A tired dog doesn't get into a lot of trouble. Talos, here, is a master at sleeping. But he's got some issues – like pulling on the leash.
But this isn't about Talos.
This is about you. Your dog. Your questions.
What problems would you like help with? What questions would you like answers to?
Leave a comment here on the blog and let me know what's on your mind. I'll look at all the suggestions, then start creating some posts to help answer your questions and solve your problems.
Lisa Harmon says
Kenai does what you do with your lab–scan the environment constantly. Back when he still walked loose leash and did what I asked I didn’t care as much. But he’s become jumpy about noises and movement, triggers often changing from day to day. I just never what what will happen with him next, and he’s not able to concentrate on doing what he’s supposed to. How do I stop the environmental focus and nerves?
Mary H. says
1. Thunderstorms are scary! (And we get quite a few in TX.) Any tips? Dog is not suppose to sleep in the bedrooms, but sometimes I move her crate in from the kitchen during a T-storm b/c I don’t like listening to her cry.
2. Transferring training to distracting environments? Dog is an angel in the house but has no focus outside. I’ve started reading Control Unleashed, and hoping to find some good exercises in there.
3. Tips, exercises, games to improve shaping skills for dog and me? Dog and I did 2 six week clicker classes last spring, but while +R, the classes were very lure dependent.
4. Loose Leash Walking revisited? The dog and I tried this last spring and were not very successful. Any tips would be appreciated.
5. Any fun games to reinforce training.
We are playing one now, where I put her in a sit stay, then wander off to some other part of the house. Then I release her, and she must come find me. She loves it.
pulling, lunging, walking on leash
Laurie Luck says
Lisa, sounds like Kenai is stressed and anxious. There isn’t a quick fix for this, but with patience and perserverance, you can help Kenai relax.
Imagine this: you’re scared of spiders and I take you on a hike where we have to walk through a lot of spider webs. I bet you’re going to be constantly scanning for those webs and for spiders. My telling you “Quit it! They’re *just* spiders. They won’t even hurt you!” probably wouldn’t help you quit looking around, I’ll bet.
And if I get demanding about it “Hey! I said QUIT it!” you’ll probably not like me and STILL be nervous!
But instead, if I gave you a way to cope with your fears – “Follow me, I’ll go first and knock down all the spider webs” – you’d probably be less anxious. Maybe even be able to enjoy the scenery a little bit.
So I’d say take lots of fantastic treats with you when you’re out with Kenai. Treats that he doesn’t otherwise get. Go somewhere that’s pretty quiet and out-of-the-way. Plan on staying 15 minutes (or less, if he gets nervous). Feed him some goodies. Don’t ask anything of him, just let him eat.
Try to keep him out of situations that increase his anxiety for the time being. Gradually, systematically, increase the distractions – go at your dog’s pace! Rush it, and you’ll have to start from the beginning again and it’ll take you twice as long…
Good luck and happy training!
Laurie Luck says
Mary, excellent questions! I’ll keep these and try to write some posts that address these. Thanks so much!
Laurie Luck says
Great, thanks for the feedback and ideas! There are some articles here on the blog about pulling and polite walking. Try searching under “Problem Behaviors.”
I would love to hear more on what Mary suggested, #2, specifically : Transferring training to distracting environments? Dog is an angel in the house but has no focus outside.
My dog comes sprinting if you even whisper her name inside, but outside when there are squirrels, smells, ppl, etc, she forgets it all and becomes oblivious.
Also, what’s the skinny on growling? I know to NOT correct it, and Clio growls in play (tug of war), and has growled at a stranger 2x. Is one of those considered an ok behavior while the other isn’t, should we put an end to it, etc?
I had another thought. I went to church tonight. Have you ever taken T to a church? With all the singing and noise and in some cases smells? It would be a good “sit quietly” try!
CB Mauro says
I would like to know any tips for how to handle or feel safe when walking your dog. I walk my girl on the C&O towpath nearly every weekend. Not only is it beautiful but dogs are required to be leashed, which is one of the things I like about it. Often we will pass other dogs, how do I keep my girl from yanking at that moment and just stay focused on the path? Also, when we pass other dogs there are some that will act aggressively and I am always afraid as to what could happen if they broke free from their walker. This is always on my mind as Scooby and I were attacked in the spring while walking, (different location), by a loose dog. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.