Okay, so Spencer’s been with me for almost 5 months now and I thought it might be nice to see just how far he’s come in that time. Especially as he seems to have well and truly hit the dreaded teenage stage and I’m feeling a bit of a failure.
When he came to us he knew sit and down. Sit he was okay with, down he was very fearful about. So I worked on down as though he’d never been taught it, fully prepared to change the word if necessary. It hasn’t been necessary and he now lies down on command with no fear whatsoever.
We’ve also worked on sit. He can now sit even if there are other dogs in sight. He can also hold a sit in the basement while I put the washing on. He sits at the door when it’s time to go out and most of the time waits to be released instead of rushing out. Still needs a reminder now and then. Same with the car.
He happily bumps my hand with his nose when asked. He does get a bit lazy with it though and tries to get away with not quite touching it. However this doesn’t get rewarded so I’m sure this habit will fade in time.
Nail cutting. Only had to actually cut his nails once, since being cut they seem to have kept themselves short. But he happily let me cut them all in one session while my husband clicked and treated after each one. He was a bit anxious at first but the click and treats soon overcame that. I still practise with him so if I do need to cut them again he’s not going to have a hissy fit.
Loose leash walking. I swear this is the bane of my life at the moment. Most of the time he’s not too bad but if he sees another dog we’re back to head down, shoulder to the ground pulling. And if my husband is with us it’s the same. But he’s better than he was and as long as I’m on my own with him walks are fairly pleasant.
Eye contact. Don’t have this on verbal cue yet and it’s VERY shaky outside of the house so still needs a lot more work. He can do about 4 seconds in the house though.
Head on paws. Still in the early stages yet but he’s starting to offer it so it won’t be long before I put it on cue. He was even offering it outside earlier. Well, sort of, it was more a brief touch of his chin to the ground but I can build on that.
Recall. Was brilliant, now it’s not so brilliant. I think a lot of it may be his age but I’ll keep working on it regardless and not just hope he grows out of it.
I really need to make an effort to take more of his training outside. He’s doing absolutely fantastic in the house but I’ve been doing very little actual training outside so I need to get off my backside and make sure he’s trained outside and not just in the house. Still trying to find something he REALLY wants while out though, other dogs is the main one but obviously I can’t always use meeting another dog as a reward for various reasons. I’m sure we’ll get there with it, just a matter of trying different things I suppose.
Oh, and he’s also crate trained now! Although just like Rupert he refused to set foot on the metal bottom of the crate so I had to remove it. And he refuses to have any more bedding in there than what’s in this photo. If I put more in he shoves it all to one end and lies at the opposite end.