Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Snicker Dog Training

So much has happened since I last wrote - my best friend came from Cincinnati to visit me in San Diego. We didn't have tons of plans, just to hang out, eat sushi, drink some wine and TALK!! I have not seen her since last October the weekend I went home for my son's wedding. We had time together then, but not like we planned for this weekend. Just us...no interruptions!

BUT she is allergic to dogs - not as bad as other allergies she has - but nevertheless the dog can't jump on her, can't have much direct contact with her and certainly can't bite at her. She won't put up with it and on last Thursday afternoon, I finally decided I wasn't going to take it either! So, I took the advice from one of my readers and found Leonard Ludovico. The best part is that he is only 35 minutes north of my house and had time available Thursday late afternoon.

So.....for the sake of my sanity, my family's, my friend's, we took Snicker up to see Leonard. He instructed me on the phone that I have to give up the "positive clicker training" for now. That those commands are BS and self-serving for the dog. That he will respond to the command when he wants to in order to just get the treat or the pet or the reward. Rewards are good, but they should not be the reason the dog sits, stays, walks right, etc. etc.

We got up there and within a few minutes Snicker was on his way to becoming a better behaved dog that ended up respecting me by the time we left. I learned how to be the leader of our pack. I'm still learning and will persevere every day. After just one hour and a half lesson I learned how to control him, how to walk him, how to keep him from biting, how to keep him from jumping AND like I said...I'm still pushing forward every day and 'practicing' how to be the LEADER OF THE PACK!!

And the entire weekend was a success because of the training. He tried to jump on Sherry just a couple of times, she pushed him down, told him no and he stayed down. He has virtually quit jumping on us and has quit biting us. He still walks terrible on the leash, but I was able to take him to Fiesta Island and let him run off his leash in a place where there are no distractions. It was really fun because he kept his eyes while we were walking around. I could tell when he was getting stressed and needed more structure. The leash went back on, I kept him by my side, he settled down and I was pleased.

Leonard gave me some parameters - no strangers petting him, no public dog parks, keep the leash on in the house for a while until he can be trusted to keep his eyes on me, no toys when he's alone except outside, toys in the house only when we are playing with him, and not to be emotional when training him - quit talking to the dog, use actions, not words.

All I can say is - so far....so good....so until I get a job, I will make lesson #1 last until I can afford lesson #2. Thanks Leonard!


"Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!"
--- Eleanor Roosevelt

1 comment:

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