Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 5 -- Courage

Today was a day of great triumphs for Attticus! He made it up and down my big staircase several times today. We will continue to practice on the stairs in and around my house and we are also going to work on some stairs away from the house. Mastering my stairs is a good start but that doesn't mean he will have all stairs mastered. Dogs don't generalize so, if they learn something in one place, it doesn't mean they know it in another place. But mastering the stairs does help build his confidence and that will be good all the way around.

He did great walking out of the house and around the traffic but then put on the brakes when we got close to my car. I kept the leash loose so as not to force him towards the car. I turned my body away from him and stood next to the car with some tasty treats in my hand.

It did not take very long before he was sitting next to me with his tail wagging, happily taking treats from me. We're not going to get into the car today, we might do that tomorrow. But we'll have several sessions of approaching the car without the pressure of having to get in.

He's improving on his stays. It's nice to see him resting on his hip in his stays because that shows me that he's relaxing into it. The more he gets reinforced for those stays, the more comfortable he is going to be. This is also handy for teaching "go to your bed" so he's nice and relaxed if you ask him to do that.

Atticus does a great job asking for things by doing a nice "sit." He and Sinbad are waiting patiently for their dinner. He is working hard at not diving into the other dog's bowls. Because he is not 100% on this I make sure he is eating in the same room only with very safe dogs who are not going to correct him if he makes a mistake. He does love his food!

His recall is coming along very nicely! He will very happily come even when playing with a group of dogs. The rain has been falling hard here so we've moved a lot of our training indoors. Playing Hide-and-Seek in the house is a really fun game that Atticus LOVES. I hide in another room and call him to come. If he is having a hard time finding me, I'll encourage him along the way (making sure not to repeat "Come") and, when he finds me, jackpot with treats. He thinks that's a fabulous game. I have the feeling we'll be playing a lot of that this week...

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