'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Winter Wonderpaws.

After getting some advise from the LJ community dogsintraining, I slept downstairs again with Lola (in her crate) with my fingers through the crate bars. It has worked amazingly well for the last two nights; she was quiet and lying down within a minute or two the first time, and in about 45 seconds last night. She woke me up whining at about half two (about 3-4 hours after we go to sleep) and then again just before seven. Both times, I took her straight out into the yard (well, after faffing around putting my boots and coat back on--I can't exactly sleep in them!) and she peed and immediately, upon returning, fell back asleep. Success!

We're working on reducing her troubles in the crate when she's alone, too. At the moment, she's eating meals in there (I toss the biscuits in, making her bounce in and out), and yesterday after I got some rawhide chews she even ate a full chew in there, without making a peep, for about fifteen minutes whilst the doors were shut. It was great!

J & L are getting along good, too. They play-fought a couple of times yesterday (and L tried to chew J's tail twice, leading to a look full of disgust from my older girl), and I only had to step in when it got a little out of hand; Jess kinda forgets size when she's play-fighting, and she bowled Lola over and made her yelp, oops. No lasting harm though: Lola was bouncing happily back to play again within minutes.

I've arranged with a local dog trainer to take Lola to the training classes a town across. The woman is going to pick me up en route at a road about fifteen minutes' walk away from me, at 7pm on Monday. We missed the first week of a ten-week course, but I don't mind: the next course, in my town, doesn't start until late January, which is just too long to wait. Lola will also probably be a little younger than the other dogs there--and she hasn't had her second injections, but at the moment I think the issue of socialisation (she's quite timid) is more important than the relatively small risk of illness; especially since all the dogs at the puppy classes will already be innoculated too.

Further to that, me & L have started working on a few commands - 'sit', 'touch' and 'down' (as in, lie down, not get down/off). She's picked up 'touch' the best, bops her little nose gently against my palm, which is adorable. She probably has about a 60% grasp of 'sit', whereas 'down', which we started working on yesterday, is still in the lure & c/t mode. I like to work on a few commands at once, once the basic idea has been achieved; otherwise, dogs (especially my dogs!) just anticipate what I want, and sit/spin/bow or whatever before I even say the word; they aren't associating the word & action.

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