02 January 2012

For Winston, Webster and Willoughby's dad:

Yesterday when we were on one of our walkies, this lovely blue grey car pulled up to the curb, and a man got out and said "more Fox Terrier people, how wonderful."

While the humans never got his name, he did smell wonderful and familiar, and he told me how handsome I was and made lots of friendly noises. He also gave good scritches.

We got to talking about training. And we promised to put our trainer Valerie's contact information here for him.

Muzzer and dad say we are a lot better since she began working with us (and them) and we do appreciate her efforts on our behalf.

Here is what she has accomplished in just about 90 days:

  • The magic work is AAAAACKKKK
  • Teka and I SIT
  • Teka and I STAY
  • Teka and I respond to "let's go" with a good strong heel.
  • Teka and I SIT when our leashes come out.
  • Teka and I will walk by dogs fenced in yards and behind doors and mostly ignore them. Muzzer and dad have learned to "talk" us through the challenge of not responding and it is effective about 85% of the time.
  • The other 15%, the humans will put us in a strong heel by turning 180 degrees and walking away from the challenge, then they put us back through it until we hold our heel. And no, no other dog has jumped the fence to get at us while we do this, though there is a Pomeranian a block away who is considering that as an option.
  • Teka and I each have a PLACE where we go when directed to do that, like when people come to the door.
  • Teka and I have learned to love Turkey hot dog bits. This was not hard.
On the other hand, we still do not respond well to other dogs, particularly those who are off lead and come running toward us. But we will be working on it in the future.

So, if you click here, or on the "here" up above, you can go read about her and find a few of her secrets. And a big Thank you from the humans for a successful training program.

gussie n teka


Unknown said...

Oh Gus & Teka - I'm so happy to hear that you've been making such good progress with your training! And I must tell you - my trainer back in Auckland taught my humans EXACTLY the same technique with Heeling past distractions (eg., dogs behind fences) as you are doing now - you wouldn't believe it but I used to be TERRIBLE about passing barking dogs behind fences - I would bounce & lunge & be totally out of control! But with a lot of practice & perseverence, my humans managed to change my behaviour - so I can tell you that it works! Just keep up your great work!

As for being approached by strange dogs - well, I think that NO dog reacts well to strange dog running up to their face, especially when they're restrained on lead - and it's really more the responsibility of the other dogs' owners not to let them run up to you!! But I;m sure you will learn to react more calmly as time goes on. My human actually doesn't normally let me socialise with any strange dogs when I'm on leash because not only do we feel more restrained & threatened but all their stresses pass down the leash to us as well (esp if it's tight!) - so now if the other dog owner wants us to meet, she says only off-leash - so we can have enough personal space and "curve around each other" in the natural doggie way - rather than approach head on...

Anyway, sorry for rambling on but I'm just so happy to hear how well your training is going! I think your dedicated humans deserve a BIG TREAT for their efforts & patience with you!!

Honey the Great Dane

The Black and Tans. said...

Well done Gus and Teka for progressing so well. Your pawrents must be so very proud of you.
Happy New Year from all of us.

Koobuss said...

Hey Gussie,

I didn't know that you and Teka joined the army.

Good luck!

Love and Lots of Koobuss Kisses,

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

ARE YOU TWO OUT OF YOUR MINDS??? Only OBEY when you feel like it...and that had better only be for hotdogs...sheesch...who can resist those????? We've been doin' the whole DON'T REACT TO THE DISTRACTION thing too...it hasn't helped my trim figure, that's for sure...

Now I am sure you've made Muzzer feel happy....but remember YOU ARE TERRIERS...naughty is our middle name.

XXOO Lacie and the boyz

The World According to Garth Riley said...

Hi Gus! Small world -- we've been hiking with your trainer Valerie and her dog Cody -- they are friends of my good friend Ollie and his mom Shannon!

Great job with the training. And I agree with Honey about dogs running up to you off leash -- that's going to upset any dog -- it sure upsets me! Like Honey, Mom doesn't let me greet strange dogs face to face either. I get to play and socialize with my puppy friends off-leash when she can control and supervise things.

Keep up the good work!

TwoSpecialWires said...

We're keeping this a secret. dog forbid Moma wants to train us.

Hurrying on (or backwards, as we're trying to catch up)
jake and Fergi

Anonymous said...

Sounds like this Valerie lady has completely disqualified youses guys from ever being Bumpass Hounds.