Monday, April 27, 2009

Self-control...how to get it!

Mom says that I should be more specific in how a dog can gain self-control. Of course I was just born this way (I'm cool like that), so I'll have to ask my sister Inara for advice. Since she used to be totally crazy, she should have plenty of help. So she's taking over the blog for today. Enjoy! ~SDS

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Hey all! It's Inara here! Stupid Sawyer said that some dogs might need some help in the self-control department...and that I could write the blog. I don't know why he gets a blog and not me. I'm the prettiest one...it could just be a blog about how pretty I am. Wouldn't you all read that? I could have mom help me post pictures of me...who doesn't want to see pretty pictures all of the time?

Okay, mom says that I have to get back on topic...now that I have a longer attention span, she says I have to stay on track. *pretty pout*

Here's a fun game that mom loves to teach in puppy class and to her clients. This is one of MY favorites too.

The Off-switch game.

*First grab a bunch of really good, smelly, soft-bite sized treats.
*Then work on getting your dog to sit or down on cue, if he/she can't already.
*Then the fun begins!
*Get really excited and silly around your dog...jump around, wave your arms, run in circles, shake a toy...whatever gets your dog up and acting silly too. Stay excited for about 10-20 seconds and then stop and freeze. (when working with kids, Mom will actually yell out "FREEZE!")
*Wait for your dog to settle into that sit or down...use the cue if you need
*Say "YES!" or use your clicker...and give a treat
*Start all over again!

Another thing Mom does to help us learn self-control is to make sure we earn everything. We have to offer a behavior (usually sit, down or stand) for every resource we want access to: food, petting, outside, walkies, car rides, etc. Our foster puppy sits for everything, and it's going to make him so much more adoptable because of this simple training. Sitting or down becomes a default behavior that we fall back on if we're not sure what Mom wants from us.

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Mom also reinforces heavily for us working around distractions. From day one, any puppy that comes to stay with us has to learn to work around cats, other dogs, rabbits, rats and guinea pigs...as well as John's scooter. Everyone that stays here learns that it pays off BIG-Time to work around these distractions.

Everything is done with postive reinforcement and clicker training...so learning self-control is fun!

I hope this helps some! Now for more pics of me! *giggle*

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~Pretty-pretty Inara

3 comments:

inaradog said...

Dogs named Inara are the prettiest, aren't they?

Mama's making me learn self-control - I actually managed to do beautiful obedience right outside a dog park on Sunday. Mama was so proud of me she nearly exploded. It's been a long road though.

Denise Portis said...

Inara,

You write very well. Mom should get you a blog too.

My mom is thinking hard about your mom's "freeze" game. Tonight I was on stage and she asked me to fetch my leash after she got up from a chair. I went to get it right as a student toppled a music stand behind me. I was really startled and knew mom had asked me to do something but it went clean out of my head! Mom had to repeat the command and she hates doing that. I have a feeling "freeze" game is my future.

Chloe,
Hearing assistance dog

Noel said...

Ah, yes. I see that Mom was testing your self control by leaving food in an easily accessible place too. :)