|Working on sit stays outside. Inside these things are easy - outside|
|My beautiful Knightley, definitely growing up with a very|
male Golden Retriever profile. You can see his yellow ACT
tags on his collar. He will get special assistance dog tags if
given the permit.
|My good boy. Going well for his age but still lots to learn.|
Manners: a dog must acquire proper social behavior skills. It includes at a minimum:
- No aggressive behavior toward people or other animals - no biting, snapping, snarling, growling or lunging and barking at them when working off your property. (easy)
- No soliciting food or petting from other people while on duty. (no soliciting food fairly easy, but when people reach for Knightley's head, he leans towards them for pats.... so work to be done there)
- No sniffing merchandise or people or intruding into another dog’s space while on duty. (he occasionally sniffs, and he's quite hopeless around other dogs, LOTS of work there.)
- Socialise to tolerate strange sights, sounds, odors etc. in a wide variety of public settings. (easy, done this since a young age, will continue to expose him to new situations)
- Ignores food on the floor or dropped in the dog’s vicinity while working outside the home. (not good at this! he will leave the food on cue, but will not ignore on default, heaps of work here)
- Works calmly on leash. No unruly behavior or unnecessary vocalizations in public settings. (pretty good, some leash work, not unruly but barked on two occasions in public before, need to make him ok with hubby walking out of sight)
- No urinating or defecating in public unless given a specific command or signal to toilet in an appropriate place. (very good with first command, not quite as prompt with other, one time he had an upset stomach in public and whined and looked at me constantly until I got the message and took him outside, is a good boy!)
( 1 ) safely cross a parking lot, (yes) halt for traffic, (yes) and ignore distractions; (sometimes)
( 2 ) heel through narrow aisles; (fairly well)
( 3 ) hold a Sit-Stay when a shopping cart passes by (yes) or when a person stops to chat and pets the dog; (sometimes flops down for a tummy rub)
(4 ) hold a Down Stay when a child approaches and briefly pets the dog; (yes but sometimes rolls over onto back)
( 5 ) hold a Sit Stay when someone drops food on the floor; (yes) hold a Down Stay when someone sets a plate of food on the floor within 18" of the dog, then removes it a minute later. [the handler may say “Leave It” to help the dog resist the temptation.] (if I can say leave it, yes, if not...)
( 6 ) remain calm if someone else holds the leash while the handler moves 20 ft. away; (yes)
( 7 ) remain calm while another dog passes within 6 ft. of the team during the test. This can occur in a parking lot or store. Alternatively, you could arrange for a neighbor with a pet dog to stroll past your residence while you load your dog into a vehicle at the beginning of the test. (NO!)
So I think I'll do some concentrating on PAT type training for a bit, to get him ready for more public access outings in a couple of months time. Our public outings have been mainly only to our nearby shops, which I have permission for. Unfortunately, I have no rights of public access until he is fully trained, so wherever I take him I must get permission first but I have found businesses to be very accommodating so far. I have taken him very briefly to our big shopping mall, to an office supply store, and we went to that factory outlet mall the other day as well (where I had my first access challenge). That's about it so far though, apart from poking our heads into my work the other day for about 2 minutes so he could get a handle on the floor.
Anyway, that is enough talk of Knightley's permit and his training towards it. Recently we have finally made some strides towards a reasonable loose leash, especially when Knightley is 'working' in his vest. It does partially dissolve under stress, but it is a good start. I have found it very hard to click and treat whilst outside while holding a leash and a crutch, so it has taken me much longer to train than I had wanted. Looking back I would have done it differently from when he was even a baby puppy. When he was a baby I would stop if he pulled, but I was happy enough to have him out of heel position. Now I realise stopping still gives the dog quite a bit of satisfaction, you really must BACK UP as it swings the dog's head away from whatever it wants to get to. If you just stop, it can stare and continue to pull to try to get to the thing it wants. Not good. Also being simply happy to have him not pulling, but not have him in heel position has created a dog who is much harder to now GET in heel position lol. I should have insisted on it from the beginning. There are SO many things I will do differently with my next dog. Poor Knightley gets to be on the receiving end of all my mistakes!
I had some unfortunate news yesterday. Our public transport service (buses) won't allow Knightley to ride until he is fully trained, not even for training purposes. I've been talking to a guy from there for a few days, as I wanted to get him on a bus before he was much older just to get him used to the motion, and lying under my legs etc. The younger the better really - once passed six months that is. But they won't allow him on there until he has his permit, which is completely daft because that means he will theoretically be fully trained and won't have been on a bus. I then had a brain wave and called the guy back and asked if I could take him on a bus while it was in the bus depot. It would allow us to practice getting on and sitting down in various different seats, and would also show the permit people that I had taken my training seriously. Still, I was mighty annoyed. How stupid that a dog has to be fully trained before it can touch a bus, but to be fully trained it should really have experience ON the bus! The world is a silly place.
On that note I shall leave you all.