Wednesday, May 4, 2011

obedience training: lesson 2

our second training session was pretty short, because we focused on the sit-stay command, which can only be practiced for so long. we ran through the same drill as we did last time with "walk around and then sit" but added in the part where we make desmond stay in his sit for anywhere from three to five minutes (or was it seven? i can't really remember...).

before you do anything else, put the dog on the leash. don't say anything to him, just do it. and if he's protesting...

"no, dad! no! no working on commands! i want sleeping on the couch!! i command you to stop right this instant!"
you just ignore him and start the walking. drag him along if you have to.

desmond has a bit of a leash biting issue but thankfully is pretty quick to drop it when we ask him to. otherwise, we just ignore him. there are other random times when he starts getting bite-y with our hands, whether from stress or wanting to play, and we've been kind of just finding a toy to shove in his mouth instead. this has also worked to introduce him to a bunch of toys he previously cared not a whit for. weirdo.

anyway, you make the dog walk & sit twice and then on your third walk & sit, you ask the dog to stay. then, you walk away about a leash length, but you need to ready to jerk the leash if your pup comes out of his sit.

we mean business, and he seems to know that

he's allowed to pivot around to see where you're going, and he's allowed to relax and lie down, but if his butt comes off the floor, you have to correct him and then start over, no matter how long he was staying in his sit before he lifted his butt. it's important to always keep your hands down and relaxed when you are holding the leash (and to keep in mind the right way to hold the leash to begin with), whether you're hanging out next to the dog or you've moved away.

we were encouraged to distract desmond while he was staying--we threw toys, jingled keys, moved our ottoman, opened and closed the front door, sat down on the floor, walked near him and then away again, etc.

opening the door for no one. so much for desmond not knowing that door exists!

we threw the monkey from cousin-aunt jamie into the dining room. he turned to look, but never lifted his tushy.

once mr. puppy has successfully stayed for at least three minutes, you can release him from his command. this is done by going back to his side, looking at him, and praising him. if he gets up before you let him (meaning, when you walk over but before you tell him it's ok), you have to start over.

the moment after desmond was released

the drill is not done yet: you have to run through one more walk & sit. you don't make him stay again, just sit. if done well, you can not only praise but also pet him and remove the leash. the workday is finished!


do you like how we keep it real with the socks?


there are a few details that i'm leaving out that are key to this training method, but i'm doing that on purpose--and i did it with the previous lesson's blog post. first of all, i'm not a professional, so i wouldn't want anyone to think that this is instructional. it's something i thought i'd share to help me run through the methods in my head and also to give you an idea of what exactly goes on at a private, in-home training session. second of all, we did pay for these services, so i feel like i need to keep some of the information to myself, which may be twisted logic to some, but it makes sense to me. the last reason i'm not telling all is because i don't want to anger the trainer, should he ever come across this blog. yes, i realize how delusional that makes me sound (are there more than maybe three people reading this?), but i like to be on the safe side. it's how i roll.

forgive me if you have heard some of that before; i feel like it's worth repeating. 

at the end of all that work, we gave desmond his very favorite reward: cuddling with daddy. 




who sits like that??
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