Friday, May 06, 2011

Hard work and patience pays off

On many two lane roads, in no-passing zones, there are signs that tell you when a passing zone is coming up: "Patience Pays; Passing Zone in 3 Minutes." No matter how annoying that slow-poke is in front of you, you know that pretty soon you'll be able to get by him. So, you possess your soul in patience and look for a better radio station. And soon enough you're in front of him and singing along with your favorite song.

So it is with dog training. You see a problem, work at it, and little by little, you've put that problem behind you. Tango has had issues with other people and dogs. A few months ago we couldn't walk into our Agility class building without him firing up at whoever (or whatever) was walking around. But last night we not only walked into the building with confidence, but he was able to stay at the start line of our sequences, leash off!, with a big dog not 2 feet away from him, and pay attention to me. He started when I told him to, and he stayed with me. What a good boy!!!

Of course, that's not to say that our work is done. It never will be. I'll remain vigilant of the people and dogs around us. We'll keep training our start-line stays. But patience really does pay!


SI87 said...

That's awesome! Congratulations on your step in the right direction. I was wondering what training techniques did you use? My dog Alvin is really reactive around other dogs, and I've been trying a few different things hoping to have some success but nothing seems to be working. Any suggestions would be a huge help! Thank you!

Fran said...

Always have yummy treats around. If your dog loves to play, have a favorite toy as well. While Alvin's on leash, BEFORE Alvin sees the distraction that you do, get his attention by saying something like, "Alvin's a handsome boy." When he looks at you, say "Yes" (if you use a clicker, click here too) and give him a treat. I use cut-up string cheese. Hot dogs work well too. Takes a lot of time and a lot of patience. Also, try not to stay stationery for a long period of time. Take a few steps in the opposite direction from the distraction, with Alvin looking at you or ahead, or at the flowers. Good luck!

SI87 said...

Thank you so much for the advice! I'm going to put it into practice and see how things go. Alvin is a tough little dog to work with and has a long way to go, but I know with patience and practice he'll improve. Thank you!!