Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The G-Dawg Training Guide – Focus (by: Gerrit)

Last week I mentioned that I was gonna start a weekly blog about training! Well, guess what?! This is my very first training blog and it's all about FOCUS! This goes out to all you dogs out there... I'm going to teach you how to get rewards by focusing (making eye contact) with the alpha dog in your family (in my case, the alpha dog is my puppy raiser... followed by Lucky, of course, who asked me to make sure I included her in the alpha dog statement)!

Lots of people always notice that I'm always looking at my puppy raiser. The reason I do it is because during the first few weeks of living with my puppy raiser she found out what I love most in the whole wide world... and she rewarded with me with it every time I looked at her. So, what do I LOVE... FOOD! I LOVE food! It's yummy, yummy, YUMMY! I love big food and small food and... [side note by Lucky: Gerrit, isn't this blog about "focus"... you need to FOCUS]. Huh? Oh yeah!

So, my puppy raiser started out by taking a tasy morsel of food, holding it up to my nose, and then bringing it back to her eyes. My eyes naturally followed my yummy food... and pretty soon I was looking right into the eyes of my puppy raiser. As soon as I looked at her in the eyes, BANG... I got some food! She did this with me over and over and over.

After I got that down, my puppy raiser started rewarding me with food every single time I looked at her on my own. She told me that some dog trainers use a clicker (a thingy that makes a clicky noise) when they do this. My puppy raiser said she carries enough stuff around as it... so, instead of a clicker, she uses the word YES! So, every time I look at my puppy raiser, she says YES! and gives me a treat. My puppy raiser even does this when she's talking to someone else and not looking at me. She has really good purfury [side note by puppy raiser: that's peripheral] vision... and even if she's not looking right at me, she can tell when I look at her... and BANG she gives me a treat!

Of course, I've heard that some dogs aren't that into food treats. I know, I know, it's pretty unbelievable! My puppy raiser said that in cases like that you just need to find what it is that your dog loves and make that the reward. She said for some dogs the reward could be something like a favorite toy, or lots of praise, or anything that makes the dog go zaney like I go zaney for food. All this talk about food is making me hungry. I've gotta go look at my puppy raiser, so that I can get rewarded with treats!!!


Erin & Midnight said...

Hi Gerrit great tip! My mommy uses that with me when we see other dogs approaching us except she tells me to "look."
Mommy said that a video of your techniques would be cool too!

Midnight said...

oh yeah that was from me Midnight! Not my mommy...she doesn't know that I'm on the computer cause she's sleeping.
::hee hee::

Anna and Lawrence said...

Very cool, Gerrit!! I wish we got treats for checking-in with our people! All I got was a "good boy" but I loved that, too.