Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Training day 2

Phew, what a busy day. I got to my trainer's house at 10am. This was the first time he actually greeted me and licked my hand. I had a coffee date scheduled for 11am so I quickly got Bailey and we were off. We got there a little early so I took him on a short walk to get his energy out. As soon as we turned the corner onto the main street we were immediately flocked with people walking by. Bailey grew up on a wonderful farm so seeing a whole bunch of people at once is new to him. He let out a little growl which really surprised me. You can't see him but you can hear him.

At the cafe, we sat outside and he did surprisingly well- just laid down at my feet and slept. He did get up a few times but laid back down. He also barked a couple of times but was able to get quiet again. I was not 100% sure how to handle the barking. So when we got back I asked my trainer what to do if that happens again. She said instead of trying to calm him by saying things like "what's the matter" and "oh, are you ok?" in one of those troubled tones, you should use a happy voice and say something like "Who are you talking to little guy?" The reason is because you don't want to make him feel like there is a reason he should be nervous. If you talk to him in a pitying tone, he will feel like there is something wrong that he needs to be nervous about. Also, I don't ever even say "Quiet!" or jerk his leash, or do things to "snap" him into obedience.

When it was lunch time for me, instead of putting him in his crate, my trainer suggested I let him stay with me and see how he does around me eating. He was fabulous and only investigated a few times. Again, for rude behavior like poking his head near the plate, we just ignored him and he settled down.

After lunch we had a bell session and he did great. I had a secret weapon- bacon and cheese flavored Cheese-whiz. Yum! He looooved it and came 95% of the time.

He fell asleep kind of in the middle of the training session so I let him have a nap. After he woke up, it was play time! Because he kind of has to be quarantined (he's being treated for giardia) he hasn't gotten much play time. My trainer has a huge backyard and also has a smaller fenced in area where we can let him off leash. We played fetch for a bit and then with his favorite toy....the stick!

After that it was time to go. He's getting fixed this Thursday. We pushed it forward because he has to get a tooth out and if he's going under anesthesia, why not neuter him at the same time. All in all a good day.


  1. I wonder if eating at a cafe or getting coffee with a nonbarky older dog might help with barking in public places. That way the other dog models relaxation for Bailey and shows him there's nothing to worry about?

    Ignoring definitely helps with some behaviors--dogs don't like that, but like the positive attention that follows when they're good. Sometimes I think they hear "no" as a person barking and it makes it worse.

  2. nice start with the bell. my advice would be to not ring it multiple times. you're only teaching him he can respond when he feels like it. also, tell your aide to shut up (in a nice way) lol training should be pretty much silent - all the talk about how good the cheese is is just distracting him and not helpful. rewards have to be clear. the cheese is the reward, not the talk that comes with it!

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  4. so awesome. you're giving me dog-envy. :)