Posts Tagged ‘Collie’

Luci is taking off, but Scout?

June 1, 2009

Last post, I introduced Luci a Shepherd/Collie mix we are working with and promised to bring you up to date.

When we got to Luci’s last training appointment, we worked with Luci on not charging the door. Her human was doing a GREAT job being assertive. It didn’t take Luci long to figure out that she was to stop about 6 feet from the door.

We worked with ‘natural’ landmarks for her so she’d get it faster. One door has a short hallway 6 or 7 feet in length, so we worked with her stopping there. At the front door, there are two carpeted openings to the tiled entrance. So we worked on stopping Luci at the carpet edge.

Give your dog a nice hard, “SIT” when they are at the limit you wish them to respect. The first few times might be done with a lead, so you can tug at the same time as the command, right at the border you are teaching. Also, work on a hand signal to give the dog at the same time. Little by little, just use the visual and soon enough you won’t need to say anything. Won’t be long before the dog will know to go to that line at the door bell and wait for you.

Make sure when training that you don’t overwhelm your dog. Too many people giving the command, too many commands, too many different commands, can exhaust and confuse your dog. As we often do training appointments with two of us, we have a general rule when training that the person with the lead is the one that gives commands. The other person can help where needed.

Overwhelm: You may see your dog “shut down”; go to a neutral corner and hide; or head for its kennel or quiet spot. Make sure to remove your dog from that shut down area with a lead if needed. Just gently tug her out. It might be a good time to not train again for a while or anymore that day. Praise your dog quietly and pet them. Let them know you’re understanding. Then next time, go at it a little gentler and simpler. Your dog will get it!

We started working with Scout last week too. Scout is a Terrier/Something Else dog. She is a furry ball of sweet fun. Scout’s yard was smaller, on a hill and had an electric fence. That made it a challenge to stay in the boundaries and still work with her. By the end of our first session, she was beginning to understand a loose-leash heel and to sit when we stopped.

More on Lexi’s barking (or lack thereof), her progress and whatever else comes up next time!

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Luci, you got some ‘splainin to do…

May 29, 2009

A couple of weeks ago we started working with Luci, a Shepherd/Collie mix. Among Luci’s issues were charging the door, jumping on people, pulling when on lead and occasionally herding a car or two.

As you may know, our German Shepherd, Lexi goes on all our appointments with us. She’s a great example of a calm, submissive dog. (BTW, we’ll soon have our website ready to go and will have a quiz there you can take!)

But I digress. The reason I mention Lexi going on training visits with us, is that when we visit Luci, it doesn’t take long before we start calling Lexi/Luci and Luci/Lexi and well, if WE’re confused, imagine the poor dogs!

Anyhow after our orientation with Luci’s owner and laying some basic groundwork, we saw Luci starting to understand commands she learned while in that first session. It was obvious that Luci was really smart, really wanted to please, and that she’d learn very quickly. After just a few trips up and down the street with trainer Aaron, Luci was loose-leash heeling!

Next post I’ll get to our most recent visit and relate Luci’s progress, as well as our new client, Scout; a Terrier mix.

Oh, by the way, Lexi is still a reluctant barker. I’m actually glad! Last night around midnight after the Cavs won (Go CAVS!!), I took Lexi out. She went past the edge of the back of our house. The house across the street (probably 120′ away) has a white-ish fountain/planter/thing in the front yard. Last night Lexi saw this for the first time and proceeded to ensure my safety by barking it down. Funny. Good opportunity to encourage her to “Speak”, which is another way to use a behavior your dog has and encouraging it with a command.