Tonight was obedience class again. Having just gotten back from our trip to OH, Treasure and I are both a bit tired, but it didn’t show too much at class. Tonight we practiced getting our dog’s attention with their name and a word for attention. And we reviewed using our marker signal to mean treats are coming. Treasure has no problem with any of these, since she loves to eat! She has gotten used to me blowing gently on her and will look for her treat. If you remember, last week, she did not appreciate me blowing on her, so I wanted to see if she’d get used to it or not. The next step is that I’m blowing on her from different directions and teaching her to look in the direction the air current comes from.
We worked on collar grabs. I touched Treasure’s collar and gave her a treat, then held the collar and gave a treat, then grabbed the collar and gave a treat, etc. We progressed up to pulling lightly on the collar and giving a treat. This went very quickly in class because I had already been working on this since I brought her home. That’s how I taught her to let me lead her by the collar and then how we progressed to walking on a leash.
We continued our loose leash walking exercises, progressing from walking backward with the dog following us, to turning the dog to come up next to our leg and walk with us. I worked a bit differently with this one. I stood next to Treasure with my leg touching her, both of us facing the same direction. Then I held the leash so that when my leg stepped forward, I could also put a bit of pressure forward on the leash. She felt my leg move next to her body first, and then the pressure forward on her collar which I had already taught her meant to move forward with me. So I am teaching a new cue for walking with me. My goal is to have her walk beside me by feeling my leg moving next to her. That way, she will be able to tell my speed, and direction, and know when I stop by feel. I only focused on her moving one step with both leg and leash cues for now and for that she got her treat. I will add more steps as she starts to respond to the cues easier.
We started recalls in class. I used a slight leash wiggle in my direction to guide Treasure to me and then of course, she got lots of petting and those all important treats! As she was coming towards me, I backed up slowly to add distance. And I rewarded downs during the times in class where I was just sitting on my chair waiting for our turn. If Treasure laid down by me calmly, I would drop treats between her paws on the floor now and then. She knows this game and when it came time for us to get up and work, she stayed down, waiting patiently for her next treat!