• Arthur Lopatin

    February 4, 2023 at 5:46 pm

    off the top of my head, flow of consciousness style, and (hint, hint) w/o seeing vids: (1) have u done enuf Phase 1 stuff off-leash (starting with an easy for owners and dog to do command, maybe Climb), so he knows his people are fun/rewarding/non threatening Leaders? (2) Is his ‘Good Boy.’ solidly conditioned, a la Pavlov; i.e. , does his mouth water whenever his people (appropriately, of course) say those words? Where are you practicing? W/this guy, the fewer the distractions, to start with, the better. That way he succeeds more and success will start to build on success. (4) i’m not sure what you mean by ‘fun phase 1 stuff?’ sounds like Leash Manners. I hope it’s in a very low distraction environment and that the owners have mastered the pattern. Sounds simple but it’s not. It might pay to play dog with the owners, do stuff a dog might do and show how they should respond, then reverse roles. I’d also give them a how-to/cheat sheet if they are reasonably literate. There’s also at least one FSDT Leash Manners vid w/Judy & Orfeo. There might be more. There are some subtleties w/Leash Manners walking and the more consistently its practiced and good behavior is reward, the better. (5) This might be a good time to teach ‘Fido. Look at Me.’ and seeing if you/tehy can use it in low-distraction environments as soon as he starts getting distracted. But, like everything else, ya gotta teach it first and be really sure the dog gets it. Then, when doing Leash Manners (in a very lo-distraction environment) try using it. (5) U said the owners are working on Leadership. I hope so, because getting it right — i.e. being boss w/o being bossy/ overbearing/ cruel / impatient. using psychology instead — is very important. assuming there are no lower-level issues (triangle wise) leadership and relationship are very important and most people don’t fully know how to do it. leadership (including owning scarce resources) is like fertiliser. the more your dog is ok w/you being leader the easier training becomes. (6) how is the owners timing, body language, etc:

    This is a lot, I suppose, but if you chunk it up just right it’s manageable. my instinct, w/o seeing dog is to practice off leash stuff or just use leash for physical control/prompting but not to get dog to to anything. get him to do stuff using pure ph. 1. imo, slow and steady often wins the race. remember, leash manners walking is this dog’s first xperience of FSDT Positive Punishment (finger pumps) and even if he hadn’t had bad leash experience from the previous trainer, he doesn’t really understand that, for leash manners, the way to escape the pumps is for him to make the leash to go loose. done right, in the right (lo-distraction) environment, imo, succeeding at that, a little bit at a time, can be a big confidence builder.

    Good Luck. Bottom Line: Chunk it up, in a systematic way. Set everyone up for success. Don’t try too much too soon but get some momentum and keep it up.