Back to reality after our time at Tayto!
We’ll miss all our new friends that helped our learners develop their mechanical skill.
Awesome Pets & their People
This handsome fella is Opie, who we have known since he was a puppy. Well, he’s certainly all grown up now, weighing more than 30kgs!
He came back for some revision and to really get a handle on loose leash walking. Now that he’s a full on teenager it’s important that we are emphasising appropriate physical exercise, lots of calming mental exercise and tons of work on self-control. Opie is lucky to have an awesome person!
Opie knows that dog trainers can’t resist doggie-head-tilts – they are our kryptonite!
Molly came for Daytraining
A daytraining program is an intensive program for your dog. It starts with a one to one session with the pet+ owner to discuss the issues they are experiencing, and we begin by putting some foundation exercises in place.
We schedule a number of daytraining sessions where your dog comes to spend the morning or afternoon with us and we begin working through a comprehensive program that we all design together.
This gives the dogs some better skills so helping to support their pet owner as the humans learn the training exercises.
We have had some excellent success with daytraining programs, particularly for on-leash behaviour. Molly came for some help with pulling on leash, self-control and to help reduce her stress and vigilance while out.
Here’s what happened during her first daytraining session:
Molly is a little concerned at being in a strange place with new people so to help her we start simply by teaching her that she can train humans!
We start just marking with a YES!, any approaches toward us, and we toss salami away each time. As she becomes more comfortable we can begin to mark and reward her giving eye contact.
Soon Molly is offering sits, YES! and we toss a reward. She learns that these humans are easy to train and her learning that her behaviour controls the environment around her is confidence boosting. Molly soon becomes more and more comfortable as she learns how to learn.
This exercise can be progressed too so that it not only helps with confidence boosting but also with her learning how to greet more politely and even control herself when she’s excited:
By getting Molly excited and then waiting for her to immediately calm herself she can begin to develop better self-control and self-calming skills. Yay Molly!
All this has been pretty taxing for Molly so far so we take a brain break – time for a sniffing course. This helps to relax Molly by allowing her to do a favourite-doggie-past-time, sniffing, and helps her grow in confidence as she explores novel and weird items.
She even chills out at this stage to have some fun with plastic cone decoys too!
Because Molly is such a professional-leash-puller and has trouble focusing we are going to start really really easy but not by moving forwards, rather we are going to start by going backwards…
Molly is learning that focusing and following the dancing humans is great fun!
We can begin to add a little sideways movement too as we slowly build to moving forwards. Molly just learns to walk in a nice position and we simply dance around her…
In this program we are going a lot of work on our backwards movement and that’s because we will use it in different ways, not just for loose leash walking…
When faced with distractions we can back-up to quickly get Molly out of the situation and get her re-focused on her human.
This can also be used in teaching and practicing loose leash walking out & about, where Molly may find it hard to eat food rewards. This backward movement is exciting and we are associating with lots of praise, fun and food rewards!
Time for another brain-break with a second round of sniffing courses:
Notice how this time Molly is much more relaxed and less unsure of what her job is in this game.
We are so impressed with Molly’s progress that we even begin to work just a little bit outside. We start right outside our centre in the carpark to the front where there are lots of comings and goings, sights and sounds.
We start with some passive focus – she can check out all the goings-on and as soon as she chooses to reorient we can mark and reward. But soon she is able to practice a little of our auto-sit exercise too.
To help bring Molly down after all the excitement, we worked on some matwork which her people have started with her at home. We use a high rate of reinforcement, really regular treat tossing, because there are some noises and voices outside spooking Molly. Over time, with the help of lots of rapid rewards, she can relax more and more even with these great distractions – she even makes a little nest for herself!
We are thrilled with Molly’s progress during her first session and we can’t wait to get working with her again next week!
We welcomed a new Canine Nutrition group – this is a three month part-time course and we were joined by six learners from all around Ireland on their journey to learn more about canine nutrition for physical and behavioural health.
This course starts with a look at the functioning of the canine digestive system, how that system processes nutrients and the fads and trends in canine nutrition.
We emphasise the development of critical thinking skills, applying that to the broad area of canine nutrition that is often filled with myth, anecdotes and misinformation. A tall order!
We ended our first day spending lots of time analysing commercial feed labels; learning about labeling tricks, energy content and evaluating food quality. Their heads were well & truly buzzing after all that!
This weekend, we had CBTT6 in for their second weekend. We’er finding it hard to believe that they are almost halfway through their tuition already – time flies when you’re having fun!
This weekend, their second, we covered Domestication & Selective Breeding on Saturday and Canine Nutrition & Dietary Requirements on Sunday so they have all headed home this evening exhausted!
Well done CBTT6 for getting this far – keep up the great work!
Check out the Mother’s Day Google Doodle that we had for CBTT6 today, of course projected – very fitting for all the dog lovers in the room:
Decker and Boomer had a busy week helping out the humans, while Zac wrapped up…
Have a great week!