention span, it's -- oh, look! a squirrel!
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: May 30th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
He does get very stressed and distracted while out walking. Due to his Issues, his owners have never taken him for walks, so though he's had plenty of exercise in their huge garden, the outside world is still very stressful for him.
rymrytr From: rymrytr Date: May 30th, 2012 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)

I wonder if the treat bag would work with children... :o)

heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: May 30th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, definitely. But you need to have enough for everyone and each child must have exactly the same or they will claim that one of the others has more/better treats. And then they will fight over them. :)
khiemtran From: khiemtran Date: May 30th, 2012 07:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Yep, that sounds about right...
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: May 30th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
It reminded me of the reaction you get when you let a horse know that you're carrying a whip. You don't have to even tap the horse with it, just being handed one is sufficient to wake up the most sleepy and sluggish beast.

Though with Brith I'm using totally positive training methods, ie ignore bad behaviour and reward the behaviour you want.
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