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Captain's Log

Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by Anthony Abrao, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Anthony Abrao

    Anthony Abrao Registered Users

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    As a Sailor, the title of this thread is very intriguing and has multiple meanings.

    Captain was welped 11/11/18, so he is 9 weeks as of this posting, and we have had him home with us in eastern Virginia for one week. He is a chocolate lab, and his name has nothing to do with my career. My family has named all of our labs after alcohol. Kaluha, Bailey, Brandy, etc. His family includes my wife and I, our two young boys, and our 6-year old female rescue. We believe our rescue is a Maltese, and she doesn't like interacting with Captain, but shows no aggressiongio about his presence.

    I have been the primary leader in his life. My family does very little training with him, but they do help with potty training and feeding. Captain is fed three times a day at 07, 12 and 17 with Blue Life Protection Formula for large breed puppies. I use his kibble as rewards during training because he enjoys it, and I didn't want to add an additional food source at risk of upsetting his stomach. His water bowl is always at least half of water.

    He is very comfortable in his crate. It's not uncommon for him to go in and out to get toys, lie down, or just sniff around. He has a separate and smaller crate in our bedroom that he still sleeps in at night. For the past two nights he has slept through 2200-0530. For some, 0530 is a bit too early, but it works well with our schedule for now. He naps during the day in what will become his only kennel.

    When we go outside for the purpose of potty, I leave him be until he has done both. I only reward him when he relieves himself, and I do this by giving a treat, saying "yes" and usually including some petting. During the night he gets no reward or praise. I do say " potty" a few times while he is relieving himself. When we go outside for play, or after he has relieved himself, we play and train. Until his vaccines are complete, outside only consists of our backyard which is grass and a treated-wood patio.

    He will follow closely most times I walk about the yard. When I stop, he will usually stop, sit and look up at me. I always reward and praise. There is no verbal command because I want him to know that I expect him to stop and look at me when we are walking and I stop.
    If the ground is not extremely wet and/or cold, he will follow my hand to a sit and/or down position. He does not respond to "sit" or "down" at all without my hand being in front of his face.
    He is barely starting to respond to his name. We have not changed his name, and there have been no nicknames since we picked him up a week ago.
    When I squat, he will usually come running to me from any distance. I always say "come" and reward when he arrives.
    When he finds an item of interest in our yard, I present a reward in front of his face and say "release" as I take it from him and present him the reward. Sometimes this item is a stick, a leaf, a little seed thing from one of the trees/bushes, his or the other dog's poop, or possibly rabbit poop. In the instances where his attention is more focused on an item I can't physically remove such as the rabbit poop, I will distract him with a reward and follow up with another reward in my fingers that he will follow away. This usually gets him off the item and onto some new interest like me and playing or training.
    Our training sessions are short, and every time he is awake.

    I am frustrated that he does not respond better to his name.
    I am frustrated that when he does respond to his name, he looks at my hands rather than my face.
    I am frustrated that he doesn't execute sit or down without a reward immediately in front of his face.
     
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  2. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    He sounds like a great puppy. I hope you don't mind if I suggest a great book. It's called "Train Your Dog Like A Pro" by Jean Donaldson. It's a fantastic book. It's helped me immensely in training our 7 month old puppy.
    Most dogs especially puppies won't do anything for you without a reward.
     
    Anthony Abrao likes this.
  3. Anthony Abrao

    Anthony Abrao Registered Users

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    @Jade thanks for the recommendation! I plan to swing by the library this week to see what material they have available. He really is a great pup. He has little quirks like not using his rear legs when he climbs over our legs, and we all think it's the funniest.
     
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  4. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    You're welcome. Have fun with your puppy...
     
  5. Anthony Abrao

    Anthony Abrao Registered Users

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    Nearly a month later...
    I've watched countless YouTube videos about training. It seems the most popular videos are from Zak George and McCann. They do have different training techniques, so i enjoy seeing the differences between them and other trainers. I am interested in what qualifications, certifications, licenses, etc are required to be a "professional dog trainer".This interest is not because i would like to become one, but because it doesn't seem like something that has a very rigid or standard process.
    I have adjusted the method i perform training with Captain, now 12 weeks old and roughly 20 pounds. I used to train multiple commands at each training session, but i now focus on one command and the connection. For example, when we work on leash walking i drive the entire time to be related to leash walking. We may work on sitting when i stop, looking at me when i call his name, different speeds, etc. It is all centered on a single command or habit.
    I will try to put a couple videos in this, and i would truly appreciate any feedback. Positive comments are great, but the recommendations for improvements or identifying errors are equally encouraged. One video is feeding time, and how we are working on sit, wait, okay. The other video will be of our leash training this morning.
    He is much better with his name, but still not as responsive to it as i feel he should be. His sit is equally as productive. He knows the commands without a doubt, but his response to them is what needs improving. I am confident this is because my wife and kids do not perform any training sessions with him, and i have been on travel recently with a few more trips in the next few months. We still don't go for walks around the neighborhood because he has not received all of his vaccines, but i take him nearly everywhere that isn't a grocery store or restaurant. We are continuing to improve his wait and stay commands' i think they are both well developed for a 12 week old.
    I want to begin working the command off because he is beginning to want to jump on laps, low tables, the couches, etc. We also want to begin working "go to your kennel" so we don't have to pick him up and put him in his kennel.
    Finally, we are discussing the possibility of beginning participation in agility and/or obedience training for competition. Truly, i would like to train for field trials, but this isn't really an area i feel we would be able to provide effective training.
     
  6. Anthony Abrao

    Anthony Abrao Registered Users

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    Leash Training


    Feeding Manners
     

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