Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Little Things

Sometimes when we are training a new puppy, we get caught up in teaching sits, downs, stays and walking nice on a leash and we forget to celebrate the little things that make our puppies well behaved, easy-to-live-with companions.

This week, I am celebrating two "training" milestones, that for some may seem insignificant, but for me are big accomplishments.  The first one is that I can put an entire load of dishes into the dishwasher without Rundle diving in and trying to lick all the dishes.  He now sits nicely next to me and watches, but no more dishwasher diving!  The second milestone is that Rundle has learned what the snooze button means.  The alarm used to mean pounce on mom and lick her until she gets up.  Rundle now knows when I hit the snooze, I am not getting up and that he should go and lay on his bed for 9 more minutes.  Since I am almost always lacking in the sleep department, that is cause for huge celebration :)

It is always nice to be able to celebrate the "little things" that our puppies learn.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Free Shaping

I mentioned in my last post that I signed Rundle up for a Performance Puppy class with the Fenzi Acadamy of Dog Sports. Although I am not allowed to share specific class lessons I am allowed to share the videos that I made for the class. One thing that this class has really forced me to do is to work on free shaping. This is something that is a bit out of my element even though I have been clicker training for some time. I usually shape with a specific goal in mind to teach a specific behaviour, but I never really got into the "101 Things To Do With A Box" that is the trademark game of clicker trainers. I guess I never really saw the point of rewarding any random behaviour the dog offered and to be honest, I found it a bit boring. I do think it is a good game to play to teach good timing and to teach you how to be observant, especially if you are new to clicker training. After doing this class, I do see the benefit for the dog in free shaping. It gives the dog permission to try new things and to offer many types of behaviors. It really gets them thinking and doing - Rundle seems to enjoy the game, so that is a bonus.