Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Travis the lab my new foster dog

New Foster Dog - Travis - Day One

On Wednesday morning a pet rescue friend picked up Bruce (he is leaving on transport Thursday) and dropped off Travis, for me to foster - another black male Labrador Retriever that is up for adoption at Labs4Rescue. She put Travis in a dog crate.

Loose Leash Heeling Lesson

After I ran my dogs I came back and took Travis out of his crate and placed a choke chain and four foot lead on him. I walked him about my yard a little to see how much he pulled. He pulled pretty hard on the leash when he wanted to smell something. I kept changing directions whenever he reached the end of the leash and start to pull on it.

I kept doing this until he started to pay more attention to me. Whenever he did give me his attention I clicked and treated him. Travis doesn't know how to take treats from my hand nicely. He put my whole hand in his month a few times trying to figure out how to get the treat. I kept my fist closed until he started to lick at my hand then I would open it so he could get at the treat. The treats were hot dog slices and his dog food kibble.

Clicker Training

I also started to ask for a SIT and what for it before clicking and treating him. He didn't seem to know the word, SIT, but responded more to the upward tug on the leash -- if I had his attention. Once sitting I clicked and treated.

After I could walk a bit without him trying to just drag me. I pulled out the golf cart to take him on a road run. I placed my two smaller dogs on the cart in their halters and let Travis run along side the golf cart. He is not a Speed Racer, more like a Lope Along Larry. He didn't run as fast as he could and before long he was staying right at the side with a loose leash. This was a nice change from the full out racing and arm pulling Bruce did until he was tried. Travis also tucker out faster than Bruce. I only had to travel about half the distance I did with Bruce to give him a good workout. But he will gain stamina with farther workouts.

We stopped by the pond on the road and I let Travis walk into the water where he laid down to cool off. Once back home I place him in his own dog yard.

Evening - Road Run and Pond

At about 5:30 pm I took Travis for another short road run with the golf cart and another stop at the pond to cool off (still on the four foot lead). I also did a little heeling on a loose leash work and sitting. He is still pulling ahead when he smell something he want to check out. He wants the treats but is still not sitting too fast.

I also tried Travis' leash to a fallen tree for a few snap shots in the evening sun.

From Travis the Lab

Jumped the fence

After I exercised Travis I put him back in his dog yard and let my other foster dog, Howie the Hound, and my German Shepard dog, Lobo, out of their dog yards to run around my larger fenced in yard. Travis was very excited and kept barking and barking and jumping up at the gate of his yard.

When I went and got dog food for my dogs and started to put them up after their playtime Travis grew even more excited and jumped the four foot dog yard gate. I was right there and grabbed him by his collar and snapped on a leash and walked him to his crate. I am not ready to have him met my dogs loose, specially when he is so excited and their is food around. So now I know that Travis can climb a four foot fence. I will keep in crated for this night.

Today's Summary of Lessons

I worked with Travis on the following: SIT, take food nicely from my hand, walking on a leash without pulling on it, getting his attention, and jogging along with the golf cart.

Health note: Travis' stool is on the soft side, but this can just be because he is excited and in a new place and eating new food and drinking new water.


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