Use this space to discuss training issues -- brag about successes, lament setbacks or bounce questions off the group.
I've been thinking about simple fixes for nagging dog problems lately. Does anyone have an example of a problem solved without a significant amount of new training?
Dogblogger Robynandbatman, a trainer, solved a nagging mealtime problem for me the last time she dogsat Lucy, my Chessie. The problem: Lucy gets excited before meals. She'll hop up and down on her front legs, bumping into stuff and threatening any Yorkies underfoot. She even injured herself once slipping on the wood floor.
I tried a number of things -- most of which involved me repeating LUCY! Calm down!
But Robyn simply put her in a sit-stay several feet away from her bowl and didn't release her until the meal was placed in her bowl. Who knew her sit-stay was that good? Problem solved.
The same technique has solved a couple other problems. She used to charge the front door at walk time, but a sit-stay ended it. She would also bull her way to the front door when a visitor came over. Now she sits and waits to be released.
A variation of that has made a difference on 3-dog leashed walks to the park. When neighbor dogs start barking at us, it's difficult to keep my dogs' attention. I was failing miserably by admonishing them with "leave it" commands until I tried putting them in a formal heel. I thought it would be a stretch, but "heel" means treats, and that worked better than "leave it."
Has anyone else found some practical uses for the commands your dog already knows? Bonus points for anyone solving barking issues at neighbor dogs. I thought I'd nipped the problem in the bud earlier this year with distraction techniques, but it keeps coming back if I'm not out there to intervene.