Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Obedience Training

with 2 comments

Asher’s first day of obedience training happened yesterday. Consistency and repetition will be a challenge for us but he is a smart enough dog I think he will find a way to overcome our shortcomings and get us wrapped around his paws in no time. The hour-long session was almost too much for my stamina but Asher did fairly well despite having ingested a meal’s-worth of treats by the end.

Some of the things we worked on were made a little more complicated by Asher’s historic pattern of behaviors and the variety of commands he’s already learned before coming to live with us. Still, the routines the trainer demonstrated produced results for us that will serve as a good foundation for the lessons to come.

Asher would perform the desired action but we were usually off in our deliveries of the gestures or verbal commands or treat rewards. He is definitely treat-motivated. Our challenge lies in effectively tying his behavior to our commands and not allowing him to figure out how to get treats by recognizing our unconscious signals and playing off of them.

We want him focused on our commands and not on the bag of treats.

One initial exercise that I found impressive was when the trainer said the word, “Puppy” and none of the dogs reacted. She then repeated the word but in a two-tone high voice like the “ding-dong” of a doorbell. I didn’t notice all the other dogs but Asher instantly turned his attention to her.

Asher already knows the “Sit” command but we made great strides in moving from that to having him lay down on his stomach at a “Down” command.

It quickly became apparent to Cyndie and me (when the trainer pointed it out) that we need to stop using “Down” when we are trying to get Asher off the couch or the bed or from putting his front paws on people’s shoulders. Using the word “Off” will become our goal.

Now all we need to do for homework is to practice today’s routines roughly a hundred more times in approximately 5-minute sessions throughout the week before next Thursday.

I’m trying to picture both Cyndie and me consistently delivering precise commands one hundred different times.




Written by johnwhays

May 19, 2023 at 6:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Yes, your ‘woof’ -finalĂ© makes the point: who is training who?

    Ian Rowcliffe

    May 19, 2023 at 10:11 am

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