Friday, September 16, 2011

Update on Bob the dog

he obeys!   ... indoors.

Yesterday after work I let Bobby out of his crate and we went outside.  This was a trying incident for me, as I endeavored to control a lunging and plunging border collie on a leash, a batch of training treats, the training clicker, and the no-no jar (I threw some pennies in a jar to shake in his general direction so as to make an unpleasant noise when he does something I dislike or disobeys or ignores.  Not bad results the first time!)

  I let him cavort for a few minutes and then tried to go through some obedience stuff.  I'm trying to get him to stop ignoring us by teaching him the "look" command.  He does it with a treat.  I think he's doing it.  Sort of.  And I'm teaching him to "shake."  I'm adding to his repertoire.  With the treats its just bribery, but its better than nothing.  At least he can be tricked into listening without treats some of the time. 

Tried to get him to fetch.  He doesn't love the fetch like every other dog in creation.  He'll run after the stick or ball maybe once or twice, but that's all I get.  God forbid he pick it up.  I just don't know how to let him cut loose and run around in playtime if there's no fetching involved!  He needs to run!

If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. 

"Ignore me, Bobby! ... good boy!"
Yesterday was the first time a problem behavior reared its toothy head.  He was leaping around like a cracked-out kangaroo and nipping at my arms to get me to throw the stick (which he ran after about seven times, woo hoo).  This will not do.  I will not be gnawed upon by some gangly prison mutt.  I know he's cooped up all day while I'm at work, and its terribly exciting to be liberated.  But bounding wild-eyed into the air like a crazed ferret and nipping the master are both uncool.  Bobby can be a cool dog, if only we can help him be one.  I told him no and ignored him for a bit.  Need to figure out my approach to calming him or changing his behavior. 

And then something I had been dreading also reared its ugly head.  The neighbor came over to greet Bobby.  (No, I haven't been dreading the neighbor.)  Bobby, in response, elatedly leapt up to the chainlink fence, curled his paws around the top, and in one swift motion brought his back legs up to the front ones at the top of the fence and practically curled up in her arms.  If the neighbor hadn't been standing there in his way, and if the long-line leash hadn't been on him, I'd have had a first hand account of seeing my dog sail efforlessly over the fence and into parts unknown because he certainly wouldn't come back when I called him.  Kind of drove home the importance expediently getting him through obedience classes.  This fence is a joke to him.  A super-fun-time obstacle.  He's biding his time.  He's going over that fence, it's just a question of when.  ... argh.  Time to ponder a taller fence? 

I don't know. 

Because I don't want to think about the cost and hassle of a new fence, my brain has now switched gears.  Avoidance isn't problem behavior, its a necessity. 

I'm excited about halloweeen.  I love Target at Halloween time. 

heh heh heh
not that I would necessarily put a costume on the dog. 

but how cool is this?!

D suggested we could dress up like characters from the movie Jaws.  He could be Roy Scheider, he said, and I could be the boat. 

Wait.  What? 

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