Rascal had his 3rd class today at PetSmart (remember we meet on Sunday and had 2 weeks off for the holidays). He’s getting a little better with walking on a leash and walking around the store but still won’t participate in class or take treats from me or anybody else. The instructor and a few other employees have told me that they usually come out of their shell by the 3rd class and according to the instructor she had one that waiting until graduation before he participated. That gives me encouragement that there’s still hope for Rascal.
We do practice everything at home and he’s doing real well with it. He’s looking at me when I have a treat in my hand. I put a treat in my hand and tell him to leave it. Once he looks away and stops trying to pry my hand open I tell him to “take it” and let him have it. Where it was taking me 5-10 minutes and constant repeating of “leave it”, it now only takes me 2-3 times to tell him before he looks away.
One thing we’re trying to get him to do is something they call “Greet for Treats”. That’s where we walk around the store and get him to sit and take a treat from other customers. He does the walking just fine but when it comes to taking a treat from someone, well, let’s just say that’s something we’re working on. We did make a bit of progress today though, he actually went up to a few people and sniffed them and when we were in the training ring he played with a treat on the floor but didn’t eat it.
I’ve been using some of these techniques with our other puppies, Stretch & Ellie and I must say, Stretch is catching on rather fast. I do think I need to lock them in their cages and only work with one at a time though as it’s a bit confusing trying to keep an eye on 3 dogs at once.
This week I learned how to get him to lay down and to leave a treat if it’s placed on the floor. Again, we need to work on this at home and hopefully he’ll catch on as quick as he has the other exercises.
One tip I learned for getting a dog to stop using the INSIDE of the house as their personal bathroom was scatter feeding. Since we use a combination of dry and canned food so I have to do it with treats. The area they mostly use I take a handful of treats and scatter them around the floor. Rascal looks like a furry vacuum then way he sucks those things up. The idea here is that dogs won’t relieve themselves in the same place they eat. We’re still working on that one though and I have noticed Rascal has relieved himself in the hallway a couple of times last week. That’s the thing that really bothers me. He comes to tell us he wants out but there are times he tells us AFTER he’s done his thing. If he’d only learn to tell us BEFORE. I know baby steps.