|Knightley being a good boy and keeping me company|
in our bedroom. He definitely enjoys sleeping on a bed!!
But it was only for while the hubby was away, so I hope he
doesn't get unhappy sleeping away from me now.
|Being calm and gentle while I feel sick. Such a good puppy.|
I had another frustration this week - we ordered a custom couch about 5 weeks ago, and last week it arrived in the warehouse. I arranged for delivery for this Monday, but it didn't come. Then I was promised it on Tuesday, and then Wednesday.... and by then I was getting very cranky indeed. I was spending far too much time on the phone with furniture people who told me my delivery was marked as 'complete' HAH! Anyway, finally it is set to arrive in a matter of hours, only 6 days late. Will seriously think before buying from these people again, problem is their prices are too good. I guess that's why their staff has no clue and their computers apparently cause all these problems. Aaaanyway, with a brand new couch, there is a new rule - puppies are allowed up only upon invitation, and never with anything in their mouth. Since my brother moved out we've had a small two seater couch we managed to get for free - as he took a good deal of the furniture with him. Before the hubby left for the week, he moved the small couch into another room to make room for the imminent (or not so imminent...) delivery. The couple of days previously the pup and I had worked on the new rules. He would start to jump up and I would give a quick "ah-ah" (yes, I know this is not pure positive training, but I am not using it as punishment, just as a quick light 'don't do this' noise aversion technique) followed by lots of praise and treats when he retreated. He'd try maybe 5 times to get up and then figured it just wasn't worth the hassle. The cue for jumping up is the normal jump cue - "hup!" He is good at this one everywhere except where it would actually be quite useful.... the car. Need to work on that somehow.
Before I got the migraine and the other symptoms started flaring, we were doing well with the little bits of Level 3 we are having a go at. I am getting him used to door zen at ALL doors. Wherever he is, he needs to pause at a door before receiving a go ahead. It is a long way in the future that we can use it at the front door and he won't try to frantically welcome a mail delivery man or something, but I am trying to install an absolutely iron clad respect of doors. It is actually extremely handy if you are carrying something and can't see your feet and going through something like a baby/pet gate which is so narrow. I know that Knightley will be patiently waiting for me to go through, and if he is allowed through (rare!), he will be given the go ahead (OK!).
We're doing watch (eye contact) at varying distances, up to about a metre and a half (5 foot or so), and he is great at it. We're working on the part where I start looking away and still have him looking at me. So he learns to maintain the eye contact whether I am giving him attention or not. This is extremely valuable for simply getting him used to being with me in mind at all times. watching eagerly for my next wish. It can also teach a beautiful formal heel, the dog looking right up at you as he trots along, as you look straight ahead. I know we need to do more proofing of our watch outside, we have done limited work of it outside and that is where it will come into its own. Once I recover some more, I will make that a priority.
We are really getting somewhere with our loose leash. We do a lot of heeling work inside the house, so he gets used to the cue and the position at my left. I make it tricky, varying my speed, quick sudden turns where he has to backtrack in order to get into heel position, and sometimes even walk backwards. We do our normal walks with both his Freedom Harness and a leash to his collar at the moment, so that he gets used to walking completely loose with a leash on his collar. I tell you what, it is a very nice walk too - until he sees a major distraction, when I start backing up. When he is loose at has walked to my left side, I c/t or yes!/treat and walk forward and try again with the distraction. I'll give it as many tries as I can so that Knightley can learn. If he starts going loose as we go past the distraction I go absolutely nuts with the c/ting, just shoving food into his mouth and praising him verbally like a crazy woman. I am sure my neighbours think I am absolutely mad. I am also doing a lot of c/ting for sitting or standing at my side with a leash loose with distractions around. Hopefully it will sink in - although I think the halter I plan on getting (the Comfort Trainer as suggested to me in my last post) will help with that.
I have also been letting the leash on the harness trail on the ground and just using the leash on the collar as the only one to hold onto. This has been nicely effective. He can feel that slight drag and that reminds him that he has the harness on, and yet if he pulls he feels only the collar pressure, and I do the step backwards thing to get him in place before c/ting and walking forward. I try to anticipate him and start walking backwards - tempting him with noises - *before* the leash is actually fully tight. If the leash gets tight without the presence of a very serious distraction, then you are not paying enough attention. Be proactive and don't ever let the leash get tight. Do what needs to be done to lure your dog back to your side with noises and even a hand target, then immediately reward it with your c/t and proceed again. If he walks nicely beside you for even a second or two (face it, there is almost always at least a half second of nice walking before they decide you are boring again, so no excuses), shower it with treats! You walk with me, you get treats. You start trying to forge ahead, I urge you gently back to my side where you get rewarded for doing so, and then I shower you with treats for walking with me again. It is pretty persuasive, especially for a hungry growing puppy.
Anyway, I think you are all caught up with the most important developments here downunder!