2-minute dog trainer, practical applications for Tempest’s training

There are 3-4 special behaviors I’ve been encouraging in Tempest and last night we tested the practical application of this special training.

1)  the sit-and-down-stay … though a four-month-old puppy can’t be expected to stay for very long, I’ve been doing little tiny stays with Tempest at a few of his meals.  I expect a stay while I walk away, a stay while I walk around him, and a stay sitting right in front of me.

Last evening, while the more advanced dogs were working in class on equipment, Tempest and I worked on our pause table stays.  I’m amazed that, at his young age, Tempest is able to stay focused on me, with other dogs running, while I walk away from the pause table and give his release word, then come running to me 10-15 feet away. He was so cute — staring intently at me as if trying to figure out what all this had to do with anything.

2)  the fetch … toy training is going to become a huge part of Tempest’s agility and obedience training. Toys and tugging build confidence, build drive, and are just more powerful for a toy-driven dog than treats. Tempest has begun the initial training on a formal retrieve but, in the meantime, is getting the idea of the play retrieve. “Every time I take it back to Mommy she throws it again — whee !!!”

After class, while I chatted with our instructor, Tracy, Bud was sending Tempest to the tunnel (from 6-8 feet!) and tossing the frisbee for him.  Tempest was happily jumping on the cloth frisbee and “killing it,” but then — every time — would take it back to Bud !!!   At one point Bud got distracted and Tempest stood beside him with the frisbee in his mouth, looking up as if to say, “hey, I’m not done here !!”

3) walking on a loose leash … I began by simply stopping forward movement but, when Tempest figured out how much fun the training building was, he still wanted to rush to get there.  I began a series of left 360-degree turns, turning directly into Tempest if he forged ahead of me.

Last evening, on his walk to the building and anytime I walked him from one spot to another in the building, Tempest offered me loose-leash walking.  Quite a bit of self-control for a baby, I think.

4) we have mulch and wood chips in our dog yard, so I’ve been teaching Tempest “leave it” to drop stuff out of his mouth.

This morning, as we were returning to the house from breakfast, Tempest picked up a piece of wood.  I said, “T – leave it,” and he spit it out !!  Amazing.  What a good boy.

In the meantime, Tempest no longer gets his puppy lunch but instead gets just 2 meals a day of adult food.  He’s growing slowly, getting some of his adult coat (looks a little scraggly right now), and still needs to grow into his EARS and FEET.

He’s a loving little boy who happily follows me around, sleeps next to wherever I sit, and comes when called.  I’m so happy with him, and so completely satisfied with his ability to learn our little lessons and remember them.

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