A blog about dog training and dog breeding…and other sundry matters

The Challenge of Distractions

Sometimes one has to take a Zen approach to challenges, if one wants to keep their sanity.  Today I trained my puppies in what has become their classroom.  It’s an oblong room with absolutely no distractions.  The puppies have been learning very quickly and are eager to learn new things.

Well, today the focus of their lessons was loose-leash walking.  I did a bit of that in the classroom, then took them into the yard, one puppy at a time.  Well, Mr. Tuvok did well, but I tried to get him to offer some sits.  That was a no-go.  He was most facinated by the gardener who was putting up a gate to separate the driveway from the garden.

Well, he did well earlier in his lesson, so I thought that he should go back in his kennel and Gretchen would have her turn.  Gretchen, who is usually so focused on me, was more interested in helping the gardener.  Then a family member came out of the house and she duly started barking at this family member, who, under normal circumstances, she adores.

She was NOT interested in walking on leash.  I let her off and turned the distractions into a training situation.  I used this as an opportunity to practice recalls.  Everytime she ran to the gardener, I called her, and when she turned to come to me, I clicked her and gave her a bit of stinky cheese once she ran to me.  I then released her to go help the gardener.

So, when all was said and done, I didn’t practice loose-leash walking with Gretchen, but recalls.


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