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Training WEEK 1


Bella & Jack's Mummy
Sep 28, 2010
Bella & Jack - Smooth Mini's
I thought I would share with members what my trainer Heather emails me each week after our classes at my home, this as a guide and im sharing to hopefully help others, please bear in mind even though she is qualified other trainers might do things slightly differently or you may disagree with somethings she suggests, hope that it helps someone perhaps though or gives you some ideas to train your Doxie :D------

Training Cues to practice:

Technique used is Lure and Reward - treats can be her dog treats, cheese, small pieces of chicken etc. (the reward will be faded out and verbal praise can be used when Bella is reliable doing the cue behaviour every time, as discussed). Train before meal times, 2 -3 times a day for 5 mins each session and always end with a play with toys so its fun. Remember to only say the cue word once, so make it count.

Sit - treat above nose, tilt head back, when Bella's bottom touches the floor say the cue word sit and then reward.

Down - have Bella in a sit as above, then from having a treat in front of her nose, take the treat downwards past her chest until she is in the down position, then say the cue down and reward. If this does not work use the under the leg technique, by luring with the cheese until she is down then say the cue word and reward.

Stay - have Bella in a sit position as above, then say the cue word "Stay" and take one step back, then step back to Bella and reward if she has remained in the stay. Try and then take 2 to 3 steps away and build the exercise up over the week, until you can go out of sight.

Recall - We decided to use the cue word "Bella come", this is to be practiced in the house and the garden at this stage using the round robin technique, where every one calls Bella and then rewards, make sure you sound fun and exciting so that Bella will want to be with you. This can be progressed so that some of you are in different rooms of the house. This needs to be practiced in the house and garden without distractions at this stage until Bella reliably comes to you every time.

Use the tick sheet as discussed, so Bella does not become fearful of things in the future.

To get Bella used to traffic, walk her where there is a large grass verge so she is not so near the kerb to start with, reward good calm behaviour at a distance where she has no reaction to the vehicles. Then gradually decrease the distance between her and the pavement as discussed.

All mouthing and play biting should be redirected onto toys and any time Bella jumps up at faces, she should be put on the floor and ignored for a few seconds, so she learns that this behaviour is not acceptable and gets no attention.

Excitement urination:
To overcome this we have to identify the cause, which is clearly when visitors arrive at the house, Bella gets over excited and loses control of herself. So we have to reduce the intensity of all interactions such as greetings, so that the level of excitement remains below this level. This means trying to educate visitors to withdraw contact (very hard with children!) before Bella reaches over excitement. At a later stage we will ask Bella to perform a sit or stay and reward her when visitors arrive so this will take her mind off being over excited.

Next Weeks Lesson:
We will recap the above cues and progress with them and then practice some new ones, watch me, leave it, take it, loose lead walking to heel, meet and greet.
:DExcellent!! Sounds like a wonderful trainer!!! We have used these techniques on our boys and they worked swimmingly!! Victoria Stillwell is another trainer you can access online. You can go to Animalplanet.com and search for her or her show, It's me or the Dog. I am sure that your little darling with be graduating with honors very soon :) Thank you for sharing all of your experiences.
This sounds the same training that I have done with Bernie, through the "Clever Dogs Company".

Bernie seems to have picked up the basics very easily, but since he was 6 months old he seems to be taking his time on recall when out in wide open spaces. ie the Beach, he is fine in the woods where there are paths.

How is Bella doing can she sit and lay on command now :)