School starts this week in my area! Where did the summer go?
We've had a good time, I know that. There are so many things I love about summer and watching puppies run through green grass, pounce through blooming bushes and get soaked in the sprinklers are all favorites of mine. Boots loves to be outside. He runs so fast sometimes his short little legs can't keep up! A good round of fetch is our go-to game and a leisure off-leash walk is calming for both of us. While I like the cool in the air now I'm not so excited about the sun setting earlier. It does make for better bedtimes though!
In addition to that, we fielded a number of really great questions from some of our followers, uploaded another weekly episode of The Puppy Training Podcast (check these out if you don't already here), video conferenced with Boots and a few of our newer pet parents in order to help demonstrate for them firsthand a few tips and tricks as part of our LIVE! Office hours with Amy option, which is included in our MEMBERS ONLY area (it's great when I have a puppy as smart as Boots to help with these), and we concentrated a lot on introducing Boots to a number of new lessons from our PUPPY PREP program!
In fact, this week we worked with Boots on the following...
- Lesson 2.1 "COME" (Boots has a pretty good recall at this point. I did start to see signs this week outside that he may rather go do something else instead so I made my rewards more motivating and for now that's working great. As he moves into adolescence here in a few weeks I'll pull out my long line to work on this concept. That way if he decides not to listen, I can simply step on the rope and wait for him to realize I am the better option.)
- Lesson 2.3 "DOWN" (Boots is very good at doing down with a verbal cue only. I started working on DOWN from a distance but that's still a work in progress. We accomplished great lengths in the down stay arena. He will now stay for over a minute and I've started adding distractions as well. We'll continue to build this out - NOTE: a minute to me is a big success!)
- Lesson 2.6 "DROP IT" (Boots puts everything in his mouth when we are outside so this is an important one. I've worked a lot with him on releasing what he currently has for something better and this in turn has helped prevent resource guarding. He knows if he gives up what he has something better is coming!)
- Lesson 2.8 "LET's GO" (I'm so proud of how his leash walking is going. The first few weeks with this is always a little rough but once I found his motivator - string cheese, Meal Mixers or Natural Balance Dog Food Roll - the walk has transformed and he is a gem.)
As for field trips, we took Boots Back-to-School shopping at Walmart and saw lots of people all scrambling to get needed school supplies, cars and lots of noises. Boots rode in the shopping cart on his handy mat and Emma helped by giving him Cheerios for calm behavior. I'm going to miss my little helper when she's at school this week! We also spent time at the local Pet Store checking off items such as: shiny floors, automatic doors, people in uniform, birds, other dogs, smells and more.
This week we plan on completing the following:
- Lesson 1.11 BELL TRAINING (We've completed the initial steps but this week I'm going to focus on him ringing them on his own. I block out a two-hour session to watch him while I work and wait for him to ring bells as needed. This is a good time to do a mini-training session, grooming and play games as well.)
- Lesson 2.11 "PLACE" (He knows this cue so I'm going to start moving the bed further from me when I cue it. Our goal is to have him go to his place in a different room by the end of the week. Wish us luck!)
- Lesson 2.14 "SAY HI" (This is new to Boots so we will start practicing on leash greeting others only when asked.)
- Lesson 2.15 "LEAVE IT" (Boots is doing fairly well with impulse control but we can do more. So this week I am focusing on this lesson and working on getting Boots to leave something alone - remove all attention from it - when asked.)
Should be fun! Also this Wednesday at 1:00 PM Mountain I'm starting a 6-week Canine Coaching series "TRAINING 101" which is a weekly online puppy class for members. I hope to see as many of you there as can make it. I will record it as well and post it on the Canine Coaching page for those of you who can't attend. Topics this week include: attention, sit to say please, puppy biting, crate training and housetraining.
As always, if you have any comments or questions, please contact us online at BAXTER & Bella and we look forward to seeing you soon!