Thursday, January 16, 2014

Switching the training approach...

After reaching out for suggestions, I'm ditching the confronting Lucy with smelly situations and testing recall knowing she's probably not going to come. Instead, the focus will be on lots of recall fun games. Reinforcing what she already knows. Setting her up for lots of success. Even introduce the whistle for recall! Lucy is starting to test boundaries. Right now, I need to have patience and build trust. Build the successful habit of a willing happy trusting recall. Back to basics.

So tonight we went on a walk. She did well with loose leash walking. Had a treat every ten-fifteen steps. Off-leash, we even practiced the same cue "Nice" and she walked a slow controlled pace perfectly matching my step:) so she understands something there! She still gets excited and wants to just lunge after a smell, but I tried to be patient and halted until she let the leash slack again.

For recall, we just had fun with it. I only called her when I knew she would come. NOT when she was sniffing something. 

I did introduce the whistle tonight! When she was already full speed towards me, I did three short blasts. Eventually she'll associate with "come". I think this is important because the whistle can be heard from a long ways a way and can be useful for recall at the beach, dog park, hiking, etc :)

After the walk, I even had her wear the halti inside for about 30 minutes! She didn't even complain and for once didn't seem to mind it! Excited to condition her to be able to wear it on a walk to reinforce loose leash walking skills!

Introducing the whistle and practicing loose leash walking remind me of how much fun training can be. Especially when the puppy starts to get it... It's just so much fun!! 

So that's what needs to happen. All approaches need to be based on fun. It makes me want to teach Lucy other fun little things because it's just so much fun for the both of us. I also see the importance of going back to the basics and reinforcing what she already knows.

As for recall... I'm frustrated she won't come when called when there's a smell involved. So instead of forcing it (confronting the situation)... I'm going back to the super fun recall games she loves. And reinforce the good behavior. Build up success success success and put lots of play into recall. Reinforce that foundation and perhaps then she will be more inclined to come when called when faced with a tempting distraction.

Just lots of fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment