Today it took us over an hour and a half to leave the camp quarters. Once the duo saw the leash, both dogs were not focused on the tasks at hand but rather on getting out to the gate and attempting to bend my actions to their will.
Dogs are always so good at shaping human behavior. These gals have learned to be very physical and active to get their way but they have not met up with a Doggie DI before!
So, we worked on crating, leashes on and off without exiting. And crating again and again.
I went back to basics with clicker/whistle training just to refresh their brains. They also got the opportunity to practice “sit” on command. The funny thing was that two of my other students were at the camp and were anxious to join in the fun.
One pup, a St Bernard, was practicing her behaviors two cabins down as I worked the duo! Too funny. I did go in to visit and love the two students up. Most dogs like going to school because it is so fun and changes their lives for the better. I like being popular among the canine clan–does a heart good.
One of the local “trainers” actually has dogs run and hide from her. I’ve had to go in to clean up some of her messes and it breaks my heart. There isn’t any real enforceable standards for those who just decide to hang up a shingle and say they are trainers and it is a real tragedy.
We finally got ready to leave their quarters after they learned to place themselves on the deck instead of rushing the gate. They were not so crazy with the leashes today.
However, dog “A” got in trouble because she is nipping to try and get treats, the leash, and anything else. You can see in the first picture how wet she is from the syringe. (She is the dog on the left in the first picture.)
Finally, we got out for a walk. I stopped at my truck to get the coupler and the two actually backed off and waited instead of attempting to get into the cab. However, they were full of vigor. Below you can see them trotting along together.
We ran into several horse riding groups but the gals were good. The llamas and the guard dog on one of our paths are pretty used to us now. The hike was brisk and when we got back the two were happy to get their water bottle toys. They also refrained from barking at dogs that ran by and the others I went to visit in their cabins.
The duo also sat for attention but dog “A” really hates to comply. She misses out on more attention because of it–the key is to focus on the dog engaging in the correct behavior not the one misbehaving. People usually do the opposite and many dogs get worse or learn to misbehave by watching the other get the extra attention. In training, the other dog will often comply just because it witnesses the success of the other dog. In groups this is similar to peer pressure.
This is different in exotics where you usually have to focus on the dominant animal and reward them for tolerating the activities of the submissive animals. In this duo, there isn’t a bad problem between the two–the submissive girl is moving forward faster.
Dog “A” respects me and today I used body posture and positioning to keep her at her food bowl while they both ate instead of separating them. She generally pushes “B” off food and toys–which is not good.
The main problem with “B” is that the dominant animal influences her for the worst and they feed off of each other. Dog “A” tolerates dog “B” without any issues but it is interesting to see how this will play out.
All in all it was a good day. Tomorrow I’ll have to get more treats and hope to work them individually and together on the leash work.