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“If the rule or command is ‘be cute’, I got it covered!”
Rules are sweeping generalizations that prepare Penny for how to interact with both the familiar and the unfamiliar. I’ve found shaping rules with exclusionary terms to be most helpful. For example:
Rule: Nothing is a toy unless it is explicitly identified as a toy
Penny’s food bowl has many of the same qualities as her toys do, so she understandably treated it like one. When I see Penny playing with something that’s not a toy I immediately redirect her to a familiar toy. I help her identify those acceptable toys with verbal encouragement.
Penny is beginning to catch on as to what she is allowed to play with. By using exclusionary framing for the rule, no matter what new items are introduced to the apartment Penny will learn to leave them alone.
Eko helps with a few dog rules of his own.
Rule: Never bite a dog with force anywhere (ear, tail, etc)
General rules dovetail nicely into specific commands. One of my favorite terms is a blended rule/command. When I say “gentle” Eko knows I’m not asking for a specific behavior, but a calm demeanor. We’re working on this calming technique with Penny as well.
When excited, a ‘gentle’ reminder lets Penny know to eat her treat with lady manners
As if all that wasn’t enough for Penny to study, she needs to learn her obedience commands AND learn that commands always trump rules.
Commands also help teach rules. Penny knows the rule she cannot bite skin, clothing or shoes, but no one ever said anything about bracelets! With enough “leave it” commands Penny will learn the exclusionary rule, “Never bite anything attached to a human.”
But wait, there’s more! *Cue groaning classroom of puppies* Dogs also must learn the only command that matters is the most recent one given. Penny is not always a fan of that rule of command.
I identified the stick as a toy and gave Penny the “take it” command. She was incredulous when I then gave the “leave it” command
Rules, commands, rules of commands – I’ll admit, it’s not the most fun stuff. BUT, it’s exactly what allows you the ability to safely and responsibly do the fun stuff. I don’t have to tell you I have plenty on my Fun-Stuff-To-Do-List for Miss Penny.
Class is always in session, so if you have any rules or commands you find particularly helpful with your pets be sure to let me know.
I sure wish I had known you when we first got Dakota. Fabulous!
I found LEAVE IT to be one the best commands we ever accomplished because it can apply to so much that can otherwise end up being dangerous, whether it be something they could ingest or an animal could bite back (snakes and possums in particular!). I also like the FREEZE command, which we have yet to accomplish, which is obviously meant to stop the dog in their tracks…great for when you live in an area with dangerous places like roads or ponds.
Also, such cute pictures! 🙂
Things to teach dog…
Stay close. Good to teach on lead when she is off lead
Inside voice. No bark but moan or growl okay
Read book called Chase by Pilley. Great fun informative read.
i am sure she will be just as good a student (maybe not as attentive) as Eko was – and once she learns you guys will have even more fun- my favorite command (not always followed depends on what it is) is leave it – its one we use in the country and the woods more than you would think – dead bird -LEAVE IT. Snake – LEAVE IT. katy-dids and skinks – always say LEAVE IT but Muffin just refuses as she likes to put these in her mouth where i don’t see that she has them and carry them in the house where she lets them loose and plays with them.
Obedience school? Bwahahaha. We terriers are notorious for flunking. Why did humans breed us to work independently from them and then send us to obedience school?
That’s a very complicated way to think of it! It makes a lot of sense though, but when I’m raising a puppy I kind of just “do” and don’t think about what I’m doing. You have a really good plan, Penny is going to grow up to be a very well mannered dog!
Dogs are happier with rules and commands even when it seems harsh at times. I know I have been working more with Mom lately for a test I have coming up and I feel better because I know I can’t let things slide anymore. Bailie, on the other hand, feels rules and stuff are made to be tested and she is determined to break as many as she can!
Penny is coming along leaps and bounds xx
You make this training stuff look so easy!!… A credit to you!
Don’t know if you take part or not Will, but we have an award for you over here: http://pawedblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/yay-we-got-a-liebster-award/
Hugs, Carrie and pups x
Penny is so adorable – such an expressive face……and the photos of her capture the joy of puppyhood so well.
I think dogs like it to have something to do :o) we tried to teach Easy that he can bring special things on command… ok, we nailed it, he takes the things but for himself. ( that’s a success of 50%, not bad lol )
Wow Penny is growing so much
Rules are meant to be broken, lol