Update on My Dog’s Training

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I while ago, I made a post in which I was telling you that I was planning on starting to train my dog. The biggest obstacle, however, was that he has a lot of energy, and so calming him down was the first thing on my mind. Let me tell you how we’re doing so far.

1) Starting with a Calm Energy is More Difficult than it Looks

Most of the times, it wasn’t all that hard for me to remember that if I wanted a calm dog, I had to start with a calm me. However, it wasn’t always so easy. Sometimes, I had only a short window of time in which I could train him, so I had to rush. Other times, I was impatient to begin with. Finally, other times, I was concentrating so much on the fact that it was him I was training, that I forgot to check my own energy.

2) “Sit” and “Wait” Were Pretty Straight Forward

That is not to say I didn’t have any problems with these two commands, because I did. Sometimes, I would ask him to sit, and he would not pay attention to me. Other times, he would just look at me, as if he had no idea what I was telling him. I realized with this occasion that it is indeed better to simply hold the treat above his nose and move it backwards in order to remind him what on Earth I was talking about. My previous method, of gently pushing down on his back proved to be fruitless.

With wait I had a way easier time, though it did require a lot of patience, which I’ll speak about in my next point.

3) Patience, Patience, Patience!

This was one of the secret ingredients for success in training him. Especially with wait, I had to repeat the same steps over and over. It began with me telling him to sit, congratulating him, giving him the treat, then telling him “wait”. Then, I would start moving backwards. When he got up, I told him “No”, then repeated the previous steps. If he managed to sit still while I was moving a little bit, I congratulated him and gave him the treat. I repeated this steps over and over, until the distance I moved away from him was larger and larger.

4) Still Learning to “Leave it”

I began only a few days ago to teach him this new command, and the experience was pretty funny. I first showed him the treat, let him smell and lick it, then I said “Not allowed”, and moved my hand away. At first, he just stared at the treat for the longest time, with a very confused face. After a while of repeating this, I threw the treat down, and told him he was not allowed. Again, a long moment of staring followed, after which he lay down, and started crawling towards it. I reminded him he was not allowed to have it, then took it away. As I said, we’re still learning this command, but so far so good (and sooo funny 🙂 )

5) Moving Beyond the Basics

I have already started teaching him a new command, which is “lie down”. Today was the second day we’ve ever done it, and he’s already showing signs of comprehension. However, we still have to practice it a bit more before he’ll know it for certain. I will be making another plan for things to teach him after that, and how to do it. One of the commands that he should know is “go to your place”, but that might come a lot later, depending on how he’ll react.

This is about it for now!

/Larisa

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