Monday, January 21, 2008

Roo's Training

Roo has been with us for just over two weeks and has already learned so much. First he learned how to have fun:

Roo has been lucky enough to go to two training classes per week! On Sundays we train with our friend Tara at Petsmart in Saratoga Springs, NY. There Roo is learning eye contact, to recognize his name, sit for pets, loose leash walking, down and take it and leave it. On Mondays we get to play with our friend Amy at High Goal Farm. The first week Roo was fabulous! Last week, he discovered the dogs doing agility in the building. OY! He was screaming at them and I didn't even exsist! So this week, no matter what we are doing in class, Roo and I will be working at subthreshold, which may mean we never make it into the building! I'd better dress warm, it's pretty cold out there today. We are so lucky to have these gifted trainers so close by.

At home, we are also working on drop as opposed to down. I am looking for a down from a stand, which would hopefully translate to an automatic down on the table. He is learning to target and to relax on his mat (see Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt). In addition, we are trying to teach Roo not to scream in the car! He barks in his crate when uncovered, when covered, when given a marrow bone and in between being tossed treats. He doesn't actually seem to be barking at other cars or people, because he will also bark when we are the only ones on the road :) It's more of a protest of having to be crated. We borrowed Kathy's Treat and Train (here's the new version, available from Premier)
We loaded it this morning to get Roo used to taking treats from it.
He was all over it! It works well with his kibble, so he will be
getting his dinner on the way to class this evening. Hopefully,
he will learn to be quiet in the car.
As an added bonus, I noticed it lights when you press the remote. This might be helpful in training my deaf guy, Spenser to do a prolonged down/stay!
Well, we will see how Roo does at class tonight and if we even make it in the building!

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