Hazel Training: Recall and Manners

Hazel has a lot of drive, the highest drive puppy in the litter.  I’m glad I am getting some time to work with her, because some of her behaviors would become serious issues when she gets her full weight and height.  With that in mind, I decided to do some ‘long line’ training with her today at the lake.  I have a very light weight 20 foot long line that I use on pups.  If it gets wet, it doesn’t get really heavy.  It also doesn’t get tangled on every stick and it is bright orange.  I think I picked it up at Tractor Supply, I can’t remember.  In any case, I put this line on Hazel today and worked on recalls first, then later on her habit of jumping up on people.

In this first video I am teaching her to come and sit.  She was an eager student, I never had to pull on the line to get her to come to me. Sorry for the text in this video. The text I included in the video before uploading to YouTube was almost unreadable after processing. Next time I will just use the YouTube text bubbles.

In the second video I had Kenzie running, making Hazel get excited and jump up on her.  I would step on the leash and tell her “Ahh” or “No Ma’am” in a firm but not angry tone.  It was simply a “I’m not going to allow that, you need to learn to control yourself little lady”.  She was a good student, never taking it personally. I do use a verbal correction with Hazel because it makes for quicker learning for her. With a softer dog, I might simply say “ahh” or maybe just ignore the bad and praise the good. However, with a softer dog, you probably wouldn’t have them chasing kids and trying to jump up on them. I change how I train with each and ever dog. With a dominant dog, I would be very careful how I corrected the dog, because a physical correction could escalate into something nasty. With a dominant dog you remove opportunity and do a lot of ignoring negative and praising the correct action, as well as picking your battles. Hazel is not really dominant now. She is pushy, obnoxious, and crazy smart but she is not dominant, so I can give her a verbal or light physical correction and she bounces back and is able to process what I meant and move on. It is just like raising kids. Each one is different, and you have to find what works best for each dog.

Tips on dog training:

1.  When you are training a dog, you should be focused on the dog.  I didn’t do the absolute best I could because I was attempting to video the dog while doing the training.  The video suffered and I apologize for that but I had to watch Hazel 99% of the time, with only a quick glance down to see if I had the phone pointed in the right direction.

2.  When training a dog, you must stop when you are ahead OR if you and the dog are not in the right frame of mind.  If either of you are getting tired, frustrated, or annoyed you must end the training.

3.  You must watch for any desired behavior and PRAISE PRAISE!  This will get you farther than anything.  If you miss a moment when the dog offers you something great and don’t reward them with something, even just a “Oh good girl!!” then the dog will stop offering you behaviors when you do not ask.  You build a thinking dog, a calm dog, a dog who is always looking for a way to make you happy, if you watch for them to do something good.  This goes back to number 1 above, but also it applies to everyday living not just training.

~Becky

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Laura S. - July 12, 2012 - 4:29 pm

We LOVED these videos Becky, Camp Baxter ROCKS!!! You are truly, the BEST!!! :)

Tara Anderson - July 12, 2012 - 7:01 pm

I’m so jealous! I’m gonna have to take another vacation so Selah can go to Camp Baxter! :)

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