Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Heidi's handiwork

Isn't she talented?

Yeah, she's still a bit of a spazz sometimes. It's so much easier to just pick her up because she calms down really fast then, but I constantly remind myself that that's how you create those obnoxious little purse dogs that people hate. All dogs, even the cute tiny ones, are still dogs, and should be treated as such. They are not baby substitutes nor are they fuzzy little accessories.

In other news, I finally got off my lazy tush and started teaching Heidi sit and down a couple days ago. Sit is easy because that's pretty much her default. She's figured out that sitting calmly and staring with those big eyes is the most effective way to get attention. Down, however, was horrible. I initially lure with a treat, and she started running around and trying all sorts of antics, none of which included laying down. When she finally did lay down, she flopped on her back. I decided that was acceptable for a first attempt, and rewarded her for it. On the second day, I wanted to get her to do a proper down. She got praise for flopping on her back, but no treat. She only got treats when she was still upright. After a long and painful training session (ok, it was really 10 minutes, but it felt like an eternity because she just wasn't getting it), it finally clicked, and she's now doing proper downs fairly consistently.


Kilroy0606 said...

Wow. Willow still doesn't do a proper down very well. She's way too dominate to want to lay down anywhere. She also likes to do this army crawl thing where she does not leave the down but crawls forward to get something she wanted. :)

nital said...

I hate teaching downs. Hate, hate, hate. I was trying to avoid teaching one of my fosters down, so I just worked on other stuff. His sit/stays were proofed to the point I could run around him banging pots and pans, or leave the room for 10 minutes, but I hadn't taught the boy to down. Sad, but true. Hate downs.