Monday, June 23, 2014

Shaping Up

One of the most important things when training a puppy is consistency.  This applies to every aspect of everything you ever do with your pup: consistently doing body handling, consistently giving them their required 6+ hours of kennel time per day, consistently having the same expectations for good behavior.  

I have had a busy, busy couple weeks, and Moray has not been getting public outings as consistently as he is used to.  I took him out for the first time in a little while the other day, and realized he was rather sloppy in his public behavior.  That is no fault of his own; it's just the way life is sometimes.  So today we headed out for some "get your act together" work.  ;)  

Target is usually our go-to for a low distraction outing where we can practice various skills.
 We started out just walking around and making sure Moray could keep a nice "heel" position no matter how fast or slow I walked.  He prefers to trot wherever he goes, so this has been one area that we have had to work hard on through his whole life.  Because I do have to keep on him for heeling, loose leash walking has never been a skill that seems effortless with him.  But he does well as long as I keep 100% focused on him, so I'll take it!
We did some distraction work by walking back and forth down the dog food isle without sniffing anything!
Moray got to practice commands including "up" on different surfaces!
 We also practiced distractions with balls.  Poor Moray was such a good sport while I bounced them around and over him, and rolled them past and into him (gently!).
I pulled out a hula hoop, and Moray was a little unsure of it, but with the help of some treats, he performed some commands in it, walked through it, and walked next to me while I carried it.  It is important for a future service dog to be comfortable while their human carries anything from grocery bags, to bulkier items too!
"Down" in the hula hoop!
 We had a little fun with a skate board too!  
While this smiling boy is super cute, as many fellow shopper pointed out, its not all fun and games as all of these seemingly common exposures are super important for his training to make him a confident and well-rounded pup who isn't afraid of anything!

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