Doggie DI Boot Camp–Week Two Day Four

So, the videographer showed up yesterday. Everything that could go right, did. Thank goodness for small favors.

First, there wasn’t any howling winds. Then there was a 2-year-old on the premises, new dogs arriving and leaving, and people in and out. Perfect for working on the bad behavior and teaching the deliquents to pay attention under high distraction.

Guess what? The delinquents were back to being as good as they can be. So, we filmed about an hour while I trained AND were able to focus on not showing aggression or pitching fits. Unfortunately we did not get all of it on tape since the disk was full and being changed when the aggression escalated as dogs walked by on the path. Fortunately, I had the collar on dog “B” who turns out to have a nasty disposition toward other critters.

Aggression was not part of the deal in boot camp. For those of you who may face it–it takes a long time to extinguish. Also, if you see bad behavior such as nipping, barking, and lunging–get help immediately.

If most people worked on the problem when their dogs were youngsters it would be easy to handle. Once it is entrenched and reinforced it takes a while to bring it under control. I say control because it is not something I personally consider to be totally extinguishable.

You can manage it but I wouldn’t think for one moment that the aggression would not reappear at another point if not managed. Most people get complacent and when they do, wham! Usually something rears up in the form of an incident or near miss.

By the way, when puppies misbehave, don’t listen to those people who say, “Oh, it’s okay he (or she) is a puppy.” Wrong answer, get good behavior early and keep it.

By the way, when people give you advice–don’t take it. Get good advice from an animal behaviorist or trainer. It will save you time, trouble, and future heartache.

Anyway, once through all the basics (still nothing new beyond “sit”) the duo was horrible on the perimeter gate. So, we didn’t go for our “steam blowing” walk. Since the girls need exercise to be normal, we instead invaded the doggie day care area.

As I mentioned, dog “B” is changing. Both dogs decided that playtime including the doggie di was the best thing because I can throw or kick the ball and keep the game interesting. This time, instead of giving up the toy to dog “A,” doggie “B” actually kept it AND used body language to keep dog “A” off the ball.


I discovered they enjoyed kick-ball. There are some large partially deflated balls in the pen and, once they discovered that they could get their teeth around them, these became the balls of choice.

Back and forth, up and down, round and round. They played non-stop for an hour. I finally saw that they were tiring–one dog rested in the shade and the other slowed way down.

The duo also work a bit during playtime–not all of it. It is important to instill manners and complaince when dogs are really amped up. Both had to “sit” when asked before I would toss the ball.

Also, it is not okay for them to attempt to grab or take a ball from me. I had a pile in my lap at one point to help teach this lesson. Some dogs get so frenzied during playtime and these two have the predisposition to do so. Despite that, they did well.

So, overall it was a great day. The got another water bottle toy when we got back to the pen and were really happy about it.

Personally, I am pooped. Depending on how they do today. We all might have a day of rest soon!

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