Monday, April 18, 2011

Bromancing my Beck

After back to back posts whining about Beck, I feel I need to set the record straight a bit. He is an awesome dog and I don't regret adopting him, even during his trying times. As a commenter pointed out, dogs who are sweet and cuddly and give us the time of day, are easy to bond with, and to forgive them their trespasses.

Except  for the times when Beck is stalking the not really evil Daisy, or barking, or acting a young fool, he is a blast to work with. I saw a lot of potential in him (*obviously*) when he was my foster dog, but I also saw a lot of potential for a disastrous placement. Between his brain power, high energy needs, and his mild separation anxiety I knew he was not the dog for the average pet owner. Honestly, aside from basics that he would need for adoption, (stop jumping on top of people!), I didn't spend much time at all working with Beck until after March 4th when we adopted him.

Since I made a list of his issues, it is only fair that I write the behaviors that Beck has learned in 5 weeks. This is a dog who did not even know how to sit.

Beck has learned his name and to pay attention and watch me, sit, down, paw, paw an object, leave it, hit an easy button, howl on cue, sit stay, down stay, heel on and off leash on both right and left side, auto sit, come!, target my hand, an object, and a  target stick, boing with 4 feet off the ground, get in, sit front, finish right and left, say his prayers, jump up on something with 4 feet, paws up ( 2 feet) , crawl, play dead, roll over, spin, twirl, put his head all the way to the ground front and side (settle), go through my legs, back up fast, back up on both right and left side, jump 20 inches, send to a jump, bounce jump, down on a table, off, default down, 101 things to do with a box, go out around an object, go to his mat, target a mat with his hind feet, bow, sit up pretty, dance on hind feet forward and backwards and in a circle,. Whew! I am sure there is more, but well you get the idea. Only a few of these are proofed, but that is a lot of new info in just over a month. Yea!

The dog has excellent retention and it is mind boggling to me what a sponge he is. Hard to imagine such a great and needy dog in a shelter  for more than half of his life. I spend lots of time day dreaming and trying to figure out what is important and what in what order I want to teach him new behaviors. I have worked a lot on back, since it is a key behavior in Freestyle and my last 3 dogs have kind of sucked at it. Every night at dinner time, he backs up to his mat. Very enthusiastically I might add.

Today is not his day Beck's day for training. As I mentioned the other day Poppy is here for a service dog tune up, and she will be coming with me every where I go today. Poppy got a play pass yesterday because she looked like this pretty much most of the day. 

Service dogs should never be taken out in public access dirty, and when I tried to rinse her off, she stuck her whole head in the hose with such joy, that I just gave in and let her have a party. She took forever to dry, and by then it was too late and I was toast. So this morning,  she was not allowed access to my swamp yard. The yard  is a major loosing battle right now with all the rain we have had. Poppy came out with me most of Saturday and she did long downs yesterday while I was working with Beck. That was hard work for her and then she got lots of ball time and lots more mud. Poppy  will need a good grooming before I can take her any where today.

We are also watching a friend's Aussie and well, it is total spring break mayhem over here! I can tell you what, this never would happen  if Charlee was still here.  That dog knew how to keep order.

I told Beck to just say no, but he led Scout on. and on. and on.

As you can see, the pups are pooped at the end of the day. 

It's all good.  

Today is also Valli's first day of school.  Wish her well in class tonight.  She has her first meet and greet on Friday and she has to cram.


Trainer's note. Scout's humping is not sexual.  It is a displacement behavior brought on by being a herding dog with lots going on around him that he cannot control.
. When in doubt. some dogs hump. 

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