Friday, May 20, 2016

Yea Team, 26 Miles Across the Sea

Working with a "puppy in training" requires a different mindset than just raising a dog for yourself.  We always need to be mindful of what we're teaching Dylan.  How does what we do affect their ability to progress to the next level?  Are we being too coddling or too strict perhaps?

Dylan likes to bark at just about anything passing in front of the house.  The coaching from the staff at GDA tells us not to shout "NO!"  The dog perceives this as you joining them in the barking.   Which encourages them to bark even more.  One issue is our Bailey.  She also barks at the dropping of a leaf across the street, so Dylan joins in and if you join in by shouting "NO" then it becomes a chorus of dogs barking....Yea Team!

What to do?  Voicing "Dylan, Dylan, Dylan" gets her to come to you and then you tell her to sit or get a toy and praise her when she does either.  It stops the barking temporarily, but not permanently.  Frustrating to be sure.  Bailey also comes when you do this, thinking Dylan is getting something special and she doesn't want to miss out.

Another issue is walking with a loose leash. Some dogs are perfect from the get go.  Walking right next to their handler without pulling forward or wandering off in either direction.  This isn't Dylan.  Its like she has to be the lead dog in the Iditarod.  We were told that a constant pulling on her leash is actually building up their neck muscles and when they go into formal training, they are immune to this type of correction.  Not good so what do you do?  You stop!  Stopping with your dog without pulling on the leash for a correction gets their attention.  Then patting your leg makes them think about what they're doing.  A nice praise when they stop and then begin walking next to you on a loose leash gives them the idea that, "Oh, thats what you want."  Nice in theory, but it hasn't worked yet for us.  It's early so we'll continue on this track and see what happens.

This week was special as it was my birthday and we decided to go to Catalina for an afternoon in Avalon and a nice lunch.  It was also great for an outdoor excursion with Dylan.  I got a free boat ride and a free ice cream.  It was a great birthday present.

Avalon Harbor

Upon arrival in Avalon

Sitting pretty!

Licking her lips looking for the  trouble she can find.

Walking on a loose leash.

Checking out the harbor.

Chris, looking good in my hat!

Looking for fish.
I have to admit Dylan works very well when she has her jacket on.   I don't know how, but she knows its time to work and behaves accordingly.  It is fun when she gets it, does what she is supposed to do.  We just need to keep building on that.

Earlier today, she actually was in a down/stay for about two minutes, I told her to "sit" and she got up from her down and sat.  Just once, but I'll take it.  Yea Team!

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