Luna’s Life, a Dog and a Trainer 3/12/17
Week #2 here at the house
OK many of you seem to be getting a kick out of hearing that yes even dog trainers have problems with potty training… Or more honestly that even dog trainers have issues with being consistent and frequent with training 😆 . I am proud to report this week we had only one two accidents!!! What did we do differently….
- We started setting every 2 hour alarms in everyone’s smart phones and actually got on the consistency and frequency bandwagon
- A wonderful friend donated a second baby gate to keep her out of my bedroom unsupervised… I thought I was good enough to keep an eye on her (obviously not)
- Luna I think started to pick up the routines of the other dogs and our schedules….
- Also started bell training in earnest but that is still a work in progress, even though she has rung the bell once by herself…
Folks, I do not care who you are or what you do for a living, potty training anything is a lesson in patience and frustration… Go slow, expect some mistakes and always be prepared to adjust, change and admit your technique might not be working 🙄
Socialization, has been well weird… In many cases I would say we back slid this week but upon carefully looking back at the week that was I can also see some huge improvements. So when dealing with a puppy or a fearful dog like Luna do not expect your learning curve to be linear (point A to point B, and so on) but rather expect an indirect path (A to D to R then back to B) You might really feel that things are not progressing but a trained eye can always show you improvements, and sometimes all you need is an outsiders eye to help you not feel frustrated….
For example, Luna spent a lot more time in her living room crate this week… It made me question the crate and whether she was learning to be brave… that was frustration talking on my part, because the trainer in me knows she has to be comfortable to come out of her shell and obviously spending more time in the crate makes her feel that way which will lead to coming out when she feels comfortable! I need to have patience and let things work themselves out on her time-table not mine… Not to mention we are still hand feeding her, playing in the backyard (going really well) and taking daily field trips… So when you feel like things are not going fast enough, slow down and really look at the situation from outside your box… While patience is a virtue, we humans tend to suck at it….
As far as this week and our field trips we went to:
- A friend’s house to play with her dog
- Our Vet twice just to get used to it
- Shelter once
- 3 car rides
- Took her to my beginner class
My class was another example of what at first looked like a failure but as it unfolded… Wha-La a success… I took Luna to my week 5 beginner class and had my son, Donovan, was instructed to not try to teach anything but rather just hand feed her throughout the class and just work on getting used to the classroom… All was going great until, the inevitable barking of a group class started 😯 … At which point she immediately got under Donovan’s chair and refused to come out… But, there was no shivering, no panting and she gladly took treats from Donovan throughout the rest of class… Another example of thinking you screwed up but realize she was perfectly content and calm with just observing class, but from her comfy place under the chair…
PS if we had seen panting, trembling or refusal of treats, Donovan and I had already prepared an exit strategy to make sure we did not have a “non teaching” moment… Training is as much knowing what to do if things go wrong, as well as what to do training wise…..
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