Here are some of her lessons from today:
Safe and controlled exit from crate/vehicle
Margaret has to Sit before the crate door is opened. She must then Stay until given permission ("OK") to exit.
Loose Leash Walking
Walking down the street it was immediately obvious that Margaret was very distracted - she was way more interested in the sights and smells of the street than anything I had to give her (despite my having new delicious treats.) So I gave her time to sniff and get her bearings before asking for focus.
Dealing with Distractions
There were quite a few dogs on the streets, another source of distraction.
|Peeing can be a reward for loose leash walking!|
Greeting people politely
Next we met some people who wanted to say hi to Margaret. I used several techniques, depending on what Margaret was able to handle.
In this case she was able to Sit at some distance from friendly tourists who were missing their own dog.
Margaret has made good progress in this area but she is young and impulsive, and needs clear guidance throughout every interaction in which she might jump on someone. We will practice this together before you take her home.
Making walks more interesting
While we were walking, I took advantage of obstacles to add interest to the walk, and challenge Margaret mentally.
Working with more distractions
Moving right along - we headed to the boardwalk, where there were all sorts of distractions to work with.
|Those scary old stumps (she wasn't scared of them today)|
|Phuh, I wasn't really scared of them!|
This allowed us another chance to practice the "Stop, Turn, Move away" technique we use whenever the leash goes tight because Margaret is pulling towards something.
In this case, I was able to use the thing she was interested in as a reward. I picked up one of the leaves and used it (as I used eggs back home) as something to sniff or mouth as a reward for focus. This is generally really effective with Margaret - and it certainly was in this situation. Suddenly, she was with me 100%!
Down Stay in a Public Place
Before we headed back to the car, we did one more training session -- Down Stay in a new place. She did really well with that - she was happy to lie down and take a rest!
On our way back to the car we did some more leash walking practice where we had to walk through a small crowd of people, and pass adults and kids close up.
Entering a vehicle
Sometimes Margaret will hop up into my van, but mostly she likes a hand up. I asked her to do "Paws Up" and then gave her a helping hand :)
Drop It and Leave ItThis was a great opportunity to practice Drop It.
And then Margaret had some fun digging in the sand.
More Polite Greetings (Indoors)
Once Margaret had burned off some energy, we took her inside to practice saying hi politely to Debbie's parents. She was actually more interested in their cat's food. So I picked up the dish and used that as a potential reward. That got her attention!
Down Stay While Visiting
Once she had tried to eat the cat food and said hi to everyone, Margaret was a model visitor, lying down quietly at my feet - and smiling for the camera :)
After a long day, Margaret was happy to nap in the car all the way home. Then she played some Chuck It in the meadow, checked out the chickens with me, ate some dinner, and then crashed for the rest of the evening. She worked really hard today!