2-minute dog trainer – Tempest gets neutered

This was the week where all my obedience training paid off. <g>

Tempest got neutered about 10 days ago and was supposed to be kept quiet for 7-10 days.

The first day was no problem. He was sore and drugged with pain meds. He stayed nice and quiet, walked in and out of the house on lead, spent the day in his crate and ex-pen, and mostly slept.

By the 4th day he was dying to chase Bud’s BC, Kory. He skittered down the ramp into the yard instead of walking quietly.

I used as many obedience cues, in as calm a voice, as I could muster. He really is a very good puppy, so I’m lucky with that. The 6-7 days of total confinement (for Tempest AND me <g>) went quickly.

Fortunately I had a long period with no work days, so I got to spend 24/7 with Tempest and keep him from having to endure an elizabethan collar.

After 6 days of total quiet, with 3-4 trips each day to the training building to walk around with my antsy pup, I gave him a little more freedom.

He still wasn’t ready to rip and tear with Kory, but I gave him a 30-minute break in the yard by himself. He seemed to enjoy sniffing the edges, eating grass and sticks, and relaxing in the sun.

While he was recovering from his little surgery we worked on:  1) sitting for exiting crates or pens, exiting the house, entering the training building, etc.,  2) walking on a loose leash,  3) greeting people by sitting, and  4) being attentive.

Now that he’s done with pain meds and being confined, we’re back working on continuing to reinforce his 2-on-2-off contact performance with breakfast and dinner.

I take his food bowl to the part of the basement that holds his contact trainer. I set the bowl 10-11-feet away from the down ramp he’ll be using.

We walk away from his bowl (he usually heels at this point, since he’s not sure if this is a heeling exercise or agility — I LOVE that!).

I tell him “walk up!” and he mounts the contact trainer and drives to the floor, where he rushes into position.

I, on the other hand, do not limit my movement.  I don’t necessarily establish a parallel path but, instead, sometimes head off in a totally different direction while he’s moving down his ramp.

If he makes the mistake of coming off the ramp, I make a big deal of putting the food bowl back down and we repeat the exercise.

If he nails his 2O2O position I walk around, casually pick up the bowl, set it down in front of him and let him eat about half his food.

We repeat this exercise, for a total of two performances, with each meal.

SIDEBAR:  About 2 weeks ago I decided I wanted Tempest to know my contact performance criteria demanded he assume his position in perfect line with the ramp. I want his front feet to stay in line with the bottom of the ramp, and don’t want Tempest hopping off the side of the ramp with his front end. One of the problems with the sideways contact performance is that it complicates the dog’s approach to the next obstacle. If the dog is supposed to turn away, into a tunnel perhaps, they’re facing the wrong direction right from the get-go.

It’s been weeks since Tempest made the mistake of coming off the contact trainer in the basement. It’s been a week since Tempest made the mistake of coming off the dogwalk in the training building.

But he’s still making occasional mistakes when we work on the real agility equipment, so I’ll continue his training in the basement for several months.

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2 Responses to “2-minute dog trainer – Tempest gets neutered”

  1. ann stetson Says:

    out of curiousity, why did you neuter him early? people seem to be going back and forth on that one (neutering age, if at all), and I’m still on the fence. I’ve never neutered anyone till there was a reason to (prostate problems, not wanting an older dog to breed a puppy bitch), but lately it seems like most people wait till 2 years or until the dog is done growing. But as I said, I’m on the fence. I’d be the first one at the vet’s office if there was a reason to do it on a young dog.

    My puppy is about Tempest’s age, and so far he has not shown too many annoying intact male behaviors, but give him time! 🙂 he’s not even lifting his leg yet.

    • 2mindogtrainer Says:

      I’m a spay/neuter advocate, and have never witnessed in any of my dogs (or those of my students) ill effects from early neuter. I have, on the other hand, seen boys who were unable to control themselves (human men can’t always, why should we expect more of dogs?) if left intact too long. Tempest hiked his leg to pee from age 4 months, has lots of dominant tendencies, and can be a bit of a bully to Kory. But I neutered him at 6 months because I don’t ever want that part of his mentality to kick in. I’ve heard all the stories about why we should wait to spay and neuter, but what that really means is that my 20-24″ dogs are always waiting in line to run with intact males and females. And some of those folks don’t recognize heat cycles (or don’t want to). I asked the advice of people I trust, and took the advice of the majority because it’s part of my personal belief system as well.

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