Can you believe it’s almost May? I don’t know where this year has gone, though I’m so happy to finally have the windows in our house open. It was time to bring in a little fresh air!
You know that old saying (I think it was supposed to be about children): Give ’em an inch, they take a mile. Well, that applies fully to Emmett and Lucas. Take the door training, for instance. We established a “place” for them to sit while I opened the door to allow our guest in, instead of them rushing our guest, wiggling and pushing and vying for his or her attention. It was working really well. The doorbell would ring, I’d direct them to their place, give the “wait” command, let the guest in, then release them.
But then I gave them that inch. A couple people came by who they knew really well or who had dogs with them… and I didn’t send them to their place. I let them jostle each other out of the way to be closest to the incoming guest. And then they took their mile. All of a sudden they’ve “forgotten” that they need to wait in their place until the guest enters.
So for the month of May my primary training goal is to resurrect the door training with repetition and consistency and lots of yummy rewards.
Also, I read this awesome article by Dog Spelled Forward on loose-leash walking, which I think is something that can always be reinforced, so I’m adding that to my list of May training goals!
And, lastly, Emmett and I have been volunteering with a group of young kids at a local mental health facility. The kids were absolutely appalled that Emmett didn’t know how to play dead (“Even if you say ‘bang’ he won’t do it?” one of the kids asked, eyes big and round). So, to appease the kiddos, I’m going to teach Emmett to play dead this month.
What about you? Do you structure your training in any way (goals, schedules, etc.)? How do you determine what to work on and when? And what are you working on?