Monday, July 30, 2012

Training Tails

Shallie is learning so much. We've worked on several areas. From a safety perspective she needs to not speed past us & tear down the stairs, both inside & down the deck into the yard. On-leash, she does great. Off-leash, I've called "OK" just before she runs down the stairs, so it seems as if I've permitted it. Any other advice on doing this off-leash would be terrific.

Shallie loves to jump around & chase butterflies & grasshoppers & whatever other insects she can find in the tall grass. Tonight I thought I'd share in that with her. (Im sure my neighbors think I'm crazy!) I started using my hand (my grasping tool~just like her mouth) to bat around the grasses & exclaiming for her to look  at what I found. She came bounding over to see what I had & we had a blast searching out fun stuff together.

I also tried clipping her nails for the first time. I did just one paw this time & made it a positive experience. She was hardly bothered as I clipped each nail & told her "good!" & followed up with a little bit of kibble. By the last nail, she didn't seem to notice. I should add that I've practiced holding her paws & touching her nails every day for the past month or so, knowing that I wanted to move to clipping her nails.  We've always had dogs that needed to be held down for this, so it's nice to have this be a pleasant experience for everyone involved!

The thing we need to do more on is the open doorway. We've done the 2 person/ 2 leash thing with duck, duck, duck, goose. Shalimar is getting the idea, but still wants to blow through the door if we haven't just practiced it.

On another note, I tried some horse training with my 23 year old palomino quarter horse. Ive had Ruffy for 20 years & over the past 10 years or so, he's tried to bite me when tightening up the girth.  He bit me in the thigh once & ever since then, he's kept on trying.  After talking with Peggy, I tried her advice. I started by associating my "good!" with a little bit of peppermint. (That took no time at all!) Since he's good with being touched anywhere & the problem only occurs when putting on the girth, I saddled him up & started to tighten the girth one notch at a time. Every time I tightened a notch & he didn't react, I exclaimed "good!" & gave him a little bit of peppermint.  If he reacted (turning his head like he was going to bite) I backed off to the first notch and started all over again. I was able to cinch him up completely twice. What a difference! I'm going to keep working on this, but it looks like he might actually associate standing still while being cinched up with getting peppermint & I won't be trying to jump out of the way of his teeth! Yay!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jacque,

    Thanks for the thorough update! I love reading your posts:) I am getting lots of positive reinforcement through your correct interpretations and applications of my training ideas. I'm happy to hear you are making both dog and horse training progress. I can help you tweak the boundaries and stairs when I see you at class. Any videos you can post here, of your equine and/ or canine training practices, would be appreciated!