Sunday, 13 March 2011

I'm attending puppy class

I attended puppy training last week with my rescue terrier Alfie. The vet guessed he was 9 months old (when we got him 5 weeks ago) so he is now 10 months old. All I wanted from Alfie is for him to walk nicely on a lead, and to have perfect recall!
The trainer is all about food rewards, and said that the rewards I was using were not high enough value. She suggested that I use mini sausages or cooked chicken. She instructed me to hold the lead in my right hand and the food treat in my left, and lure Alfie to my left side, in line with the seam of my jeans (SOMJ). Give a lick or a teeny bit of treat (kind of squeeze it thru my fingers). Take one step forward then lure Alfie back to SOMJ. Give Alfie a lick or morsel of treat. Take a few steps but stop if he pulls. Lure to SOMJ and treat. Alfie can only reach my fingers when he jumps up, so to treat him I have to give a quick "dip" of my knees. I do not treat him when he is jumping up or BITING MY FINGERS.
He bit me A LOT at first, we only did the exercise for 5 minutes and my thumb was in agony! Trainer said to turn my knuckles towards him instead of my fingers (wish she had said that sooner!). Anyway, we have done this exercise several times a day, sometimes in the house and sometimes in the street and IT IS WORKING. I admit I sometimes go back to dog treats, human food is sometimes too tempting for Alfie and he gets into a frenzy and bites hard on my hand or clothing. We can now ALMOST get to the end of the street (maybe 20 steps!) with a loose lead (as long as there are no other dogs, or cats, or birds, or people!!!!)

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