Outdoor Training Session


Well, Lucy is nearing 4 months now. She is great! We all adore her. This is her first all outdoor training session. It was warm today (in the high 30’s…warm is relative) so I decided it was a good day to start outdoor work. (side note: it snowed 20 min after I went inside)ย She has done all of these things inside, with inside distractions like my kids and noises and such, but outside provides a whole new level of stimulation and distraction. I was very happy with how she did. She has done leash and recall work outside on walks etc. before, but not really the other stuff.

In the long, pretty boring video we work on sit, lay down, stand. All these commands are held until the release cue “ok”. We also work on the place command and sending with multiple “places”. We do all of these off leash. I also worked on distractions particularly with the place command. Slapping my leg and kneeling, the cat, and the smell of mice that have been hiding under the snow all winter until this week were wonderful distractions. I use “nope” as a “not correct,try again” command, not a punishment. Then I just bring her back to where she got off track and start over. It keeps her motivated and happy. She is a sensitive dog, and if I were to be upset with her, or punish her on mess ups she would shut down. She also likes to know if she did something right, and I feel the “nope” coupled with the marker “good” for correct behavior helps her figure out what the right thing is.

Also we do a bit of loose leash work. It is essentially a messy heel. Over the summer we will clean up the leash work to a nice heel, but for now all that I care about is that she focuses on me, she keeps the leash loose, and that she sits when I stop. Also when I say “heel” she must roughly get into heel position on my left leg. Not looking for perfection here.

She knows a few other tricks, but nothing that I really wanted to work on in our first outdoor session. Basically we were looking to reinforce that calm waiting behavior, and good focus.

The video is 15 min long, feel free to skip and skim as much of it is repetitive.

And if you are curious about my sizable girth (the neon vest is the only vest that still fits), yes, I am 22 weeks along and due with our 3rd girl July 1st. So we will probably have a very tiny baby in the house when you pick up your new puppies. ๐Ÿ™‚


7 thoughts on “Outdoor Training Session

  1. Whitney

    This is so great! I have NOT worked on “place” with Phoebe and I need to STAT! She knows to get on the skateboard so that essentially the same thing! She’s also not as strong as Lucy on her stay. She gets over excited and stands up ha! I also have an issue with her that every time I tell her to “lay” she always runs up to me and does it right at my feet. Any tips for that? She’s really strong on lots of stuff, but she is struggling with those in particular. I’m just an armature and I’m learning as I go! We still absolutely adore her and she graduated her puppy class as valedictorian (not really, but she was definitely the best in the class)! Today Brett said when the next litter is born he wants to take a trip up to you guys to let Phoebe play with the puppies haha!!


    1. Laurel Post author

      She sounds like she is doing awesome. Did she get a cap and gown for graduation? If so, pictures. Haha.

      My only tip for the remote commands is to teach the place command (which she already knows…just establish it on a solid platform- a few inches high is best because it is a very clear barrier). Once she has that down and wont jump off, start your sit/lay/stand etc transitions on the place standing right in front. Slowly work your way back a few feet, and then once she is solid on that go even farther. That will get her used to listening to you, but knowing that she needs to stay. Then try it without the place.

      I taught Lucy without the place- but we will use the place to clean it up. You may have noticed that she sometimes creeps forward, especially from sit to lay. She also is pretty new to stand, so you will notice that I don’t back up very far, and give her more treats when she holds the stand in place. She will become more solid there as time goes on. Anyways, when she creeps more than a few inches, or when she stands up and comes to me, I just say “nope” which lets her know she behaved incorrectly and lead her back to the spot and try again. So if we are going from sit to down, for example, and she comes instead of laying down, I will lead her back, and put her back into the sit, and try the transition again. If she creeps several times in a row, I will go to her and do a bunch of quick sit/down transitions right in front of her to solidify in her mind what she is supposed to do. Then I back up and try it remote again. Make sense?

      And yes! Do come! Bring Phoebe. Her and Lucy and all their siblings can have a rip roaring good time. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Lucy has started coming on short runs with me, and loves it. Phoebe is going to be a great running partner too! If I am ever in SLC we could go for a run together with our doodles in a very populated place. That way we will be stopped by lots of people to see what kind of dogs we have (and to be complimented on how sweet they are) and we will get lots of water/breathing breaks. Haha.


      1. Whitney

        Yes that makes perfect sense! I will definitely start doing that! It seriously blows my mind how quickly Phoebe picks up on stuff and how I can see her working through things in her head! Today at the dog park she was playing near the little stream and I started jumping on rocks and she would follow me to each one. Then I started playing a game with her where I would touch a rock with my foot and she would jump onto it and get a treat. It took her two seconds to figure out what we were doing! I figured it would help her agility and also make her brain workout how to get to the rocks in the stream! She LOVED it! I’m constantly getting compliments on how well she listens to me and how great she is by all the people at the dog park! Her behavior is much better than a lot of the grown dogs already!

        I would LOVE going on a run with you if you were in SLC! I’m seriously dying to see the other puppies again and see what their personalities are like now. I pray sometimes that I will run into a former littermate somewhere in SLC at the dog park or the mall or something ha! You should do an updated post of photos people have sent to you of the puppies on how they look now.

        Also, we really will come and visit when the puppies are around 6 weeks or so! We talk about it all the time.

        Thanks for always listening to my raving about Phoebe. I know I’m way more involved with contacting you than all the other puppy owners ha! I just hope people will read these that are interested so they have even more raving reviews about the pups!


  2. Scott Jones

    Hi Laurel,I hope that you and your family are well. Congratulation on your pregnancy! I have two daughters that are both grown now and have their own families. We are very close and I cannot imagine life without them. I am very happy for you…having a third daughter.I sure do enjoy your posts and videos. Thanks for keeping us informed. Lucy looks wonderful and I hope to meet you all someday.I have to pass on a pup from this next litter as I can’t afford it yet. My accident and the lengthy healing process has put me a bit behind financially. Can you move me to the next litter?Thanks and take care,Scott Jones

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone


    1. Laurel Post author

      Hi Scott! Thanks for the update, and yes I will move you to the list for the next litter. So sorry about your accident. That’s the pits. :-/ I’ll look forward to meeting you sometime next year with the next litter! ๐Ÿ™‚



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