Friday, July 6, 2012

The +R Version of a Correction/Punishment

After watching this video by KikoPup on YouTube, I have decided to eliminate the butt blaster from our training regimen.  I am going to incorporate a whistle instead (read on).  I think they essentially serve the same purpose (at least they do for Dolce), but I always have my whistle on me, and it'll draw fewer horrified looks from onlookers.  [If Dolce had reacted to the butt blaster in a negative way, I never would have used it again.  It simply and strictly redirected his attention onto me in an immediate way that required no training.]

What I do:  when I make a specific, short whistle sound on our walks, he is to turn to me immediately, expecting a fun game of chase in reverse and a yummy treat; when I make the same whistle in the house, like when he barks excessively, he is to come find me and expect lots of pets and praise, play, or even a treat if I have one.

Today is my first official day training this and putting it into practice.  I took Dolce out with one of the greys (separately) on our afternoon walk.  I whistled, and when Dolce turned to look at me, I jogged backward and got out a treat, praising him for how smart he is.  I love that a whistle is a sound that dogs inherently orient to -- even the greyhounds!  So he and Kibeth or JoJo each got a yummy (it seems to work best for me to break the chicken jerky discs into 1/2, then Dolce's into 1/4 -- I feed Dolce one, then the girls get theirs, then he gets another afterward) every time I make this sound.

By the way, these treats seem to be Dolce's favorites for walks.
I've been getting Wellness, Wilderness, and Canidae mushy square treats,
but he always responds best to these lately.
Every dog I work with goes bonkers for them, too.
I just wish they weren't made in China. =/

It seems to have stuck into Dolce's brain after one training session; no surprise there.  The pleasant surprise was that it worked for Kibeth, too!  I'm excited for this, because Kibeth has started reacting to dogs who are acting rudely on our walks.  This will be an excellent management tool for the both of them!

We have our first social hike together tonight.  I'm hoping he'll be a good boy, and our new interruptor will help.  He's been a little on edge ever since we met Twix and Bailey on Tuesday.  I got some Natural Balance food roll (grain-free duck flavor) for the walk to help him cope.  I'll probably bring along some hot dog, too.  We generally don't use the Natural Balance because I hate how it crumbles.  We'll see if Pam's suggestion of refrigerating it prior to use helps!  It's certainly CONSIDERABLY cheaper, and I remember when I did use it, Dolce thought it was puppy crack!

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