Friday, July 22, 2011

Biker Dog!

Abbey has officially started a new exercise regimen which allows her to build up endurance and speed while I get to work on my leg power. Give Up? Abbey now runs alongside the bike. If you are wondering how long it took to train or if it was a previous fear...NOPE! I just didn't have a bike until now. If you're wondering about Abbey...she took to it quite well. Only slight hesitations and she learned not to run in front of the big wheel real quick ;). (Got you on the butt didn't it, girly...OUCH mama, ya think?!). She then learned that she cannot stop to go sniff the flowers or else mommy takes a nasty spill. Apparently she had to test this theory 3 times. I honestly believe she though it was funny to watch me jerk up. Why? Because the second time she did it was to take a pee and she did it all too casually. But I digress. PICTURES...that's how you follow up a post like

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why Pinch when you can Click?

Yesterday I went to the dog park with Abbey and a couple of her canine buddies. We spent part of the afternoon there walking around the park...I let Abbey on some of the agility equipment and it was overall a really great time. As we were exiting the park, there was a training class in session instructed by a man I am unfamiliar with. Every last one of his students were in a prong collar. Now, I'm very much against prongs, choke, and shock collars because I think that the use of any one of them is taking the easy way out and that you aren't teaching your dog anything. At most, in my opinion, a dog is learning to react to a form of pain or discomfort...or performing a behaviour to try and avoid the pain or discomfort.
There are so many people who argue that positive reinforcement is not real training because we initially use a form of motivation (food or toys) to get our dogs to perform the desired behaviours. There are so many people that believe that if the treats are no longer there for the dog to receive then the dog will no longer perform the behaviours we want. This is completely false. In fact, I have encountered more negative reinforcement trainers that cannot walk their dogs on a normal collar than R+ trainers. I have never seen one person who started their dog on a prong collar, choke chain, or shock collar that goes out for a walk and doesn't still have to use the damn collar. The freaking training tool you started with DOES NOT get removed!! As an advocate for R+, if trained properly, I can proudly say that I don't walk around with cookies in my pockets! Abbey responds to sit, down, wait, come, EVERYTHING except for maybe complex tricks without a treat or cookie present. In R+ we teach, they learn, we live happily. No pinching necessary.
Everyone grab a clicker and actually have success training your dog. Interact with your dog. Learn from your dog. You should never have to continue using your training tool throughout your dog's life. So, more proof that using aversive methods are ineffective? They never go away.

Why Pinch when you can CLICK?!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You can't stop the beat!

Over the past couple of months (on and off) I have been teaching Abbey how to do Silvia Trkman's drum trick. After plenty of trial and error and bucket changes, Abbey is beginning to tap out a few ratta tat tats on her "drum." Well, with hot dogs as her main motivation I don't blame her.

Today, however, she really started BEATING on the bucket/drum. She even added her own personal flare and flavor to it. I'm going to start video taping her progress and then later compile it into a video once we have achieved the final product. I have no doubt that she will be my best little drummer.

You can't stop the BEAT!