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Expectations: Learn First The Animal

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Raven
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Expectations: Learn First The Animal

Post by Raven » Fri May 01, 2015 8:04 pm

There's a lot to be said for time, and learning the animal. A recent success would have been an epic fail if I tried this when we first adopted our god of thunder, Thor. (Aptly named by his previous owner.)

Thor knows a couple different non-verbal commands and one verbal command for "indoor voice." It's nothing in and of itself. I never thought to use that voice, though, to curb his hyper-vigilance until recently. :doh:

These dogs are amazing. He got it. I don't know that you can get these dogs to use their indoor voice 100%, or even if you'd want to, but he's using it A LOT--plus he's using any voice much less, even when looking out the windows or when we're out back. That's huge for him, especially considering his age.

I'm posting as a brag about him, but also as a reminder that these dogs are capable of most anything....If we take time to listen to them and learn who they are as individuals, and know ourselves well enough to know the cues we send them, they will absolutely shine. :g_wink:

And to think no one wanted the beast. My husband said today that we couldn't ask for a better dog. I coughed, but yeah....
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

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Mobil
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Re: Expectations: Learn First The Animal

Post by Mobil » Fri May 01, 2015 8:52 pm

How did you do it?
Dusty,

Mobil & Turbo (4/14, probably DS)

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Owned-By-Hendrix
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Re: Expectations: Learn First The Animal

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Sat May 02, 2015 4:45 pm

AWESOME! I love hearing Thor stories. He's such an awesome dog and you do an such an amazing job with him. Truly an awesome dog/handler team!
Kay
(Pepper's Look-A-Like)
(Tyson's Soul Twin)

Raven
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Re: Expectations: Learn First The Animal

Post by Raven » Sat May 02, 2015 7:19 pm

Aww. Thanks, Kira. Right back at'cha, baby. :g_wink:

Dusty, I'm going to be lousy explaining it, but basically, since it was a long-established command but only used infrequently as part of silly tricks, I made it more of a...uh...OB thing, I guess???? Just kind of made it more serious (like leave it, come), isolating it as its own "thing" in small, unexpected "drill" sessions, and marking the behavior (which he thought was super-cool since he already knew the command!). Also had him use the voice for anything he wanted...a Kong, dinner, etc.

The next step was when he used that non-stop, penetrating monster bark (as opposed to just a couple barks, or him being over-threshold), he was told "indoor voice." At this point, I was still marking the behavior, looking to re-condition the long-practiced response of maniacal barking.

Once I thought he was pretty solid, I felt confident (ha-ha) that I could invite him to look out the window with me if someone was walking a dog, especially with little kids. He's extremely dog/animal/kid aggressive; the micro-second he'd lay eyes on a dog I'd calmly say indoor voice--he would, I'd mark. It got to the point where he'd see the trigger(s) then look for a treat instead of reacting. (In that way, he should've used the voice, I guess, instead of looking for a treat...unless he connected the dots...but he's so very aggressive, that's something I gladly let slide.)

Sometimes his indoor voice is so faint, you only know he's using it by seeing his "giddies" ripple or a movement in his throat. Other times, it's a succession of guttural mumbles. Cracks me up.

All this said, he still lets out those SINGLE barks that take ten years off your life. :eek: They come from nowhere! 'Know the ones I'm talking about? I had a full cup of coffee the other day when he ripped off one of those...Mama wasn't happy.
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

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Dutchringgirl
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Re: Expectations: Learn First The Animal

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sat May 09, 2015 11:56 am

Raven wrote:
All this said, he still lets out those SINGLE barks that take ten years off your life. :eek: They come from nowhere! 'Know the ones I'm talking about? I had a full cup of coffee the other day when he ripped off one of those...Mama wasn't happy.
Im suprised im not dead from loosing 10 years each time Sadie gives one of thoes Barks !!! OMG, I may have PTSD from them.


That is so great !!!!! Brag away, Ilove hearing stories
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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