We don’t have much to report for this month’s Positive Pet Training Hop. Even though we’re settling in nicely to our new home, we haven’t gotten all of the routines set just yet, and that includes regular training sessions. We do our best to include training in our every day activities though.
I have been working with Luke on a couple of things here and there: weaving through my legs, and getting him comfortable wearing a muzzle. We haven’t given up on the crate training yet, but the muzzle is another way of hopefully keeping everyone safe while getting him used to strangers.
The leg weaving trick may take more coordination – on my part – than I have, but we’re working on it and I do think we’ll get there in time! It would go quicker if I could use the clicker, but I simply can’t coordinate that. I am using the clicker, however, for the muzzle training, and Luke is already sticking his nose inside it and taking a treat from the other side.
We have a lot going on with the new house recently, so there’s been some strangers around and I’m trying to use those opportunities as much as I can. When a man came by this weekend to drop off the tractor my hubby bought, I worked with Luke and the girls on not barking at him (he stayed outside), but coming to me and sitting or lying quietly (hopefully staying).
The man was here for a while (men can talk!), and I’d have fat dogs if I gave them treats for every time they came to me and stayed, but we used praise also and I think Luke did especially well. This week they are putting in a door on the end of our house, so again I’ve worked with them some to get them away from the windows and barking, and paying attention to me instead.
“Leave It’ has kind of become a universal term for Luke that mostly means – “stop what you’re doing and come pay attention to me”. I feel like it’s working well not just for getting him to not pick something up I don’t want him to have, but to not do something I don’t want him doing.
I simply have to work some while this is going on, so a lot of the time they do have to be confined to a room where they’ll stay quieter, and so that the workers can go in and out of the house freely. Later in the week when I’m more caught up on my bookkeeping work, I hope to walk Luke around the yard, away from the workers but in their view, and see how he does.
We actually had a really good breakthrough yesterday. The workers were leaving for the day, and the Dadz had brought the dogs out to the pen. I was standing just outside the pen with our contractor talking. It was several minutes before Luke even noticed him, and when he did, he did start barking and lunging. However, we told him “leave it” and he stopped! There were a couple more woofs but he even came over to the fence again and did nothing (our contractor is very understanding and knows to ignore Luke which is such a great help)! I told my hubby later there may be hope for Luke yet! I also had jokingly said a while ago that the next person Luke learns to like will probably be our contractor, since he’ll be seeing a lot of him! 🙂
The theme for this month’s hop is “Incorporating play into training”, and even though we didn’t have anything to report on that front, there are some other great posts on that subject which I’ve gotten some good ideas from for future work and fun. Check them out by following the links below!