Doggie DI Boot Camp–Back on the Trail Again

Well, well, well…the girls were still a handful yesterday but they did okay. The camp owner pulled me aside to chat and they sat patiently on the deck waiting to go out.

Once out, don’t think they were good, as usual they were a handful, especially dog “A” but they didn’t get much exercise the day before so that was to be expected.

We hit the trail and I worked them for three and a half hours. They STILL were high energy.

They did super on the “come” and so-so on the long-line manners BUT they did not go crazy or show aggression to the guard dog or the horse back riders were ran into on the trail–three groups total.

They were also great when cars where coming down the trail. “Come” is one of the most important behaviors you can train an animal–it can save his or her life. The secret to the behavior is one that most pet owners make a mistake on: Never punish a dog for coming to you.

Yep, never, never punish a dog for coming to you. I don’t care what has happened prior to the “come” or that you are seething mad–just praise the dog and put him or her up until you cool down.

One of the reasons dogs don’t come is that they have been punished in the past for something else and when they respond–they get punished and the association is that “coming” back to the owner is a bad thing.

Then there are the dogs that run away from you in the chase game…that is another story. I suggest people run the opposite way. If you chase the animal you are reinforcing the behavior. I’m not going to get into the whole dynamic here–I’ll save it for later.

I also saw a new client in the am–smart dog, sweet dog, but out of control based on the family dynamics…but I digress.

Really, most training is training the owners. The gals in boot camp really need the work but I still have the family to contend with. No word from them yet but the dogs have been acting up so I am guessing they are either back in the valley or on the way home.

It is that psychic thing they have…ever notice they know when someone is coming home. It doesn’t have to be at the same time either. Many people poo-poo the idea but there are a few studying the phenomenon.

We had a little bit of playtime and they got those big hambones before I left. They have been pretty good and powered through the last cow hooves I left–basically one per evening per dog. So they need the power chewer arsenal. They were not showing aggression so I thought we’d try it.

Some people complain about the price of chew toys or the damage the dogs do to the toys. Let me just remind you that the whole reason you provide those tools is to keep your pet from chewing your furniture, shoes, wood siding, and drywall!

The whole idea is for them to chew and destroy the toys!

Cheap in comparison.

The gals were working on the weather stripping of their abode, so I doused it with a bitter deterrant and gave them more appropriate chew items which somehow were still in the cupboard.

Honestly, they still are crazed. I am proofing the house today and with any luck will bring them in for the last week. They won’t stay here overnight but I need to see how they integrate and teach them house manners.

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