'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, 8 January 2011

Self Control and Face Savagery.


Something Lola likes to do--at whatever time is most appropriate in her puppy mind, e.g. 6am--when she needs the toilet and I'm not moving fast enough is to lunge at my face, then whip underneath my neck and crawl over my face again; and repeat, ad infinitum, until I wake up. She will then lick my cheeks, eyelids and/or ears to get me to move faster!

Despite this, she has reasonable self control for a fourteen week old puppy. She will wait at a door when commanded to until it is open and she is released with 'okay' (about eighty percent of the time, anyway); and she'll wait until her crate door is open and she is released with 'okay' (maybe ninety percent of the time). But she won't wait whilst I put a treat on the Nina Ottosson Magic game we have, and she certaintly won't wait to be released to hurtle across the board and bulldoze the poor bone out of the way. We've just started on it yesterday, and already she's taking to it really fast; it took Jess a few sessions to progress to nudging off a bone lying horizontally across the gap, whilst Lola did it almost immediately. She's a smart, slightly crazy little cookie.

Today we've been working on stay. Since, yanno, she's supposed to have a one minute sit-stay by Monday. (Haha!) Obviously, it's not going to happen by then. But she easily managed a handful of ten second sit-stays earlier with minor distractions, and I'm going to do a couple each day until we're better. I'm certainly not going to try and force her to do a full minute by Monday; with the sheer excitement of the class (so many puppies! so much food!), I'll be lucky to have her hold a five-second stay.

I'm counting myself as lucky to even get her to sit still that long! When food pops out, so too does Lola's bouncy, springy terrierness. She will bounce, and bounce... and sit for a second and then bounce again. She obviously understood what 'stay' meant, though, as I was able to take half a step back and forward without her springing up from her sit.

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