Today I used two stuffed rats as novel toys to reward her in an exercise that builds self control and teaches her to hold a Sit when she is excited, instead of jumping up to get attention or anything else that she wants.
Margaret is often more motivated by toys, play, or novel experiences (like sniffing something she is interested in) when she is learning something new, unless she is tired or hungry. Treats are motivating for her, but a new toy puts an extra spark in her eyes and spring in her step.
We worked on all her basics, Name, Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Wait, Come, Let's Go, This Way, Bed, Leave It, Drop it.
When Debbie arrived, I put Margaret through her paces, asking a little more of her door manners each day.
I put her on leash and asked her to Sit Stay in the breezeway about 6 feet from the front door. (Debbie had her camera at the ready.)
When she was focused and calm enough, I gave her her greet cue: "Go say hi!" Then i let the leash just long enough for her to reach Debbie, and allow her to touch her hand, then praised her, which made her turn back to me, for a treat. We repeated this a few times successfully.
|Good girl, Margaret!|
The reward - intense play with The Moose, who is very tolerant of her teenage enthusiasm and loves to let her chase him around the meadow.
Margaret's next challenge was to wait for me outside the gate while I let the chickens out to roam free. She did very nicely but there was a moment when I had the feeling she might climb through the wire fence, so I put her in the side yard.
She is also getting some good play time with Moose.
Lastly, we set off on a training/adventure hike with Lilly and The Moose. Lilly is a recovering reactive dog, so everyone was on leash. This gave Margaret lots of opportunity to work on her leash manners in exciting circumstances.
Margaret was happiest when she was the lead dog!
On one occasions, Margaret came face to face with Lilly, a little too close. You can see what they thought about that - but both turned away when prompted and nothing came of it.
|A teeny bit of trash talk!|
Finally, I put Margaret in her crate and she went straight to sleep, no protestation at all, and stayed there for nearly two hours.