Back again for some obedience training and learning lots again.
Calling your dog’s name
The trainer said not to call your dog’s name without a command, and that calling your dog’s name implies movement or that you want your dog to actively move.
This was new to me and a good housekeeping rule.
Walking vs heel work
I learnt today that there is a difference between walking and heel work. Walking is just walking your dog, whilst heel work is where your dog is working and totally focussed on you.
So in the week I had been trying to get Artemis to heel on walks, but now I know that she can just walk on walks and we can practise heel work at other points in the day.
We practised walking to heel again and to get our dogs in the correct heel position prior to walking to heel.
You have to try and get the dog’s shoulder level to your leg, essentially the dog should be glued to your left leg and facing forwards.
We then moved to “down” in the heel position, and were advised to no longer ask for a “down” command where the dog is in front of you, but to ask for a “down” command where the dog is in the heel position.
When I practised this in the week at home, Artemis kept offering the “down” position without me even asking – very eager.
High value treats
The trainer used Artemis to show something to the class and brought out some really tasty treats – smoked chicken sausage. They were such good treats that Artemis then refused to do anything I asked of her the rest of the class!
This is when I learned that dogs are fickle, and once you give them high value treats, they’re not going to do anything for kibble!
The hubby and I then went searching in Pets At Home for some hypoallergenic smelly treats to get Artemis’ attention.
The trainer informed us that if the dog is too excited, to say “steady” in a calm voice to reduce their over-excitement. This has worked quite well for us and I use this almost daily, as Artemis is quite an excitable dog!
The trainer also said if your dog is ready and you want them to stay in that position to not say “stay”. Instead, I believe she said to say “ready” so that the dog should stay in that position.
Learning that certain words and phrases are very important. Also learning that consistency is key, as now Artemis knows the heel position quite well.
Also learnt that dogs are really eager if they know you’ve got a very smelly and tasty treat!