Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lessons from Practical Living, Class Four

(Woops, I missed a post about Class Three)

Today, Duke was a champ! No incidents of howling in class and he was focused the whole time. A few factors playing into his outstanding performance:

1) He's had bouts of diarrhea in the last few weeks due to a diet switch and eating a lot of melting food from the streets. He's feeling better. Illness or injury plays a huge part in reactivity.

2) We fast him on school nights so he's more motivated to do work. Basically he gets a very small breakfast and that's it all day. This just increases his motivation and drive for food reward.

3) We also put cheddar cheese into the treat bag (thereby increasing the value of the rewards)

We were able to walk by many dogs in class, and have many dogs walk by us, and Duke either held it together or we were able to put him in a backaway.

In today's class we learned:

1) Down stay while reading the newspaper
2) Down stay while getting up to go to the door and come back
3) Down stay while other dogs are recalled (Last year, Duke couldn't do this in Step Ahead - he'd recall to the arms of other dog owners calling COME - this year he nailed it!)
4) Go to your Bed
5) Emergency stay mid-recall (see video)

Well done Dukey!

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