Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Training Day 2

First off, I want to make it clear that I do not intend to hijack Mango's blog for my boring training stuff and if this persists for more than a week I will move my comments to a different site.

Wow! This is super hard! I have become hyper aware of every small body movement since Dexter is. For example, he was doing very well this morning with good auto sits, but he kept bouncing up. And then I realized that I was making just the hint of a forward motion with my body and he was picking up on that. Once I was aware of it, I tried just leaning ever so slightly forward and up he went, so after that I practiced him holding his sit until I moved my left leg.

It has (finally) become clear that Mango is the top dog in our little pack. Not how I would have liked things to work out given Mango's somewhat limited cognitive skills, but that is the case. Anybody interested in discussing that more can email me privately at backupdogATcomcastDOTnet.

A bit of a setback last night. I had to run out again almost as soon as I got home from work, so I went out in the yard with the dogs, but no Dexter pee. By the time I got home it was almost dark. I took Dexter out in the yard alone, but nothing, so in desperation I put on his night blinker and leash and took him to do a quick squirt. By this time Mango was agitated from not getting his time so I did not grab the treats and Dex and I had quite a pull, but he did pee.

Today we went for our 1.5 mile loop. A bit further than I should have and we were both waning by the end, but Dexter did really well. I am going to try cutting back his food tomorrow and using his kibbles on our walk. There were a few tugs and distractions, especially as his need to poo became more intense. I did finally get a poo about 3/4 mile on. We mainly focused on keeping attention even when something distracting was coming up, like a favorite sniff place.

But my arms are not sore and I am not grouchy so that's a good thing. Patience, patience, patience. So hard. Plus I know I am not being completely consistent, but that is hard as well. I am trying to use my voice as little as possible so that I don't send too many mixed messages. I am also not to give in to the temptation to work on more than one skill. I had thought of practicing recalls on our walk, but I think for one week focusing on the loose leash will be for the best.

I would say the biggest victory already is that we are getting down the driveway and across the street to the main drag without pulling. I do get a little of take the treat, run ahead a few feet, come back to heel, etc. But he isn't going ahead to the end of the leash.

Until tomorrow.
Mango Momma


Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...


Woo had better hope I don't woo that to him!

PeeEssWoo: Will I have to paw pikhs to make him understand?

Mack said...

I'm with Khyra! I sure hope Mango's feelings don't bruise easily!

Brodie and Ailsa said...

Poor Mango, maybe he deep thinking and you don't know. I likes to pull so know how Dexter feels, just want to get someplace faster them mums but she just stops an walks backwards so I have to stop and so it takes longer to gets werre were goin. in ends it bette to stay right beside her.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Have you thought of attending a formal obedience call with him?

Also, with walking, when he sits see if you can keep in sitting until you give the command "forward", then he will know to move.

This should be a time for you to relax and bond with this guy...not one where you anticipate angst. Dex wants to please you more than anything else on earth. You are his person. He loves you.

Checkers said...

better you than me :-)

Lucia said...

Ciao bella Mango Momma!

La mia ragazza faces some of the same issues with me that you have with the Labradude, but you most definitely seem to have a better handle on things than she does. My vet and my breeder (also a trainer) both say consistency is the key to success -- and so far, la mia ragazza has been very consistent about gulping down lots of aspirin and chardonnay after our training sessions. (Heeeee!!!!) If you decide to set up a different site for training details, please let us know -- we'd love to follow it.

Hang in there!

Lucia and her 'ragazza'

PeeEss: Have you done rally before? My trainer suggested that might be really good for me, so mia ragazza is trying to find out more.

Life With Dogs said...

Solid progress, very nice! I think we all need to listen to that "one command at a time" advice, it's easier for the dogs...

Heather and Pumpkin said...

Poor Mango! I guess when one is so greatly blessed with brawn, brains take a back seat. I love my big hunk!

My mom is most annoyed by pulling, and I don't know why she should be when I am a mere 8.5 lbs! I have made great progress recently though. At my teacher's recommendation, Mom got me a Gentle Leader Easy Walk harness that makes it most unsatisfying to pull. After the harness cut down on my pulling, mom got a leash that attaches to her waist instead of being held in her hand. That way, she can't tug on the leash to communicate with me and I actually have to pay attention to her. Its hard work but I have to admit our walks are going much smoother. The one area where I'm not doing too well is doing my business on command.

Keep up the great work you are doing with Pee Wee, sounds like you are making some nice progress!


Sierra Rose said...

Hiiiiii Mango and Dexter!
My mom really loves your training entries!!! She is just learning how to work with me.
We will keep checking for updates!
I'm over at www.goldensierrarose.blogspot.com

Sierra Rose

Rocky Creek Scottie Adventures said...

You are progressing greatly. It doesn't all happen in a day or even a week. Keep up the consistency.

Please let us know if you move to another blog so we can keep up with both boys.

Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Java

Asta said...

Awe you talking about my bwilliant fwiend Mango? and my soopew obedient Dextew???
I'm confoosed
smoochie kisses

Martha Basset said...

We are with Asta - you got these brilliant dogs all wrong!!!

Our human brother did some dog training and is always telling our mum she uses too many words - keep it simple!

Martha & Bailey the untrainable bassets!!!!

Fiona, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

"Limited cognitive skills"?!? This can't be the same Relentlessly Huge Mango that we have all come to know and love. You must be thinking about some other dog named Mango!

(Fiona's Mom here - you have motivated me to work with Fiona on the same stuff as she is So Excited when she goes on a walk that she sort of forgets that she should be walking with me, and not dragging me. She gets distracted fairly easily, but today I went out with a pocket of treats and was able to regain her attention with a verbal command and a treat - hopefully if I can be consistent and reinforce the good, she'll become a little more focused. Good luck - and keep posting, as your progress keep me motivated to work on my own girl.)

Fi back. Lots of kissey faces for Mango, because I think he's just the smart silent type, and not of 'limited cognitive skills'! Mango, are you going to put up with this?!?

*kissey face*

Ludo van Doggy said...

Hey Mango Momma.
I dunno if you've thought of this already, but have you tried a head harness? Auntie Penny wears one of those, she sound a bit like Dexter, she just a crazy pulling machine and Mum has tried every trick and collar and harness in the book.

They was recommended a head harness by an evil vet (so i don't trust it) but it really do work well to stop her pulling since it turn her around if she do and now she know how not to pull.
~lickies, Ludo

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Mom still has problems with us. She looks pretty silly leading 3 dogs around the lake. Of course Callie girl thinks she needs to be first no matter how hard mom fights her back.. Louie is such a suckup. He is always walking with a loose leash. Me on the other hand, I have to be ready for any rabbit of squirrel that appears..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Rufus, Indie (and Anita) said...

Hi Mango Momma! Well, I have to be honest: Rufus is not very easy to walk too. I'm working with him on the pulling thing and still is a difficult task for Rufus (and me)!As you said, is hard to be consistent!
Don't give up (I won't too)!!!
Ana (Rufus and Indie)

Allison (Dog Mom) said...

Bit by bit, little by little....

I need to do intensives with Waldo this summer, as well. He doesn't have quite the energy that Dexter does, but he exhibits a lot of the same behaviors. Thankfully Gus has settled a bit since turning 3.

Owner of Storm and Jackal said...

I'm very proud of you for working with Dexter and I don't find your training posts boring at all.

wally said...

Oh I hope Dexter does well! My brudder still sometimes pulls, mostly when he is really excited because he knows we are going to the field. My ma ape would like to borrow some of your patience, especially because she doesn't always have time to work with O-man alone and we all go for walkies together and I am an ANGEL on walks. Did I mention that? I am perfect.

wally t.

ps. Mango--I don't believe you are at all challenged cognitively!

Woodrow, Sweetie, MJ Campanella said...

Good luck on your dexter training - and poor mango getting put down

woodrow sweetie mj

Joe Stains said...

Keep up the good work!! We like reading about it and knowing what is going on!