22 Oct Ruff Love – Day 5
I never understood why people made such a big deal about not allowing dogs on the couch. I like cuddling with my dogs so letting them on the couch felt natural. But now that I’m following the Ruff Love program, and not allowing them on the couch, I’ve realized how much more value their crate has. If they are not allowed on the couch, the only other comfy place to lie, is there crate and that seems to be a good thing for their training. Delilah used to be pushy in the morning, getting up early and walking around trying to get me up to feed her. This behaviour is no longer possible now that she’s crated at night. A while back I wrote about Delilah’s over arousal when my husband comes home. I’ve been dealing with this by teaching her to go to her crate when she hears the door open and then rewarding her with a treat. She’s definitely getting it and is barking a lot less. I definitely need to continue to work on getting her to go to her crate from all parts of the house and with some distractions.
Outside with Tyson I really trying to implement the work I think I cheated on along time ago. This is to feed him the most amazing treats as soon as we see another ‘large’ dog and to stop feeding as soon as that dog is gone. This is called classical conditioning. I think I got stumped along the way because Tyson is under control that when he sees another large dog on leash, he resists the urge to bark and looks at me. The problem is that I can tell by his stress signals (bulgy eyes, heavier breathing, highly aware of the other dog), that even though he’s working he’s still quite fearful. This is why i have decided to go back a step and put more energy into pairing the incidence of a large dog with something awesome. I know I’ve controlled his response to seeing the other dog by teaching him to look at me, but I’ve never managed to change his mind that seeing a dog is a good thing. Is this possible? In theory, yes.
Stuff we worked on today: Asking Tyson to target my hand before I toss the ball. This one is particularly challenging for him. He’s very bossy with the ball. Barking at me to throw it.
With Delilah I practice getting her to Stay while being brushed. She hates being brushed and because she has short hair, I don’t have to brush her a lot so we rarely practice.