Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 7: A Quiet Day

Today we did a lot of Stay training, not much to take photos of, and difficult to get good photos when I am training indoors.

Tintin did really well - the board in the photo lists Day 1 and 2 of the items on the relaxation/deference protocol we are using: Sit for 5 secs, Sit for 10 secs, Sit while I step back one pace and return, take two steps back and return, etc.  Each list takes about 15 minutes to work through, and Tintin has managed to get through the first two without getting up once. Yay, Tintin!

This is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Of course, he's having plenty of fun, don't let the long face fool you! And despite daily brushing, it is pretty much impossible to keep that face clean and tidy  - this photo was taken about half an hour after he got up - by which time he had snuffled around the dewy meadow, buried his nose in a gopher hole, and re-established himself as a Country Dog. Only his collar betrays his City Dog origins!

After each practice session we do something different and fun to mix things up and keep them interesting -- like squirrel hunting.

Anyone got a ladder?
Tintin passed a big milestone today - he slept the whole night in his crate, in the dog guest room by himself (I had been sleeping in the same room with him every night until then). We had been taking it gradually, building his "alone muscle" bit by bit so when the time came, he wasn't at all distressed, just snuggled down on his bed with an extra woolly blanket, and went to sleep. Not a peep from him all night and in the morning he was calm and happy.

All of these exercises (relaxation/deference protocol, Stay practice, crate training, sleeping by himself are designed to help Tintin be more confident and comfortable if he has to be behind a barrier, or left by himself for a while.

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