Saturday, September 6, 2008

Good Dog

This might shock the Farm Family, knowing as they do the Pup's love of going off exploring whenever she gets half a chance, and her addiction to "catch me catch me" when she does get away on her own, but Noel is learning to heel off leash.

It's never been an issue before, we had a big yard, which both doors opened onto, and she could go out whenever she felt like it. She would occasionally get out of the yard, and when she did, it took twenty minutes to catch her, even for me. Longer, for anyone else, on a typical day.

The new place doesn't have a big yard though. The sliding glass door opens on the yard but the front (back? we face on the alley, but its the only outside access to our part of the duplex without going over the fence...) door just goes straight out to the alley.

So, we've been working on "Stay in the house." As opposed to "stay" which is plant your puppy butt until I tell you otherwise, "stay in the house" means just that. I don't care where she goes as long as its not out the door.

We've also been working on "stay close." Roommate has a twenty foot rope lead that Noel can drag around and I can step on if need be, but I haven't had to. We've graduated to going out the door off the leash entirely already, although I ask her to stay closer when I don't have a leash to step on.

The reason I titled this post the way I did, is because a few minutes ago, we were outside (I was smoking, the dogs were sniffing and eating grass) and the German Shepherds across the alley started barking. Roommate's dog Happy, who has been trained off leash since he was a pup, hopped up and started running, and I had to holler. Noel, who started off leash training two weeks ago, perked her ears and then looked at me. I told her to stay, and she sat down and waited for Happy to come back.

When I told her good girl, she stood up and went to Happy, grabbed his collar, and drug him over to me, then sat again.

I about wet myself laughing. Good dog.


Pappy said...

'Girl, your doing good. Do you know of any good books on basic obedience training? I really need to work with Rocky but I don't know how to do it correctly.

Farmgirl said...

Pappy, the biggest part of training "correctly" is being consistent. Correct the dog when it does the wrong thing, and praise/reward the dog when it does the right thing, in a consistent manner.

I don't really know of any good books, but as far as a basic set of concepts (be dominant to your dog, be consistent, be confident) Cesar Millan actually has a fairly good grasp on it. He's got a TV show, and a website here.

Just do what works for you and Rocky, mostly.

I'm so helpful, aren't I?

Pappy said...

Not only helpful, but, from what I hear, cute as a bug's ear, too!

Thanks for pointing me in a starting direction. I 'preciate it.

knitalot3 said...

That is hysterical! Dogs can be so smart when they want to be.

I have a black lab that heels better off the leash than on. She fights it when it's on. She doesn't chase things and listens to me without it, kinda strange ;-)

The other thing I would add to the training is pick a couple of one or two word commands and stick with them.

I love it when people try to "talk" to their dogs..... "How many times do I have to tell you to...."

Ha! One word for every year of brain age. In labs, that stays at about two.

Except for "TIME TO FEED THE DOGS" She knows every one of those and most of them spelled.