Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sniff n Playdates

Sniff n Playdate with Quila :) 

One happy, happy, fun, fun, patient, playpal at a time helps George overcome his fears of being rushed, rolled and attacked by other dogs.

 Thank you Taquila Rose and Alice ( !
You do not know how relieved I am after a year or so now of off leash dog attacks and rushes, we've worked very hard on turning George's fears (lunge, machine gun bark to keep dogs away) around and George continues to bounce back.  We've got our groove on :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A few Frisbee Tricks!

We had so much fun today!

A great distraction from my work! Playing with my pooches and learning something new :)

We had the jump and spin down pat but this other trick was inspired by Kikopup's video
 The Most Amazing Dog Frisbee Tricks

Can't wait to see what we come up with next!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What do Laundry and shaping games have in common?

I LOVE shaping games!!!!

It just takes a couple mins of your time and works wonders to build a cooperative relationship with your dog.

Besides building confidence for shy, fearful dogs; it gives "hyper" dogs a challenge to stimulate them mentally and best of all establishes a 'TEAM" effort!

Just think of how calm and exhausted you are after you've worked on a puzzle or how much fun it is to play Pictionary, or Charades with your favourite friends!

It's also great if you need to burn off some of your dog's energy when you're snowed in or on downpour rainy days. Even when you're tired and feeling under the weather, engaging your dog to use his mind is a great way to entertain you and them! Thinking dogs ROCK.

George my little beagle is NOT a natural retriever, AND is very FEARFUL about the world and everything in it in general. Building his confidence by playing games is a win, win situation. There are a lot of dogs who are afraid to investigate and end up figuring that the best defense is a good offense so they'll bark and lunge at the most novel things.

Daizy and Keegan retrieve and put laundry in the basket and last night I taught George to pick it up and flip it out of the basket :)

When it's safe to interact with something, I make a game out of it. No pressure on George, I just make it hard to resist and reward every brave move to interact with something novel. Stationary or moving, the more practice he gets, the more confident he becomes and the less he needs to "control" his environment.

We work together to change the fear into confidence. When using SHAPING techniques, his job is to initiate behaviours and I'll reward him for those that lead him in the right direction to the final behaviour I wish to teach. Having George put his paws into the basket means he has to learn to balance himself, which develops his body awareness. Ever notice children playing on a jungle gym? Some children are fearless, others just need to learn HOW to move their body before they feel comfortable climbing up, sliding down, hanging on and having fun!

Part 2 of 3: You can play interactive shaping games if you have a multi-dog household! It's also great way to promote sharing!!!!

Part 3 of 3: Helpful around the house, if you're tired or have a bad back..."obedience work" of retrieving things for you ends up with everyone having fun and working as a team...after all that's what training's all about!

Friday, February 11, 2011

digg'n it

I love this video! Sharing is not one of George's strengths, so anytime I can make something fun as a group, when all noses or bodies are snuggled together...I take advantage of it. Behaviour is reinforced by it's consequences.

Digging is also one of their rewards for a zippy recall! I put all the doggie things they love to do on cue so when out and about, it provides an alternative to food reinforcers.

Back to George ...having to snuggle in to investigate, without getting snarky, and having fun doing so, will make it more likely to happen again in the future. Finding play pals that are great about sharing is important too.