Monday, 24 May 2010

Car manners

Sorry I have been lazy posting for a while!!

I have solved Mias stress problems when I am driving!! After months of driving her places and rewarding her for being calm around cows, horses, dogs, sheep she was progressing, just very sloooowly
But I got a new car. Its big enough for her to be crated in the boot and not see out.
Result - very calm car rides and a much calmer Mia when we get where we are going.

As this is a totally new situation for the dogs and it would be very dangerous for the dogs to just race out of the car when I open the boot I have done some training on getting them to stay in the car till released

The only commands I am using is for the dogs to get into the car and then the release word. I dont want to have to keep telling them to stay, I expect them to stay until released.

I have done lots of stays in place and impulse control work with my dogs. If your dogs want to bounce out the car then you are not rewarding them enough. They cant jump out of the car while you are rapid fire treating, then you can slowly build up pauses between the treats and slowly build up you moving away from the dogs.
The more you treat at the start the easier it is for the dogs to understand what you want them to do and the happier and more confident they become.
If at any point the dog jumps out of the car you have asked too much, take smaller steps or reduce the time and reward more. Dont tell the dog off just calmly put them back and start rewarding again.

If you punish your dog for breaking his stay they become less confident, staying in the crate becomes a stressful place and they will often creep towards you for reassurance.

My next steps are to release each dog one at a time and leave the other in the car.


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