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Teaching dogs to cooperate with us on leash in distractions takes time, patience, and small steps. Walking down a city street or a quiet street comfortably with your dog takes a few steps.
In Week 1 with Luna, we started this process inside in our our dog room. The environment (outside in this case) makes it a lot more distracting. Of course her friends playing inside and outside start the distractions. When we were starting heel training with Luna, her daycare friends were mainly asleep or in a down. So the other distraction in this video, is her friends playing of course.
The video to the left is week 2. We also took Luna down the dirt roads on week 2 as well. Flags and people with phones talking in their own yards were enough of a distraction on week 2.
Equipment: 15' long line
Tennis ball (easier for puppies) OR other favorite toy
STEP 1: Have your puppy near you on the long line. You can have the line short at this point to keep them near you.
STEP 2: Throw the ball as you say "get it".
STEP 3: (Super important for the bringing back) Wait until your puppy latches onto the ball before saying "let's go". DO NOT say "good boy" or "let's go" until they have a grip on the ball.
NOTE: If they don't go after the ball, first make sure you have not picked out a time the puppy is tired or has already trained enough. Remember you want to do this when the puppy is fresh and ready to go. If they are, but something has just distracted them or inhibited them, go towards the ball yourself with the puppy. They will normally go and grip it after this.
Week 16 Day 1 July 1 Monday:
Mudge (new) Bella (old friend not seen in awhile) Lucy (nemesis) Cujo (bff) Bandit (bff) and Brody (bff)
Week 16 Day 2 July 2 Tuesday:
Mudge (new) Bella (old friend not seen in awhile) Sadie 4 (newish) Reggie (bff) Mood: did not write down, but I believe she was in a good relaxed mood today, though most likely stressed about the new dogs at the same time.
Week 16 Day 3 July 3 Wednesday:
Mudge (new), Sadie the 4th (newish), Bella (old friend not seen in awhile), and Stella (friend gone for the winter getting reaquainted with)
Mudge (new) Sadie the 4th (newish) Bella (old friend not seen in awhile)
Mudge (new) Sadie the 4th (new), Bella (old friend not seen in awhile) Cujo (bff) Bandit (bff)
Mudge (new) Bella (old friend not seen in awhile last day)
Mudge (new) and Gator (old friend not seen since last summer)
Week 15 Day 1 6/24/2019 Monday:
Cujo (very good friend), Bandit (very good friend), Stella (friend), Brody (very good friend), and Lucy (nemesis) are here today. Shana woke up raring to go and very vocal this morning. She knew when Lucy got here, but has been in very good mood (though you can still tell she is stressed when Lucy is here)
Week 15 Day 2 6/25/2019 Tuesday:
Greta (new), Sadie the 4th (new), and Reggie BFF here
Week 15 Day 3 6/26/2019 Wednesday:
Greta (new), Sadie the 4th (new), and no other friends or daycare here. Equipment none on, and was in good mood. She did snip at her brother, Tommy, this morning (no biggy just being a jerk).
Week 15 Day 4 6/27/2019 Thursday:
Greta (newish), Sadie the 4th (new), Sadie the 2nd (BFF), Louie (good friend), and Reggie (BFF)
Week 15 Day 5 6/28/2019 Friday:
Mudge (brand spanking new dog), Bandit (bff), Boone (bff), and Cujo (bff)
Week 15 Day 7 6/30/2019 Sunday:
On Monday, Shana seemed to be feeling better than last week. The day was cooler too, and her heat is wrapping up. Week 13 both of these things seemed to be bothering her, so I kept her days easy activity wise. She also seemed to have less stamina than normal (probably due to the things mentioned heat and heat LOL).
Week 14 Day 1 6/17/2019 Monday:
Shana's nemesis, Lucy, is here, which she can tell right away (sound and probably smell). Stella (friend she is cautious of), Cujo (very good long time friend), Bandit (very good friend of a couple years), Brody (good buddy of a long time), and Boone (also good buddy) are all here today. Shana did seem in a good mood, despite her anxiety (which was apparent) at Lucy being here.
Week 14 Day 2 6/18/2019 Tuesday:
Greta (BRAND NEW PUPPY HERE) and Reggie were only ones here. I probably did some training with Shana, but did not write it down.
Week 14 Day 3 6/19/2019 Wednesday:
Only Greta in for training today (plus some private lessons).
Week 14 Day 4 6/20/2019 Thursday:
Greta (brand new puppy), Reggie (Shana BFF), Sadie (Shana BFF), Louie (Shana friend), and Stella (Shana friend). Two private lessons later in the day (1 with Greta and 2 with Beau who is a brand new dog to here)
Cujo and Bandit here (very good friends of Shana). It was very rainy, and I let Shana take the day off after a pretty stressful week for her.
Week 14 Day 6 6/22/2019 Saturday:
I started having a super stressful weekend. Shana still not feeling like her spry self. I gave us both the day off.
Week 14 Day 7 6/23/2019 Sunday:
NOTE1: WEEKS 7-9 WE TOOK OFF. SO THIS IS WEEK 13 POSTING TRAINING ACTIVITY BUT ACTUALLY WEEK 10 OF TRAINING. I MIGHT HAVE DONE SOME TRAINING THOSE WEEKS, BUT MY HEAD WAS NOT CLEARLY IN THE GAME AFTER RECOVERING FROM A PARTICULARLY HEAVY WORK LOAD THE MONTHS BEFORE.
NOTE2: SHANA IS STILL IN HEAT, AND THE END OF HER CYCLE IS COMING. COULD BE WHY SHE HAS HAD HER GRUMPY MOMENTS THIS WEEK. SHE DOES BECOME MOODY AT THE END OF THE CYCLE AFTER THE HYPER PERIOD OF TRYING TO TEASE THE BOYS FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS.
NOTE3: DAYS ARE CYCLING BETWEEN COOL AND HOT/MUGGY THIS WEEK. REDUCED SHANA ENERGY COULD JUST BE BECAUSE SHE HAS BEEN PARTICULARLY ACTIVE. AS ALWAYS I FEEL CONFLICTED ABOUT THIS, AS I NEVER LIKE TO SEE SIGNS OF MY DOGS GETTING OLDER (WHETHER THEY ARE OR NOT). ALSO COULD JUST BE A SIGN THAT SHE IS FEELING MORE RELAXED AND FULFILLED. THERE HAS BEEN A CONCERTED EFFORT TO MAKE SURE OUR DOGS (EVEN OUR THREE OLD MALES) ARE KEPT BUSY DURING THE DAY. SPRING, SUMMER, AND FALL ARE ALWAYS MORE ACTIVITY. IF SHE IS CRAZY AGAIN THIS WINTER, I WILL KNOW WHY LOL. (THOUGH I STILL TRY TO KEEP HER ACTIVE BUT IT IS STILL QUITE THE CHALLENGE)
Week 13 Day 1 6/10/2019 Monday:
Lucy, Shana's nemesis is here today. Stella who Shana is friendly with, but doesn't like her to be overly playful is here. Brody, everyone's favorite is also here today, and Shana is good buddies with him. Also new lesson at 6 pm today (we will be outside, but Shana will know strange dog is outside, which she is getting used to).
Sage is here for Pack Learning today. Reggie, Shana's BFF, is also here today. Also
Week 13 Day 3 6/12/2019 Wednesday:
Just Sage here for Pack Learning today. Good for Shana as she is curious and there are other dogs here to make her unduly nervous. Also Sage is a nice calm presence for a puppy of her age and breed LOL.
Week 13 Day 4 6/13/2019 Thursday:
We got Sage (last week of Pack learning), Stella (friend who Shana is getting accustomed to having back here----sometimes Stella's play antics make Shana concerned), and Shana's BFF, Reggie with the silly hair cut is here today. So sort of mid level stress and distractions today on the lower end of the spectrum, but still affecting her.
Week 13 Day 5 6/14/2019 Friday:
How the day is: All Shana's very best buds over (except Reggie, Brody, and Stella---not quite best bud status but they are friends). So Sadie, Louie, Cujo, Bandit, and Boone are all here for daycare today. Shana very much likes all those dogs.
Week 13 Day 6 6/15/2019 Saturday:
Shana still looking a bit off. She was a bit too cooperative when I cut her nails today, and then went right back to sleep. So going to see what the day brings us today. I would like go out and train, but I need my girl to be feeling well and happy. Hopefully it is nothing more than end of the heat angst. Need to remember this for November, when her next one should arrive.
Week 13 Day 7 6/16/2019 Sunday:
Sunday, Shana looking better. Doing some of the "naughty things" I expect of her (always the double edged sword LOL). Her friend (who she is cautious of), Stella, is here.
NOTE: ABOUT WALKS WITH SHANA IN PUBLIC. SHE DOES PRETTY GOOD WITH ME ALONE, AND EVEN ME WITH A STRANGE OR LITTLE KNOWN OR WELL KNOWN DOG ALSO WALKING ON THE OTHER SIDE. SHE GETS MORE ANXIOUS WHEN ROBERT IS WITH US FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON (ESPECIALLY IF HE IS WALKING IN FRONT OF US WITH OR WITHOUT ANY DOG). POSSIBILITIES 1) SHE IS WORRIED FOR ROBERT ON THESE WALKS 2) SHE BELIEVES HER JOB IS TO BE IN THE FRONT OF THE PACK AND 3) I HAVEN'T COME UP WITH THREE YET.
I must admit that I am so immersed in dogs that I avoid Podcasts about dog training like the plague. Plus I am new to Podcasts, and I generally listen to true crime ones. Lately, those have been getting me down for obvious reasons.
So yesterday, I gave Vermont Dog Trainers' podcast a try. It was very easy to listen to, and went over topics that I am going through like now (example senior dogs, we have 3). They discuss things that I can relate to, and I am sure other dog owners can relate to as well. Also, if you are a dog trainer, they cover topics that we deal with all the time. I have only listened to a few so far.
I should also mention, the podcast also does interviews with other dog trainers. That happens to be interesting to me, since I am mostly chained to my house or I may get out to see a certain dog trainer at a seminar. Often I don't know of many dog trainers that may be right around me.
Author, Robin Rubin
Owner and Head Dog Trainer in Maine, Robin Katherine Rubin, started her Maine dog training business in September 2004. Our dog training facility is located in Southern Maine in York Beach and we help families enjoy their dogs more, making sure they listen reliably and resolving unwanted behaviors.