Yesterday to avoid confrontation with Ace and keep him guessing on his medication I got the pills out and a treat. He thought he was about to get the medication when I opened his mouth. I stuck a treat in instead. Did this twice telling him what a good boy he was when he was chewing. The next 2 bites each had a pill in it and he chewed it with the treat and ate both peices. I then gave him the rest of the treat.
This morning I just held the pills in my hand and he actually took and chewed one up on his own. The other pill I stuck with the treat and he took it himself. So much better.
For the first time ever I have decided to use food rewards (not treats) with Ace. Since he has such a dominant and aggresive personality I want him to look to us as the provider. He eats about 1 1/2 cup of food in the morning and won’t eat again until evening at which point he will free feed about the same amount. This morning I cut his food ration and saved the rest for training throughout the day. Giving him small handfuls at erratic intervals during training. I don’t want to set a pattern.
We have only had Ace for 2 weeks. He has never been lured or placed into any of these therefore he doesnt’ know hand signals. Up to this point I have only been naming and marking behaviors as Ace performs them on his own in his normal activities. Since he is fairly predictable on knowing when he will sit to observe something he knows sit well.
Today is the first official training session. Ace knows all these words, (it was only last night I was able to predict him well enough to give him the down word. Twice. This morning he perforned it on the first command.) and instead of using my hand to place him in the position I am giving him time to think about it. Some of his hesitation, besides not liking the down position, is having to figure out the change in my voice. Watching I realize I am using a different tone than usual and he is having to interpret the sounds.
Although I like my dogs to respond to hand signals as well, this is all voice. No body language or hand cues.
It’s going to be difficult to keep such an intellegent dog challenged. It is said this breed learns the first time or they wouldn’t have a chance to reproduce.