Wednesday, July 20, 2016

In with the Treats...Out with the Crate

As we continue on our path of making Dylan ready to be a guide dog, we have been given training ideas to help us achieve her success.  On coming when called; Dylan probably rates a 2 out of a possible 10 in this endeavor.  During her evaluation, this was noted by the trainers, but they failed to attach the guide on what we were supposed to be doing to correct this behavior.  Well, they finally sent it to us.  It is every dogs dream.  Call their name and when they come running, give them a treat.  That's it!  No "atta girl" or "good job" just give them the treat and walk away.

Now the thinking behind this is to do it 25 times a day for a week with a treat.  The second week, give treats about 75% of the time.  Week three, 50% and so on until they come when called when doing things like chasing Bailey around or bounding out of the pool, without hesitation.  A blind person can't be chasing around their dog because it won't come when called.  The problem is this, a certain other dog that resides here, also comes a-running when Dylan's name is called.  Plus, they know when you have treats in your pocket.  So they're always following you around sniffing your shorts or pants.  So to counter-act that, we have placed treats all over the house.  In the bathroom, call "Dylan" and she comes a-running for her treat, along with Bailey.  Outside, call her when she's in the house, she comes a-running, along with Bailey.  See a pattern here?  We will see how week two works out when we reduce the number of treats.

At the Hollywood Bowl.

The other big news is we have removed Dylan's crate from our bedroom.  She now sleeps on the pads without the crate, but we have to put up a kiddy door to keep her from roaming around the house in the middle of the night.  The other two dogs aren't real thrilled about this, but we give them the option when we go to bed.  In or out?  Maggie is always in.  Bailey keeps looking for that treat.  Once they decide, we close up shop and turn out the lights.  No whining!

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