Training the dogs!

I’ve been having some awesome training sessions with our pups, they have both been doing really, really well πŸ˜€

With Kasper we are still practicing ‘play dead’, which he does without fail now, ‘Spin’ and ‘Twirl’ (turn in a circle anti-clockwise and clockwise), ‘bring it here’ (retrieving an object) and I’m still raising the criteria for ‘leave it’ to make it more challenging.

We had an awesome game of fetch the other day, with me tossing a toy across the room and him bringing it back and dropping it into my palm. One of the most useful tricks I ever taught him πŸ™‚ One time he didn’t see where the toy had landed (on the dog bed) and so proceeded to bring me things I usually asked for; the TV remote, my notebook and a pen…it was hilarious XD

With Zoey I am teaching her ‘spin’, we are working on her dropping a tug toy during tug (she’s doingΒ really well here) and I am trying to have her ‘speak’ better on command. She’s only getting rewarded for loud barks now, whereas before it was for any noise she made. I have a target stick combined with a clicker on the way which my partner bought for me πŸ˜€ So I have been thinking of things I can teach her using that, it will probably come in handy with teaching ‘spin’ and I can get rid of the lure I’ve been using…

I have finally written out a trick chart to go on our fireplace in the living room, too. This is really useful for training sessions, as I usually forget certain tricks the dogs know and tend to just repeat the more obvious ones (sit, lie down, paw, leg weaves etc)

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P.I stands for Positive Interrupter πŸ˜‰

With our clients’ dogs I am currently working on recall, leg weaves and drop it. All dogs are doing very well πŸ™‚

We have been rubbish pup parents and have forgotten to order the dogs’ kibble in on time. It should arrive tomorrow but today they didn’t have enough of their normal kibble so we had to buy in some poor quality stuff from Co-op, our local shop. I scattered a layer on top of their meals and didn’t even add water (which is usually the only way I can get Zoey to eat hers!) and guess what, she hoovered it up!

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Kasper also got first dibs on a nylabone the other night whilst Zoey was in her crate with a Kong. We can’t have toys out when both dogs are present as Kasper resource guards, so they only get toys when separate. Kasper, who usually treats nylabones withΒ disdain, actually gave this one a good chewing for about ten minutes and seemed to enjoy himself.

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8 thoughts on “Training the dogs!

    • Thank you πŸ˜€

      Are you clicker training or using a marker such as “yes”?

      We started off with the dog holding a boring item, such as an empty Kong or old toy, and held the treat to the dogs’ nose so they would automatically spit the toy to the floor. As soon as they dropped it, they got a click / “yes!” and the treat. Make sure you are using a high value (eg. cooked liver or cheese) reward.

      We added the cue word “drop it” as soon as the dog released the toy, and repeated this so the dog got an understanding of what the word meant.

      Then, after a few days’ working on that, we asked them to “drop it” just with a verbal cue. If they did, hurray! LOTS of treats delivered within a few seconds of them dropping it, and lots of praise! If they didn’t, we went back to the last step and worked on it again.

      Eventually, after weeks of practice, we were able to just ask them to drop an item and they would. They’re still rewarded for it, whether it be with a treat or letting them grab onto the tug toy and play again, but they no longer need to see the treat in order to perform the trick.

      These videos are pretty useful for teaching drop it πŸ™‚

      Good luck! πŸ˜‰

      • Thank you so much! We have gotten to the “drop” stage with treats but have been stuck there for a while. Higher value treats have been mentioned to us at puppy class, so looks like that mixed with a bit more patience from us and we should be there soon!

        Thank you again for your fab advice!

      • No problem and good luck with it, it can be a hard trick to teach!

        Bernard is absolutely gorgeous too by the way πŸ™‚

        I definitely recommend kikopup’s videos on YouTube, she is an incredible trainer and has some really useful stuff up there too.

      • Brilliant, I will get on to watching those now. Just been having a nosey at your blog and all of yours are gorgeous! I’m look forward to reading more about theming πŸ™‚

    • Thank you πŸ˜€ Ah, I miss that about having a puppy, so many new things to work on! Of course it’s difficult and exhausting at times, but so much fun! ^__^

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