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) 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. 🙂