Training Log: Down-Stays!

Today we had some more hands-off holding of dumbbells, good light-switch work, refinement of bop-it (food targeting) and brace, and nail clipping relaxation.

We did sit-stay/zen combo of him holding a sit while I tossed meat over his head and behind him.

The most exciting part was tonight, when  he did several down-stays in a row next to my bed while I typed on the computer, checked voicemail, set up my infusion, took pills, etc. Until now, he has not been able to hold stays if he thinks I’m not paying attention to him. He thinks training is over. So, this was very exciting. We did about six or seven, I think, starting at one minute, with most in the three-to-four minute range, and one seven minutes! Yeehaw!

He is now offering “kisses” right after jumping on the bed as the second part of the infusion alert. This means, naturally, that every night my glasses are completely covered in dog nose smear, but that’s the price you pay for shaping a literal in-your-face alert! For a while his “kisses” had gotten very sharky, and when he responded to “Kisses” with a wide-open mouth coming at my nose (and hitting it not-so-gently), I screamed. He looked upset and confused and was afraid to do any more kisses. Fortunately, I was able to coax him back to gentle ones, and now they are good “Wake up!” alerts.

In fact, I actually used the bedroom-door shutting skill and bracing skills several times today, because I actually needed that help! A service dog offering services — whooda thunk it?

We’re on a role, these last few days. Feels good. Cross your fingers and paws that we can go for a walk or training on-the-road tomorrow, now that my Jet seems to be working again. (I hope!)

-Sharon, the muse of Gadget, and Barnum, rockin’ SDiT

1 Response to “Training Log: Down-Stays!”

  1. 1 brilliantmindbrokenbody August 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Haha, going sharky…Hudson occasionally has that problem, though it’s play that triggers him. It was bad when I first got him, to the point where it showed up in ALL play sessions. It freaked me out the first time it happened, as all of the dogs we had growing up had better manners than that (except Max, who was a pound rescue and ended up back at the pound between his tendancy to nip and open-mouth-rush people and his killing as I recall 3 of the neighbors’ cats inside of 2 months).

    I started pushing Hudson’s face to the side whenever he did that at my face, and he pretty quickly improved (though he did tooth my arm pretty good a few times – not enough to make me bleed, but not by much). Playing with him made me anxious when I first got him because he was rougher than I was used to and because I am more fragile than I used to be, but he learned pretty quickly what kind of touch was painful and stopped doing it. Mostly when we play now, I lunge after him and he runs away.


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