News of the Up and Coming!
Dog classes at Good Dog are moving along swimmingly. It’s interesting to watch the class progression between the two classes. Both are just over half-way through. I’m intrigued because people have missed classes, so it’s interesting to see how missing a single class affects the progress of the dog and the dynamic of the class as a whole.
Either way, though, everyone seems to be doing super well. I’m excited because I’m integrating bits and pieces from the Dr Ian Dunbar seminar into the classes as well. Like: going for controlled walks where you stop every 25 steps and wait the dog out for attention. A super cool exercise. I’ll detail it later.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it in class, but I should – about hand feeding so that the dogs are less afraid of strangers. It really bothers me that there are several dogs in each class that simply will not take food from me. I’m a small, adult female, extremely non-threatening and I carry good treats. What that tells me is that the dogs were not well socialized at some point. This is not the owners’ faults! I know some of the dogs came from rescues and sometimes you just have a fearful dog. It’s all about desensitization at that point.
So, the desensitization exercise would be: have different people hand feed the dogs. Mom hand feeds for three days, then Dad for three days, then on the 7th day: three strange MEN hand feed the dog. If the problem persists, repeat. Only, I would have them try and have some strange women do it too, the second time around. Mix it up a bit and make it less scary. And make sure that the strangers are hand feeding kibble that has liver or something sprinkled on it. This gives the dog the idea that Strangers Have the Best Candy. Which is generally a terrible thing to teach – However, this is for desensitization. Once the dog will take the food readily and even eagerly from strangers, THEN we can work on who it is and is not okay to take food from (via “Fido, Take It” and “Fido, Leave It” commands – always incorporating the dog’s name in a “Take it” command).
I am hoping that I can get some extra time in the classes – that is if everyone is doing as well as they have been – to teach leave it. Which is and awesome command and not taught anywhere in this curriculum and that drives me nuts. Because people try to use it without ever teaching it to their dogs. So, here’s hoping! It’s all dependent on the progress of class as a whole, though.
I’ve postponed Scruff2Fluff classes for the time being. I’ve been sick, and I haven’t been able to publicize them and I don’t want to hold class for just one dog.
I think what I may do, is either pitch the idea to Ken with Good Dog, or try a little later when I have more time and energy. Or, I could try and get a private training following first and then start offering classes – which would probably be a better idea. We’ll see. Either way, Something will happen soon! I think.
I’m considering borrowing some of Melissa’s equipment just for myself to use in the yard – Gimli would like that. 🙂 And I may be able to do private lessons with it in the yard if I can get my landlord’s approval. 😀 We’ll see.