Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Exercise Machine

I've found a new exercise machine that I get to use for free for the next month. His name is Nicky, and here's a photo of him from last Thanksgiving:
Of course, my view of him while exercising was at a different angle, more like this:
but with no door and a strained leash.

Nicky was a bit hard to get started this first time... he didn't seem to understand why I wanted him to come out of his heated kennel into the nasty cold. Eventually, using both kibble and making weird noises that got him curious, I had him out. Then began my exercise known as "dog anchor".

Nicky was still a bit slow at understanding that I am not my father. After one loop around the block, he dutifully went to the gate to go back in the yard.

No, Nicky, we're doing more.

More??? More?!? MORE!!!!!!!

After several laps, I brought him back to the yard.


Some more laps.


About an hour and a very frosty scarf later, Nicky reluctantly agreed to let me leave him without too much guilt. I told him I'd be back tomorrow, but I'm not sure if he understood that yet.

It took me over an hour to warm back up!!!

Of course, Nicky managed to get out of the yard, and mom spotted him in the back lane. Without too much trouble Nicky let me put him back in the yard, then I fixed the alignment of the latch that hadn't latched.

Hopefully my exercise machine will let me off until tomorrow after school. I *hurt*! (Being a dog anchor is *work*.)

Oh, and no, he doesn't understand "heel" or "whoa". I'm going to see if I can teach him over the next month. Any tips? He occasionally seemed a bit better by the last lap around the block.


jess said...

the first step is to not let him drag you! when he starts to pull, either stop completely or start walking in another direction 90 or 180 degrees from the way you were travelling. I prefer the stop completely method (seems to work better). Once he stops have him come back to you and then walk along with you. If he starts to go off ahead and pull more, stop again.

Also, lots of positive reinforcement when he doesn't pull, whether that be by telling him how awesome he is or by giving him little bits of food (his kibble or treats or whatever). My boxer Ginger is not food-motivated but IS "obey master" motivated, so verbal reinforcement with her works great. Boris the pug is more food-motivated, so I tend to use treats with him... it depends a lot on the dog. :)

Anonymous said...

Get thee to a library and borrow a book by Brian Kilcommons called "Good Owners, Great Dogs", which explains dog behavior and what to do about it.


Knittah said...

What they said. If Nicky wears a correction collar (some people don't like them, but we couldn't train our labs without them) then stopping or turning around is that much more emphatic. It doesn't hurt the dog, but does get his attention.

Whenever you start walking, say heel as you step off. When Nicky gets ahead of you (I wouldn't wait for him to pull), stop and say "no." Call him back and reward for calmness. Start over. A couple days and he'll be trained.

noricum said...

Thanks everyone! I'll be trying out some of the ideas tonight. :)