Sunday, March 15, 2009

Training Tips, Technique & now Your Questions Answered

I got the Real Time Canine from Amelia Smith. It is delivered in my Inbox every Sunday and after a day of lessons, I wrap myself in my blanket, get a cup of hot tea, snuggle up with the girls (Tess, Nan and Rainey) and sit down and enjoy the "The Real Time Canine Volume".

She puts a great deal of thought and effort into this weekly subscription. Sometimes I think of an issue that I am encountering and *poof*, The Real Time Canine Volume appears with the answer. It's like she is reading my mind.

If you have a question, you can send it to her also. She answered my question in one of her The Real Time Canine Volumes.

I highly recommend subscribing to her The Real Time Canine. (I have listed the details at the end of this blog)

Here is an excerpt from one of her issues.

Come here
When I call a dog to me, I don't say "come" or "come here," because it begins like "come bye," which is a left-hand flank. Too similar. I say "here." I don't have to make a formal step out of this. Star will begin coming when I call as he matures. He has respect for me and is already willing to do what I ask. It's all he knows. Because I have already taught Star to at least stop when I call him, learning to come when I say "here" is proving easy for him and many times he does it already. It is time for the next step though, and I want him to come to me every time I call him now. Up to this point I have allowed him to choose whether or not he would come to me. I said his name, then "here, here" and if he came to me great, if not I didn't keep calling, which would teach him to ignore me, I just stopped calling and waited for another opportunity as long as he at least stopped. Now he is having formal lessons.

Again, I don't overdo this in one session, but spread it out over 2 or 3 sessions per day. I have a long rope, about 8 feet or so, that I use. I want him to wander away from me and become good and distracted with something. I say his name first, to get his attention, then "here." If he doesn't come towards me, I give him a gentle tug, then repeat his name, and "here." When he starts towards me, I repeat "here" once or twice until he gets to me, then I praise him up and we do it again. If he starts towards me, but stops at some point, I say his name, then "here" and if I get no response, I give another gentle tug to get him going again. As long as he's coming toward me, I just say "here." If he stops, I say his name, then "here" and give a tug. It's important to say "here" before the tug so he anticipates it and starts towards you when he hears the word.

Once I know he understands the meaning of "here", and he's off leash, if he doesn't come when I call him there will be a voice correction. I will say "here, here" and will growl my disapproval until he starts heading my way. The instant he starts towards me, I'll stop growling, find my happy voice and repeat "here, here." The first few times he's off leash, I expect that it may be necessary to go get him a few times when he doesn't immediately come when I call. Just as with everything, consistency makes all the difference in the world. If you don't mean it every time, they won't know when you really do, and will assume you don't. Build a great foundation, and then it gets easy. It is time well spent.

Subscription rates:
Three months $10
Six months $17.50
One year $30

A real bargain and well written. Treat yourself to some fine Sunday reading. Well worth it.

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