Wednesday, July 20, 2011

patrick loves yarn.

This isn't the first time this has happened. In fact, I remember that first time. My friend, Hannah, was here and it wasn't just one strand of yarn. Her and I were playing around on the sewing machine and burst out laughing as we say that poor little pup. He ran to us looking like he was asking for help with yarn trailed down the staircase and wrapped all around his body, legs, and face. He was covered in about 6 different colors. It is really hard to pretend I'm mad or discipline him for being in the yarn in the first place. It's just too funny.

Notice his good dog collar he's wearing? He's doing so much better than my last report! I took him for a walk yesterday and finally realized the problem. Inside the house, we have always been consistent with our training and disciplining which ends in great results! When we take him on walks, we are always so embarrassed by how out of control he is and what people might be thinking that we weren't training him at all. We were automatically getting frustrated and ultimately letting ourselves be defeated.

When I took him out for a walk last night, I tugged on the collar every single time he walked ahead of me and said "heel" ( Also, I always gave verbal praises when he did it). Eventually, I stopped tugging and just gave the verbal command and it worked! He slowed down when I slowed down and walked right by my side. He even would sit, shake, and lay down! (That's something he's great at when we're home, but would never do on our walks because he was too excited.) I couldn't believe how happy this made me and that I could be so proud of a dog. Haha.

Something we have also been working on is "leave it". When I put his favorite toy up to his lip and say leave it, he doesn't grab it from me until I say "ok". (He actually has to look away to avoid the temptation- it's so cute!) I want him to be able to understand this in other situations as well. For example: If he sees a cat across the street, I want him to listen to our commands over his natural instinct to chase it with the potential of getting hit by a car. After our walk, we came home and I grabbed his toy. We played with it for a few minutes, then I said "leave it" as I threw it again. He just stared at me and waited for the "ok". I was stunned that this actually worked!

Anyway, I really love this collar and don't know how we would have trained Patrick with out it. Another hint I heard from my sister -in-law (who recommended the collar) was to exercise your dog during or before training. I think the point was that they naturally want to run and play or would be worn out and a little more submissive. I can't exactly remember, why, but it was a big help. We went on a really long walk yesterday and I could tell he was tired enough to just give in. Haha. I think she said that she read this in Caesar Millan's book. You know, the dog whisperer.

Are your dog's obedient? How did you train them and what did you find most helpful?

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