Despite the cold our class will continue this week, however, I am going to list out our plan for this week so that you can practice at home if the temperatures are too much for you.
- One of the homework assignments for last week was stays with distractions. One of the first tests in any Canine Good Citizen type test is for the dog to be able to stay calmly by the owner’s side while approaching a friendly stranger. For a dog to pass this type of test the dog must stay on a loose leash while approaching someone for an introduction. Our youngest puppies may have trouble with this task. This can be practiced at home during family transition times to control greeting behavior.
- We’ve been doing some leash walking in class and the addition of all of the dogs in class has made it pretty tough for some of the dogs. As always we will have some sort of obstacle course set up in the barn in addition to sheep, goats, or ducks.
- With a loose leash ask your dog to jump up on the upside down water tub, or haybale and ask them to stay for at least 10 seconds in any position while their leash is loose.
- This week we are going to add a station where your dog is either crated or tied while you interact with the stock. Ideally we would like them to stay quietly in this spot for 2 minutes or more.
- Using the same set up with the crate or tie out the handler will go out of sight for 2 minutes or more.
- We will be using the large gate that goes to the stalls today to practice the sit, stay to be able to open and go through a gate.
The critical thing here is self control for the dog. In all of these activities we want to keep the dog’s arousal to a minimum level. This week we will be using the stalls for dogs that are overly aroused.
Here is video of Rey working on “2 feet on a plate” from our first homework. We are shaping it as a touch and go because on down the line I want her feet moving to teach heeling with a bucket. In this video I am having Rey generalize different objects. She hated the pot lid so we finished with a favorite toy. At this point I need to name the behavior of touching an object with her front foot. For a lack of creativity I’m going to call it plate.
Another thing that could be reviewed this week is “don’t stare at the food”. Here is a video on impulse control that uses a game called “It’s Yer Choice”. Rey got it right away and responded with some nice back ups from last weeks homework.