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Old 10-04-2012, 10:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to train me <sigh>

Long and maybe confusing lol

First I am going to say I love our trainer. She is direct, straight forward and no bs. A good personality match for me.

Yesterday at training, she gave me a wake up call. Woolf is ready to move forward quicker then he is, but it appears I am holding him back She did say that with the history that it is understandable that I am not completely relaxing with him. I thought I was.

Did I also mention Chris can also be sneaky? She proved that yesterday and made her point. The training session consisted of me just playing with Woolf, leash in hand and had to be almost dragging. No toys, just investigating scents, talking to him and scratches, random praising mixed in. If I needed him to go in a different direction walking, had to use voice only. About 20 minutes into it, changing direction seemed almost 2nd nature, he wasn't walking away from me to sniff but staying with me. At the end of the training session, asked me to sit for discussion. Gave Woolf the down command, and he dropped like a bullet, and was relaxed enough he went to sleep while we sat there. He has never done this before. Point made.

So my homework till next training is developing the mental leash. Keeping in mind safety, start exposing him slowly to more of his triggers after a few days of of the mental leash exercise.

BTW, his relaxation carried on through the rest of the day. Response to anything asked of him was immediate. Point drove home even more

Please give me some more ideas for this mental leash, what you did, how you did it. My gorgeous boy is ahead of me and I need to catch up now.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You have just made a very, very important post. I see over and over again so many people asking for help with their dogs, but not thinking they need to see a trainer. They feel they can do it on their own.

As you stated above, there is so very much more involved with training then just teaching your dog to sit.

I applaud you! Great Work!

One of the things that my trainer had me do was keep my dog with me at all times while in the house. If i did laundry, he could hold a piece of clothing and walk with to and from the bedroom to the laundry room. If I was doing dishes, he stayed with me. When he was younger, I had to talk to him constantly to keep him with me. The idea was to try to keep him with me without calling out to him, or commanding him to follow. When he went out for a potty break, I was to go with him. I was also to keep my eye on the clock and give him breaks through out the day, at which time I was to kennel him.

It was a lot more difficult then I imagined.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you Lilie!!

Between working with Woolf's FA, celebrating each of his successes; I didn't really give a thought to questions asking how the bond is. Sure the bond is good but I had to learn the hard way, the bond goes far beyond the attachment. This dog is teaching me so much.

The description you gave is perfect for what I am asking for.

Maybe the quick change yesterday to staying with me was Woolf's way of saying it's way past time for that leash lol.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow sounds like the trainer gave good advice! I am so happy for you! Wohoo!
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Can someone please explain 'mental leash'? I think that part went right over my head.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twyla View Post
The training session consisted of me just playing with Woolf, leash in hand and had to be almost dragging. No toys, just investigating scents, talking to him and scratches, random praising mixed in. If I needed him to go in a different direction walking, had to use voice only. About 20 minutes into it, changing direction seemed almost 2nd nature, he wasn't walking away from me to sniff but staying with me.

Here the OP describes how her trainer is helping her develope the mental leash. Note that she isn't utilizing the leash for control, but she does have it as a safety measure.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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YAHOO for you! When I brought Kyleigh home, I had her leash attached to my waist for about 4 months (while we were in the house). A couple of reasons for this - I also have two parrots (one of which is flighted), and LOTS of wood in the house that I didn't want destroyed. Also, it makes it easier to know EXACTLY where she is!

From 4-7 months she was great off leash in the house - stayed close to me, on her bed with a bone, etc.

During her lovely 8-10 month age she challenged those boundaries, and I would reinforce MY rules by putting her back on leash and having her beside me. Don't get me wrong, we had some lovely meltdowns. I always won - lord is it hard not to stand there and crack up laughing at your puppy pulling a fit because it wants to be THERE not HERE. (And there is at the bottom of the stairs chewing on the railing).

Once I won that battle (on leash, at this place) we would be good for a couple of weeks, and then she tried it again. And I would win again ... patience patience and consistency!

Now, at 16 months that mental leash is PERFECT. It's somewhat elastic, depending on where we are. In the house, she's at my side all the time. Outside, she has learned that STAY CLOSE means within a couple of feet of me (if I'm on a hike and there's a curve coming up and I don't know if someone is around the corner). Heel, of course, means get over here quickly, in position. When I say ... GO PLAY ... she knows that she can extend her distance fairly wide (for me, fairly wide is about 50 - 100 feet). Her recall is absolutely PERFECT ... and I've tested it a thousand times. There is nothing more heart warming than watching your puppy come bounding back at you, tongue lolling, as fast as they can simply because you called!!!!

Lillie hit it bang on ... we can't see / do / understand EVERY single thing about our dog, especially when we are the one working with them. I've enlisted friends of mine to help me out with a number of things, and to point out what I am missing - since I can't see me doing the actual act! You think you've got it all down pat and then your friend says ... well, actually you did this ... GASP the horrors!!! It is me!!! LOL I find that whenever most dogs "act out" it's 99.9% of the time the owners ... we've missed something somewhere along the way ... could be a big step, or the tiniest little thing that we didn't even think was an issue.

Kudos to you, and good luck on your development, as well as your pup's!
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleigh View Post
YAHOO for you! When I brought Kyleigh home, I had her leash attached to my waist for about 4 months (while we were in the house). A couple of reasons for this - I also have two parrots (one of which is flighted), and LOTS of wood in the house that I didn't want destroyed. Also, it makes it easier to know EXACTLY where she is!
How is your pup now around your parrots? Are they out of their cages when the dog is loose? Does he chase them? I always put my dogs away when mine are out of their cages... but I'm curious as to your dog's response...
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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OH WOW ... look at all your parrots! I'm in love!!!! I have a TAG and a quaker.

Ky and the parrots? HAH not on your life!!!!

My last dog could be left out with them all the time. Abby used to be laying on the floor and my grey would fly down and preen her ears / head. I stopped Echo when she got a bit "aggressive" with the preening. Abby never once even snapped at them or anything. Once, my quaker (who can't fly) was walking on the ground, and the cat started walking towards him and Abby walked over and stood over the quaker. My cat just stopped and went, oops, and walked off! (Natually, I was ALWAYS in the room when they were all out together!)

I don't know if this will change as she matures / mellows.

As she got older, her teenage years and older, she was A LOT more focussed on my grey. I was unemployed for 5 months (just got another job 6 weeks ago) so I got to really spend time with Ky ... but I noticed that she was REALLY watching my grey.

She charged the cage ONCE. Echo was taking a bath in her water bowl (in her cage, door closed). I grabbed her mid air, and had her on the ground in about 1/2 a second. I didn't yell / scream or freak out BUT I did say in a very stern voice ... YOU DO NOT charge that cage ever again. She hasn't since, but I really don't trust her at this stage in her life.

She's never shown any interest in my quaker, not sure if it's because she's never really "seen" her ... if you catch my drift.

The downside for me is that my grey LOVES all dogs. My friend has a dane and a boxer (and a quaker) and when her dogs come over my grey is thrilled. My grey knows Ky's name and it doesn't help that she calls her name out (over and over), and says Kyleigh sit, Kyleigh down, Kyleigh come ... and SIGH, it's in my voice of course.

My "living room area" is quite big ... 25 x 20. I've set a corner aside for both parrot's cages, used a wall unit as a room divider, and have a desk that's on wheels to block off the rest of that corner. This way in the evening, the birds are in their cages, and Ky can't get to their cages. She can hear them and see them, but not get there.

At least I can leave them out of their cages all day while I am at work so they get lots of out of cage time!
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am curious about the "mental" leash. Stella is almost 16 months and I rarely have her off leash. She is always attached to a long line. Most of this is due to her dog reactivity, which we are working on and is getting much much better. At some point I would like to be able to let her off leash....so just how did you get that perfect recall?
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