Sunday, February 15, 2009
We had a nice long walk before dog class, then we did a lot of walking in the class. Today they learned "Sit to greet", shake, and "sneak". Sit to greet is where they have to be in a sit before someone greets them, and either they get petted or a food reward (or both). If they break the sit, they don't get the reward then, but have to start the sit over. Shake is obvious - put them in a sit, and lightly brush the back of the front paw just above the pad. Don't say "shake". Dogs tend to have a dominant paw, like people, and will pick that one up faster. Hold the paw in one hand and give the dog a treat. When they start picking up the paw and putting it in your hand, start saying "shake" before the action.
Sneak or crawl - put the dog in a down, and hold a treat just in front of its nose. Move the treat slowly away from the dog's nose. When the dog starts to crawl forward, give the treat. If they duck-butt, or stand up completely, restart. (Shalako still has a problem with down, but she occasionally does it right. Samurai does down correctly 4 out of 5 tries.) When the dog does it right, keep trying and pull the treat further away so they start crawling. Give the command to sneak or crawl.
One more training class, then the final class is graduation. They have to sit, down, stay in sit & stay in down for a minute each (!), immediate come when called, and loose leash walk. They don't have to do any tricks (shake, crawl, dance, speak). Rebecca, the trainer, says most dogs graduate. Oy, it'll be embarrassing if my pups don't pass.