House guests/training opportunity
Recalls, recalls, recalls. Thousands of recalls! Sit when greeting. That is what we are obsessing on these days.
My friend Ingrid Manzione was here visiting from Hawaii this week. She and lots of her agility friends attended power paws camp last week, and then she came to stay with us for a few days. Scoop loves guests. HE thinks it is an opportunity to have a party each time they walk through the house. *I* think it is a training opportunity to work on what I want him to do when he meets new people or sees the ones he loves. Ingrid helped by being a post or turning her back on him when he put his feet on her, I came dashing in with cookies when he sat. Since I didn’t want to wait until she wandered through the door, and be caught without rewards or busy on the phone, we set up the scenarios a bunch of times so I could train it when it was convenient for ME. She would talk to him in a high pitched tone of voice or clap her hands and I was right there to shove treats in his mouth when he sat or kept all four on the floor instead of jumped up. I really don’t like it when dog traininig friends say “it’s ok, I don’t mind your dog jumping on me”. Or worse, they see you struggling to keep your dogs brain attached to his body, and they sabotage you by continuing their excited greeting while you try to reel in your excited pup.
If we all helped our friends by behaving properly around their dogs we would certainly look and act like better dog trainers.
Life in the hood
Scoop and his boys get to spend time together in the yard now where our adults hang out when they are outside, and I don’t monitor every single minute of their interactions. That backfired a few weeks ago when Scoop and Ace were obviously having a mouthy mauling session of play. I heard screaming and went running. It looked like Scoop was killing Ace, or vice versa. Jim ran in from the field where he was teaching. the noise was easily heard 200 feet away. Once I got to the dogs I realized that Ace had his mouth wrapped aruond Scoop’s collar, and then Scoop rolled and thorougly tied Ace’s mouth to his collar. I held the dogs while Jim unsnapped the collar, but not until we were all thoroughly scared to death. Ace was only a little worse for the wear. Scoop settled after a while and stopped acting frightened from the scary situation. Big mistake on my part. The collar Scoop wore was a bit loose, and really he should not have a collar on at all when he is out hanging in the hood with his mates. Lesson learned, and thank goodness we were close by to get them untangled.
Scoop had his very first run with my border collie pack in the big field yesterday. Riot-14 years, Wicked-13, Panic-9, Ace- 5 and Scoop. He has been on lots of field runs on his own, or gone along on leash with all of us, but till now I did not totally trust his recall or his self control. The run went fairly well, he came back every time I called. Yahoo, recall training works! However he does not 100% understand that he is never allowed to run into another dog, or duck in for a play bite while they are all exercising. My dogs hate bullies, and I work hard to make sure that the youngsters do not intimidate the adults on an exercise walk/run, or worse, crash into them and cause injury. I had to use a low growly voice with Scoops nickname a few times when he started to cut off the other dogs while they were running. I will work on this every day, if I do not see daily improvement he will go back on leash with us for a while. I can’t yell at him, my other dogs get worried if they think someone is in trouble. So my quiet verbal “checks” to Scoop are minimal and he needs to figure out that a one time lowered tone of voice is all the chance he is going to get to behave himself, or he is back on leash.
Scoop, Ace and I are headed off to a trial this weekend. I am looking forward to hanging with my boys in the RV, and training away from home.
I hope you have a great weekend of training planned for your pup too!