Friday, August 16, 2013

FitDog Friday- Ike goes to School

Sometimes a Fit Dog must go to school. Since we adopted Ike from a situation where he basically had been allowed to get away with any behavior and bad manners, we knew we'd need to start from the very beginning with his training. He'd been called Buddy for 6 years, and hadn't even learned his name. But he is definitely smart. And he already knows his new name is Ike!
















We walked in to our first day of class. Two cute little dogs were already there...and the moment they saw Ike, they started barking, and the chihuahua growled at Ike! The instructor said that they were probably intimidated with his size. Ike just stood and wagged his tail.

The instructor teaches clicker training. First we got the dogs to associate something good with the clicker. Lots of clicking. Lots of treats. Then, the first lesson was sit. The instructor told us to first use a food bait, then a hand signal, and finally the verbal word. I'm still not sure why she doesn't start with the verbal command, but that's the way she does it. Most of the dogs pretty much knew sit. I don't know a dog who won't sit eventually if you stand there holding out a treat!



















The second lesson was "leave it." This is an important skill that somehow I've never taught any of my other dogs in the past, although Kelly responds to "no" very well. We held a fistful of kibble in our closed hand and Ike sniffed it all over. The second he pulled back from the hand--click! Then a treat. We did this for a while until he seemed ready for the next step. Then we opened our hand and exposed the treats. It really didn't take them too long to figure out what to do...er, what not to do. I was surprised at how well the dogs would "leave it" --although we didn't make it amazingly tempting for them.



















There was a lot of barking that first class. The little dogs barked at Ike a lot. The instructor told the people to distract their dogs with a food lure whenever the dogs did that. I hope that the dogs get used to each other and Ike. I'm not sure if Ike enjoyed school or not. We're looking forward to teaching him to walk nicely on a leash. Right now it's still a pull-fest, and we've tried out different collars and harnesses but still he pulls. And we'll all be glad that he's learned some lessons and we understand what each other wants and needs.











FitDog Friday is hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, SlimDoggy, and To Dog With Love. And this week, we're announcing our Special Prize Giveaway by Cloud Star!
For this week and next, we'll randomly select one commenters from the FitDog Friday blog hop sponsor’s sites- SlimDoggy, Peggy’s Pet Place, and To Dog With Love.  The selected commenter will receive a sample pack of dog treats courtesy of Cloud Star, makers of Dynamo Dog Functional Treats. (Kelly's tried them and loved them!)  Make sure to share your FitDog Friday thoughts and you may win a great prize for your fit dog!

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23 comments:

  1. Jack hates school. Well not really, but it is noisy and busy and he's more of a quiet homebody so it stresses him out some. Ike seems like a model student. I'm so happy for you and him!

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  2. We've taken the summer off from school but we're looking forward to getting back. Great job, Ike. I hope you get used to it and start to like it.

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  3. Ike is gonna be a STAR Student !

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  4. Well done for taking Ike to School. Looks like he learnt a bit. Still need to take the plunge with Scooter. Still have issues 'pulling' on the lead at a walk - that's why we bike sooooo much ;)

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  5. I took my four year old Cairn to school this past year. He seemed to like it. He made it all the way through Advanced training. He fell short on becoming a Canine Good Citizen because, well, he's a terrier and gets distracted. Good job with Ike! I'll be interested to read more :)

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  6. Hi Y'all!
    Good for you taking Ike to school. We dogs love going to school and learning what you want. No matter how old we are, school helps us to bond with you.
    As to why your instructor wanted you to use hand signals before verbal ones, it is easier for us to learn by body language. That is how we communicate with other dogs, we read each others body language.
    It will really help Ike if you always combine a hand signal with the verbal. Make sure it is consistently the same.
    Oh, be careful about body movements. My Human got in trouble in school because I anticipated her signal to come. She tended to lean slightly before giving the hand signal. That's another reason it is good to go to school. A good teacher will catch mistakes you humans make when you try to communicate with us.
    Ike, you are one lucky fella!
    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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  7. Not only do I love that you've adopted Ike, but I love the wonderful role-model you are! From what I can see, you're doing everything right (like neutering, and attending positive training classes) and sharing those experiences with your followers- without having to preach it. Such great examples you are setting!

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  8. I am not sure why the instructor had you guys do a hand signal first but I do know it is important to teach a hand signal with a command in case they start to lose hearing when they get older. Thanks for the little "leave it" exercise description. I want to work on some training with Chester and Gretel this winter and that one is on my list.

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  9. Jan K, Wag N Woof PetsAugust 17, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    It sounds like you and Ike are off to a great start! I would imagine the little dogs will get used to him the more they see him. I've never taken any of my dogs to school, but it is definitely something I would like to do in the future. We found a Gentle Leader worked best for teaching our dogs not to pull, have you tried that one yet? We went through so many with our Beagle Kobi too.

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  10. Sounds like Ike is doing well. That leash training stuff is hard. I'm still working with Maya! I started out using the wrong materials, or the right materials incorrectly, and have been trying to undo those mistakes for a long time. She is getting better. But honestly, I think part of the difficulty is due to the Retriever enthusiasm. :)

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  11. If you'd like more detailed description of how she taught "leave it" email me and I'll be more specific. It would be great for Chester and Gretel when they see some delicious rotting carcass on the trail!

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  12. Yeah, un-doing previous training, lack of training, or mistakes is more difficult. I'm glad Maya is getting better. We had a yelllow lab some years ago and he didn't calm down for four years!

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  13. I'll let you know what the little dogs think next time! I've seen the Gentle Leader, maybe we'll have to try it out. We got the Easy Walk. Great names, huh?

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  14. Thank you so much for your kind comments, it made me feel good. Ike is such a good boy, he deserves the best chance at a happy life. He sure seems happy now!

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  15. Thank you Hawk for helping me to better understand what you dogs are thinking. You gave me some great tips for our training homework.

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  16. Congratulations on the training successes with your Cairn. That's okay that he didn't get the CGC...maybe next time!

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  17. When you figure out how to keep Scooter walking nicely on the leash, be sure to let me know the secret! Happy biking!

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  18. Thanks Frankie and Ernie :)

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  19. Ike says thank you. He'll try to learn lots.

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  20. Kelly used to get stressed out at classes too. But you know goldens, they don't get stressed out by too much!

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  21. Those are really cute pictures. The training will be worth it.

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  22. Awesome post, I look forward to reading more. SUch a cute dog, glad he is doing will.

    Click Here

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