First Training

First day of training. Really we are talking about first day of training for me. Dahlia was not very food motivated.  I feed her three times a day and give her a pork rib with all the meat on it at the end of the day.

Deb wants us to focus on driving for food. Dahlia did do some but she was distracted by the environment somewhat.  Training is in a large horse barn with dogs in kennels along the outside.  They heard us in the building training and were barking a lot. Dahlia was also interested in looking at everything in the building. She did do some driving for food but would get distracted. Daddy needs to learn to not feed her before training.

Deb has me holding food between my thumb and palm and getting Dahlia to drive toward me, as I walk backwards, between my legs to get the food. Clicker training or “yes” should be said when the dog is in the right position and driving or pushing toward me. When she is in the right position I say yes or click the clicker and then release the food. The point of this exercise is to get her driving toward me and in the right position for the food to be released.  We also practiced driving in the heal position. When doing this exercise the clicker or yes occurs when Dahlia is in the right position along my left leg with her head up. At that time the clicker is clicked or I say yes and then release the food.

Deb also covered having the dog walk backward for the food and small reactions to change in hand position. In this exercise Dahlia needs to learn to follow the change in my hand position, moving her back end around to orient to the position of my hand.

We talked about my desire to have Dahlia back out of the blind in the future to the heal position.  Here we will first teach Dahlia to back up.  From there we will shape the back up through clicker training and shaping the backing up behavior. I hope to have video of the exercises as we go along.

My main lessons for today is to make sure that Dahlia is hungry so that she is driving for the food. After letting her go about 12 hours without food the next time I did the exercises she was much more responsive and was much more attentive to me.

We also began to teach the “place”. In this exercise she moves to stand on a upside-down food bowl with her front legs to get a “Click” or “Yes"and then food. Dahlia is doing very good at this exercise and will move to the bowl when I am standing near to get her food.  The next step will be to get her to move to stand on the bowl with me about a foot away.

Dahlia likes to bite everybody on the arms and legs.  Debs suggestion was to place her in her Kennel for 1/2 hour whenever this occurred.  I started to do this. To be honest I used a fifteen minute time out in the kennel after the first infraction.  When she bites I tell her no. If she bites again she goes in the kennel for 15 minutes.  I then let her out.  If she bites again after that I tell her “no” and then she goes in the kennel for 1/2 hour. I would of did 1/2 hour right away but I was a woos. She is learning not to bit the family and today she has not had as many time outs.

This is a video of a dog doing the exercises.

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