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Postby amalie79 » April 6th, 2011, 10:38 am

I know people say to use chicken in training, but I never really have. The trainer we've started going to had some last night, and good god, Robin will WORK for some rotisserie gold.

Robin really had a great first private lesson-- she seemed to remember the trainer, Mary, and the location; she was much less timid when we went in. We worked on leash skills: loose leash walking, an on-leash "leave it," a few techniques to stop pulling ("penalty yards" game with a no-reward marker and an about turn), an "in position" command to bring her back into heel position, some LAT.

At the end of the session Mary brought out her golden retriever who is calm and non-reactive. They started outside the building where Robin could just see her and that was the worst of it-- Robin's hackles went up and she woofed a bit. But they worked up to being in the building fairly quickly; Robin would get sort of agitated when they moved around, but then once they would station themselves again, she would look to me and work on commands. And it really didn't take long-- the longer they were there, the more she relaxed and the quicker she was able to redirect to me as they moved around. :D Bless her heart, though, she kept trying to make a break for the open door. The only time a loose dog has run up to Robin's face is when she backed out of her collar and took off, so I guess that wasn't an anomaly. She really is just scared of new dogs.

And you should have seen her loose leash-- she was totally at attention with us and it almost made it hard to teach some of those leash techniques! She won't be that good in a less sterile environment, so we need to know them, but last night she was seriously a rock star. :dance:

At one point, though, she sort of shut down; she would skitter from one person to the next and to the door and refuse to do anything at all-- we couldn't give her a command, couldn't lure her with anything. It was a little strange. Mary had given her some chicken a few minutes earlier, so we got that out again. Voila. Totally new dog working hard. That little turd was holding out for the good stuff. :wink:

It was good for Adam to work on his skills with teh clicker; he's been hesitant to use it much because he's not ever sure he's doing it right, but I think he feels much better and I'll start getting some help with the training. :mrgreen: We bought a few new items-- a new bait bag and the like...and a Thundershirt to try with River's overstimulation and anxiety. Unfortunately, it makes River look like she's wearing a sausage casing. I think it's time to go a little more hard-core on the diet and exercise... for both of us. :oops:

Now we have 2 weeks to hone those skills and then we start the group class-- the other dogs are a lab and 2 beaucerons. :)

And speaking of chickens, Mary is trying to get Bob Bailey to come do a mini chicken camp for us...That might make up for me having to miss the TTouch seminar this summer!
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

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Postby Jenn » April 6th, 2011, 3:30 pm

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 6th, 2011, 9:19 pm

That's fantastic! It's so fun watching dogs' brains turn on so they can learn. You'll have to keep us updated. :)
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies.""
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 6th, 2011, 10:08 pm

Yea! Sounds like a good session! :)
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

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Postby furever_pit » April 6th, 2011, 10:34 pm

Keep up the great work, all three of you. :)
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Postby Ohiodogtrainers » April 7th, 2011, 1:58 pm

Sounds great. Where did you find your Dog Trainer?
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Postby amalie79 » April 7th, 2011, 2:38 pm

Thanks everyone!

I actually found her online, and I'd read just enough about training to know what I was looking for this time around. Also, we corresponded for a year+ through Facebook and email-- I could field questions I had with her and she would send me things like info on breed bans in the area or ask for help rescuing pitties in the region. She's very, very, very much clicker-based, to the point of only using a "no-reward" marker in the penalty yards leash game. She's recommended by the holistic vet in the area and raw feeds her own animals; within the last year she became CPDT-KA, one of only 3 trainers in the state to have it. She's been doing this for a while (but has a PhD in molecular biology and worked in intellectual property law), and specializes in fearful dogs; like many people, she used traditional aversive methods before, then had a fear aggressive dog of her own and came to CT that way. There aren't a lot of people in this neck of the woods who have the same approach to dogs, and I felt like I found someone who does and who knows so much more. And I like her-- we've spent the last part of each session just chatting about dogs, training, food, our own life stories.

Most importantly, Robin was comfortable with her almost immediately, and that's saying something. She basically did a brief evaluation of Robin for free so we could decide how to go about her training; she's given me tons and tons of free advice over the last year; our last 2 sessions have run over 2 hours (orientation for class and the private lesson), but she's only charged for the hour. I just can't say enough wonderful things about her. I feel like I've learned more from her in these few sessions than I did in 6 weeks of the training class we did with River.
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

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