10 Weeks 3 Days- Easier Training

Sep 19, 2004 | Stitch's Story

Another bit of Puppy Trivia, filed under Things That Put Puppies To Sleep. Yesterday was a bad day, puppy in the crate a lot, rain coming down in heavy, drenching sheets so nobody wanted to go out to pee, let alone the puppy. Somewhere in between rainstorms, she dragged her crate blanky outside again. When it was time to put her to bed, it was pouring again, I was exhausted, so I gave her her cookie in an empty crate and shut the door. She gave us the longest yap she’s done so far but finally went to sleep. Then this morning Ron let them out at 6:30 as usual and left them in the dog room with access to outside, as usual, and the little twinkie yapped on and off until I got up at 8. I let her in the living room, she pranced around for a minute, then headed straight for the big soft dog pillow under the table and crashed. SO: puppies sleep better in the dark. Puppies sleep better on soft. Duh.

MUCH better retrieving session today. We work on JUST touching it. To keep me from getting bored, I move it around a lot – to my left, to my right, up high, down low, backwards. She LIKES movement exercises, they’re more fun than thinking. By the tenth click, she’s not touching anymore, she’s grabbing almost every time, with the bar in perfect retrieve position. I’m very careful, though, I VOWED to click touching only, so that’s what I’m clicking. If she grabs, great, but I’m clicking every single bar touch (I draw the line at touching the bell). By the end of the session she’s very happy to be playing with the DB. Then we try offered downs again. She’s much more into it and knows what’s making the click happen. I get to use the cue Down about 20 times and a couple of times I jump in where I shouldn’t and I’m pretty sure she downs in response to hearing the cue. Then some Park Its, and we’re done. 90 kibbles in half a cup – the new kibbles are 3 times the size of the old ones, much better. Excellent session. We’re halfway back into the living room when she runs back into the screen room and starts offering me sits and downs again. EXCELLENT session.

Things she can chew on: making a list, checking it twice… towels, yes. llama leashes, yes. empty envelopes, yes. halters, yes. shoes, yes. toes, yes. her own tail, yes. rug, yes. felt pen, no. electric cords, no. Scuba’s paws, no.

In the living room this evening. I sit on the couch and aim to get her back to the dog bed. She remembers Down from this morning and I have to start back at the beginning with clicking her for turning her head, as she’s offering me downs left and right, then I toss the treats across the floor to get her moving. Nine treats to get her thinking about the dog bed. Another 20 and she’s on it to stay. Three times I toss the kibble on the bed, the fourth time on the floor to get her off the bed. She chases it down, grabs it, takes a step toward me, startles and runs back to the dog bed. Another 10 and she’s trying to reach the ones on the floor leaving her back feet on the bed – quite a stretch! Another 20 and I feel good enough about it to ask for more. She thinks about getting off, and then lies down. Bingo! Gold star for default behaviour! I’m using the cue Hit The Rack, and she’s running for the bed and lying down.

The last 25 I want to work on eye contact, but it’s tough to get started. Given a quarter of a second, she runs for the dog bed. I switch to Zen, which gives me a tiny look to build on. By the time we’re done, she’s giving me 4-second eyelocks.

Scuba’s moved right into the big sister role. She offers the puppy everything she’s picked up all day, including tennis balls and dog dishes. She’s trying to figure out how much “tug” she can put into the game without tossing the puppy through the air or making her let go. She resorts to giving the puppy a long tug toy and then vigorously shaking her end and growling, while the pup shakes hers and growls too.