Saturday, April 25, 2009

Travis the lab day four

Saturday with my new foster dog, Travis

Started off the morning with taking Travis for some jogging along the road from the side of my golf cart. Stopped here and there to do a little work on "HEEL" and "SIT". Started lessons on "DOWN". Travis doesn't like down and got mouthy -- lightly biting my hands and arms. I would tell him NO and keep working on getting him to lay down. This mouthiness tells me that he is not respecting me as his pack leader and is testing me to see if he can just do what he wants to do, which is not to lay down.

From Travis the Lab

I had also noticed some mouthiness from him when I first tried to put him in the dog yard. He needs to learn that this will not stop me and doesn't do a bit of good.

Brushing out the dead hair

At lunch time I took Travis out on a four foot leash and did some heeling lessons. When he see of sniffs something he want to explore surges ahead and pulls. I started walking a circle with him to the inside. This way if he walked to far ahead he ran into my legs or knee. His nose hit my knee hard a few time before he started to keep his place. He will need a lot more work on HEELing and keeping his attention to where I am while walking.

From Travis the Lab

After about 5--10 minutes of HEELing I slipped the end of Travis' leash over a fence post and started to brush out some of his dead winter fur. I don't think he has been brushed much if ever before. He became very mouthy and didn't want me to brush him. I was not hurting him so I just continued and whenever he put his mouth over my arm I said NO and removing it. Even he would stand still I would click and treat him. He has to learn that I will not stop just because he wants me to. A lot of dead hair came out.

Evening outing - almost a dog fight

In the evening I let out Travis and Howie the hound from their dog yards. Howie gets along well with other dogs and so I hoped that he and Travis would met well and maybe play a little. Travis was very excited and I keep him on a leash for this meeting. He jumped right into playing too rough with Howie and after a minute I could see Howie was not liking this rough play. I would pull Travis away from Howie then let him return but he would just go to bit at the back of Howie's neck. Travis was not growling -- just being too excited and dominant with his meeting and play.

After another bite on the neck Howie growled and snapped at Travis. Instead of backing down Travis growled back. I gave Travis a large jerk and then demanded a down from him. He didn't stay in the down long and I put him in a down again. Then walked him in a circle to calm down and put him in his crate so I could take my dogs for their walk.

Travis will have to learn to meet dogs in a nicer, calmer manner, and play gentler too or he will get into himself dog fights. This also shows that he does not respect me as he leader because if he did he would be more respectful of my disapproval of his actions. I will need to work harder to gain Travis' respect with more work on "DOWN" and "HEEL".

When I returned from walking my dogs I worked Travis a little on the road with the cart and did more work on "DOWN" and started on "DOWN-STAY. When he is tried and there are no distractions I can get him to down and stay, but this is just the beginning and he will need a lot more challenging work with more and more distractions added.

From Travis the Lab


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