Doggie DI Boot Camp–Week Three Continues

Happy Girls: New toys and better behavior in the play pen!

You know these girls make me smile. They are so happy to know what the correct thing is to do and enjoy every aspect of training–even when they make mistakes or get in trouble.

Today was a pretty good day. I couldn’t get them into a home today due to repair work. Instead we started off with a good long walk and worked on yielding to the line. The did okay, not great but as usual they trigger off each other so it is always an uphill battle.

I believe they secretly transpire overnight on who will do well and who will give me a bad time the next day. They seem to switch off. Each knows the rules but one will always delay her responses while the other consistently complies. Just when I think one gets it, she will be a goof the next day.

Above: The fire gets bigger but moves away from Big Bear.

We have a pretty good view of the Slide Fire and Grass Valley Fire smoke from the camp. Where I live, you can’t even see any smoke and would never know anything is wrong except for the air attack planes and helicopters coming in for water.

Above: The remains of the chew toys. The U-bone right tip is severed and only hanging by a thread.

Last night I left each girl with a chew hoof and the U-bone treat for play this am. Almost nothing remained of each of the hooves and pretty good damage had been done to the other toy. I will bring some tougher chew items in the am.

They were really excited to be introduced to the new toys today. They played with all of them. Still, they got super happy when I gave them a new water bottle. Go figure.

It reminds me of cats. When you get them super fancy toys–their favorites are always the paper bag from the grocery store or the pull tab from the milk jug…and don’t forget the aluminum foil balls–always a winner.

Anyway, most of the work now is working on moving the better behaviors into solid patterns. Repeating everything, everyday, in different areas is part of that. I worked them both on “down” but only dog “A” wanted to comply. Dog “B” was BAD on that behavior but better on the others.

They were quiet enough that they got to have big hugs and I was brave enough to kneel down and interact with them. In the past, they have been too rough and too wild to do so. They are getting the idea that when they are calm, they get more attention.

I have not heard from the owners at all. They should be up in the area tomorrow and I hope to update them and get things squared away for their training. Many of my fellow animal professionals are worried that they won’t keep up the work.

The thought makes me sad but I believe they are interested in getting the girls into their home and better behaved. It is going to take work though. They will need someone to be responsible and to get them out on a daily basis.

Like it or not, there is no magic ingredient to better behavior. I believe you can maintain better behavior through the following:
-consistent rules
-daily exercise
-training practice regularly
-mental stimulation (toys, play, new behavioral assignments)
-proper diet

We had changed the dogs’ diet before they came to boot camp. I keep forgetting that they would not learn before. They simply could not focus and were bouncing off the walls and fence (literally).

Today they can focus, know that they have to remain stationary on entry and exits, and like to learn new things–still slow on that level but considering they couldn’t get anything for over two months outside of boot camp–they are doing well.

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