Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Visitor

Introducing Rusty! The senior-aged, doberman/beauceron/or something mix. Rusty needed a place to live and when do I not need another animal around the house?

I need to quickly finish a project so he can pose with something - although he does tend to be overly interested in dragging my knitting or anything else around the house. Today's items so far have included of course his favorite - the dirty laundry (honorable mention to towels) a book, a shoe, a pen, and finally a gallon jug of Nature's Miracle.

Rusty has a weak back end and seems to be missing some fundamental training. Today we had a giant break through when he went to the front door on his own and stood. I ran him outside and he peed. I was much more excited about it than he was.

We did a potty training showdown yesterday so I was glad to see some progress in that area. If he does it again, I will know it wasn't a fluke. :)

The weather was so nice we spent some of the day working on his dislike of being in the yard alone. This involved me being armed with a lot of treats and Rusty being left in the yard alone while I would do work in the garage or just out of sight. My approach was somewhat similar to the beginning work on a stay. You keep the reward coming, in Rusty's case, in short/varied intervals. For this exercise, the rewards was for no whining/barking. He seems a little confused by my use of positive reinforcement but he doesn't mind the food. We kept it to about a 15 minute session. He did some exploring of the yard on his own, but doesn't last long though before he starts running the fence line in search of me.

Right now I am working on rewarding him for response to his name and assigning words to an action: like a "sit" when he has started sitting, or a "come" when he has initiated heading towards me.

I moved on to yard work within the fencing and then he was far more brave and willing to be further from me. I actually witnessed him running - unfortunately it was because he was spooked. He had got tangled up in my clippings and it scared him to have them dragging behind him.


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  2. (Trying again...)

    Wow, sounds like you guys are making great strides. And may the Rustman go to the door again!