Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 3 - Change of Plans

Atticus is doing great on his name recognition and attention. I get a nice, happy response every time I call his name. It helps all his other training fall into place. Such a nice boy...

We're finding plenty to distract him to work on his recalls.

And even with a lot of distraction, he's coming consistently when called. This is great because I can use this to call him towards me and get his attention on me if he starts his demand barking. He is already improving on that and not demand barking nearly as much.

We worked on several things today that were difficult for Atticus. He worked on the stairs some. I like to carry puppies up the stairs most of the way and have them finish the top part of the stairs so they have some success. I will slowly bring them down a little bit lower each time so they are completing more of the stairs each time. I do this on the way down too. Atticus seems to have the down part mastered pretty well but we're still working on the up part. It won't be too much longer before he is too big to carry part way up the stairs so we're hoping for success on this task.

Additionally we started heading outside to work on getting in the car. I was planning on rewarding him for getting close to the car and repeating the exercise until I got a really happy response when we were getting close to the car (over time working our way into the car). But our training got sidetracked. Atticus was hesitant to go outside. In the picture above you can see he is licking his lips. This is a sign that he is not comfortable...not to mention the fact that he put on his brakes and would not move forward. I'm not sure if it was the stairs at the front of the house or the traffic noise or a combination of the two but most definitely he did not want to go further. So, instead of working on the car today, we worked on the front door. We first worked inside the house close to the closed entry way door. When I was getting a really good response from him, I opened that door. We slowly worked our way into the entry way. Eventually we got to the point where I could open the front door and he could hear the noise and the traffic and I was getting a really happy response from him. Not wanting to push our luck and pleased with our progress, I ended the session there. Tomorrow we will see if we can get out the door. If we can, we will do a similar process with the car.

I should also note, I dropped his leash when he started balking at the door. I didn't want to force him into going some place where he was not comfortable and because we were inside in a safe environment, I could just drop his leash and let him make the call whether he wanted to move forward or not.

All this hard work makes a boy thirsty....

Oh, and Atticus would like to report my dog, Sinbad, for leaving toys in Atticus' crate in trade for the ones he is stealing from Atticus. Naughty boy...crate door is closed now.

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