Saturday, March 5, 2016

Confessions of a Dog Trainer: I

So, my puppy is now 14 weeks old, and I JUST taught her to sit (and down, and stand.) Or rather, I just taught her the verbal cues for these things. Sit has had non-verbal (positional/prop based cues) since she was about 9 weeks.

I think this (sit) is one of the first things anyone ever teaches a dog, but I wanted her to learn to  about shaping first. Specifically, shaping movement - like backing up, pivoting and paw targets.

Also, shaping movement is fun! Sitting and staring is not so much fun. I want my puppy to have fun learning right now. We're working impulse control and "It's Yer Choice" games (aka don't mug the hand for food and your butt needs to stay on the ground to get out of your xpen/kennel.) Just not sitting (on a verbal, for duration.)

So, I'm confident in the order I did things. Regardless if that is the "right" order or not, it's the way I wanted to treat things this time.

But that doesn't make it any less awkward at puppy class when they are telling us to get the puppies to lay down on their mat and I'm sitting there having her sit. Or pivot using my iPhone as a perch. Or do nose touches. So the instructor comes over to help me and I get to explain that we just aren't working on that right now.

At least sit is on a verbal now, right?!

Photos from Saturday - she was 14 wks on Wed. She's slowed down on the growing taller and is now filling out so not just a insubstantial fluff anymore!


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