Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Training Day 3

No surprises here. If not for my commitment to actually doing this for a whole week and knowledge that other mommas are watching I might have already declared victory and be back to my old ways. Yes, I know that's a pretty short attention span, but I am guessing I am not alone.

I have to keep this in perspective. Dex and I have already taken hundreds of walks and we have a few thousand ahead of us in the years to come. I am only talking about one week (that's about 7 - 10 walks). So suck it up and get to it!

Last night I took him out very briefly just to do his business and we went in the opposite direction of our usual walk in order to avoid a scary German Shepherd dog (who lives in somebody's garage... sigh) that is usually out in the early evening. Dex was much more distracted going in a new direction, but we managed.

This morning I stuck to the 3/4 mile loop. I also substituted part of his breakfast for treats which worked OK as long as I still used the high value treats now and then. Not as good as yesterday. I think the little guy is on to me that after a couple of days I will give in. Not this time. I am not worrying too much about how often I reward (more is better right now). I am focused on forming a pattern. I got fairly good attention and lots of nice auto sits. I did give him his head when I could tell from his bottom that pooping was becoming most urgent.

So as of now, I have a dog that I can walk nicely provided there is a flow of treats. What I need is patience because at some point his little brain will flip a switch and he will just associate walking nicely with rewards even if I am not shoveling them into his mouth every few steps. Right?

On a more entertaining note... prior to walking Pee-Wee last night I took Mango out into the yard to work on his tricks. Where is the camera when you need it? I was focusing on getting his front end through the weave poles and caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. Somehow he had gotten his back end tangled up in the first set of four and they ripped off their moorings and took flight. Mango seemed completely unperturbed by it and was quite bouncy and smiley "I did good, mom, right?" I think that sometimes he is unaware of exactly where his hiney is.

Mango is so long that for much of the time some part of him is engaged with several poles at once. And even once his legs pass through, his tail drags behind and is strong enough to knock things about.

Mango Momma

P.S. My most important training lesson thus far is; stick with it! Just train today! Don't think about how long this will take or anything like that. Make today's walk a good one.


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

That's okay - my mom doesn't always know where her hiney is either...

PeeEssWoo: HEY MANGO: Doesn't your Momma realize woo two are playin' her? How 'bout some mulberries?!?

Martha Basset said...

We are with Khyra - sometimes your hiney has a mind of its own!!!
Martha & Bailey xxx

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

can you politely go talk to the family who leaves the GS in the garage? maybe they will see you walking the boys sometime and see what nice pet ownership is all about

Woodrow, Sweetie, MJ Campanella said...

dont worry Mango - mommy says the same thing about me - i dont know where my butt is - i tend to sit on mommy head when she is sleeping cause i like to look ourt the window which is right about mooys head - or sit on her foot when she is on the couch. I know exactly where it is - it is where i intended to put it - on mommy!!!


Brind'Amour said...

Hey Mango,

Yeah, Aimee has that hiney issue too. She plops her hiney down no matter what's in her way, including her own mother!


Biggie-Z said...

Way to go, Mango and M-Momma! I wish P-Daddy would read your blog, as he gets easily frustrated with my walkies. My Momma is a little more patient.

On the treats issue - you can try spacing the rewards out slowly, or only rewarding the auto-sits that happen immediately. I.e. become a tougher grader as Dexter improves.

We are working on better leash walking too. The only problem is that Momma and P-Daddy share walking duties, and Momma is much more aware of the surroundings and commands/rewards, etc. sooner, while P-Daddy can be a little reactionary. Instead of telling me what he wants, he just jerks on the leash if I'm going somewhere else or doing something he doesn't want me to do.

We are reading your training posts for inspiration!

Lucia said...

Ciao Mango Momma!

I admire you enormously for this dedication to stay the course. And a week is nothing to sneeze at when you're working with an active dog like a Lab or -- in my case, the energetic Airedalius Lucius (aka, Looch-Ness Monster). Seven days can seem like a year! So hang in there and keep us posted -- as Biggie-Z says, we're reading your posts because they're inspiring!

BTW, have you used yet? It's great for calculating the length of walks if you're ever in need of such a thing.

Take care --
Lucia's ragazza

Thoughts said...

LOL, this gave me a very funny visual! What a sweet big old boy Mango is!

Murphy Dogg said...

You're sure putting in a lot of work, Mango Momma!

Rocky Creek Scottie Adventures said...

Keep up the good work. Remember a weeks training pales in comparison to living (for a week) in a house with a male dog that wants to get to "the love of his life" who is in season- no amount of treats will stop him - only brute strength!! LOL

Have a fantastic day,
Rocky Creek Scottie and Java Mom

The OP Pack said...

Lots of applause from our Mom for your perseverance - and you can come to OP next and work on Phantom:-)

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Oh what fun. Treats and walks.. Keep working on your poles Mango. Your enormousness will get it in no time..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Asta said...

Mango Mam
I think you awe absolutely wight..youw attitoode is wondewful..Pee Wee will get it fow suwe.
I wish I could have seen the Mango and the poles..must be hilawious
love and smoochie kisses

Eric said...

Dexter. Sounds like you are your Mom are doing really well. Tell Mom there is a great little training booklet by Turid Rugaas called "My Dog Pulls" which she might be interested in. We had a copy here once can't think why.

Wiry wags n kissies Eric xxxx

Scottie the 'cutie' said...

I wish my Mom would stick to my training as well as your Mom does, Dexter! I think probably that's her problem...she doesn't reward me enough, so I get distracted loads! heheh! I'm SOOO showing her your Mom's post so she can start the rewarding on my walkies pronto! *grins*



Hi Dexter

Tula's mom said she saw you the other morning and you did a sit at the street curb. She texted me to say that and I said yep.. it's confirmed. In training and that's what they are working on. Heee heee you have training spies.


Cookie and Cinnamon's Mum said...

I also need to keep giving Cookie treats during our walks. It seems he finds walks in our neighbourhood boring. When off leash at a dog friendly park or beach, he walks happily. I wonder if there is any better way to motivate Cookie to walk than luring him with food.

wally said...

Hi dudes!

Way to go with the walking, Dexter Dude. ANd GSDs do not belong in garages. They belong doing my bidding.

And I will keep an eye on your hiney for ya, Mango!

wally t.

ocmist said...

Hiney's do have a way of doing what they want WHEN they want to do it. Mine has a tendency to sit on Mama OC. At least ours don't have "Bull" Whips on the ends of them, like yours does, BIG Guy!

To bad your Mom didn't get some shots of your "tangle." THAT would have been hysterical... but, I guess, not very "Magestic" looking... snicker... Laughing WITH you BIG Guy, not at you, pal. BG

Joe Stains said...

That Mango story reminded Mom of those huge fire trucks that have a driver in the front and a driver in the rear LOL!