Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Moon bix, treats to help a rescue dog

Just read the tail of poor moon who is about to start his new life in the UK

His new owners are creating yummy pet treats to sell to help pay for his rescue from viatnam and his kenneling in the UK
They have nearly raised all the funds but just need a little more

So there is only a month left to get these yummy homemade pet treats

Moon bix

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Mean what you say

Another thing that I have noticed with peoples interaction with dogs is they say stuff and then just dont follow through.

B tonight was wanting Mia to not be sniffing round his phone
he says 'Miiiiaaa' and she ignores him, 'MIA' again she ignores him, then 'come over here right now' then she wonders away and plays with Ben

B is happy cos she has left his phone alone

but what has Mia really learnt
That people will say her name often and in different tones of voice but it is nothing that she has to worry about.

Also in class I watch people saying 'sit, sit, sit, SIT, sit siiit, Sit' to their dog with no reaction from the dog
Person gets more frustraited until the dog finaly sits - then of course they dont reward the dog because it was being naughty and should have sat 1st time

Well if you want the dog to do something 1st time every time there are a few basic things to remember

Make sure the dog understands what you are telling it to do
Make sure there isnt a reason the dog isnt doing the thing (Ben really does not like to sit in puddles - cant say I blame him)
Once you have said it make it happen, so in the case of the sit you could either just wait till the dog sits down, lure the dog into position or put the dog in position (I dont really like this method to teach a sit but people do use it)
Reward lots, I reward lots and lots for a really good performance and if the dog did something it really didnt want to do

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Let sleeping dogs .....

......Be used to experiment new camera settings :oD

Poor Ben was sleepy after a day out in Edinburgh and cutley was covering his eyes with a paw, so I decided to mess around with my new camera

What do you think?

and of course we cannot forget Mia

Monday, 9 February 2009

Snow day!!

No work for me as it has been snowing since last night.

Means the pups get some nice loooooong walks in the snow

Not sure but it might be Mias 1st ever snow and it is deff the most Ben has ever seen.

Mia had great fun eating snowballs and having major zoomies

Ben has decided to become a snowplough snuffling holes in the snow.

Think the pups had fun, well they have been sleeping most of the day since we got in!

Mia has had a fairly good week. Her recal is getting good and we were in a different park with lots of dogs and she was pretty calm unless they came right up close.

Her stays are getting great too which makes getting fotos of them together much easier. She even sat and waited while I got Ben, set up the camera and took a couple of fotos.

Bens stays are too good too

I put him in a sit, then went to do something with Mia, heard a wee polite 'woof' I had forgot to relese him and he was still sitting there

Poor boy - he got lots of treats for being so good

really interesting to look at some of the pawprints in the snow. The little prints are Mia and Bens prints - I wonder what the big ones were made by??!?!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Mia, real progress

So proud of the little girl today.
We were at a training class and not only is her stays and heeling getting much better
She also didnt snap or growl at ANY of the dogs in the class
Even when a strange one bounded up to her
She let it sniff her and then backed away and looked at me for her treat (which of course she got straight away) She is so smart, aggression can be so difficult to deal with but her progress has been great.
Have to see what she is like with the GSD tommorow!! fingers crossed but I think this will take alot longer.
The trainer tonight even said she will be ready for the KC good citizen bronze award in a few weeks. THat is amazing, no training at all in the begining of Nov to one of the best dogs in the class (well Ben isnt there at the moment cos I cant really handle two dogs yet)

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Say what you mean

following on from the Talk Less post I though about what we actually say to our dogs and how important it is for us to think about what we want the words we say to mean for our dogs.
The word 'down' is the best example of this
What do you want 'down' to mean??
Most people will say they want the dog to lie down when they say it.
But then think about when you actually use the word and how it can be confusing to the dog

'Sit down' we actually want the dog to sit - but from the dogs point of view there is two commands given there - 'sit' and 'down' so I just use 'Sit' when I want the dog to sit

'down' to get off people or things. Ben did a wonderful example of doing exactly what he was told when he was very little, he had jumped up on a lady, she knew I was trying to stop him doing that so she said 'Down' to him, little angel folded up into a down position while he still had his paws up on her legs, so he was in a down at 45 degrees.

To get off things I use 'off' to mean get onto the floor.

As dogs pick up so well on everything we say it might be a good idea to write a list of the commands you want to use (and what you want the word to mean)and make sure everyone sticks to them. Also the dog can learn far faster if you have a hand signal that goes along with the word. I point to the sky for 'sit' to the ground for 'down' and I use the palm of my hand in a pushing away motion for 'off'


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