I’ve been training my housemates’ toy poodle, Appa, for the last week, and have been making pretty good progress.
He used to just jump up on people and get up on his hind legs when there was a treat around, but I’ve managed to make him sit nicely in order to get any treat, and he never jumps at my leg any more.
I’ve added on down, shake hands, high five, play dead, and I can have him stand up on his hind legs and lick my hand, even when he knows there’s no treat in it.
He’s a really cute, awesome dog but there are still a few things to iron out. Lately, he’s been excitingly peeing himself whenever one of the housemates comes home. Part of this is not going outside enough, but it’s not a good habit. Another thing is that, whenever we get home and unlock the gate, is that he races across the street into the kitchen of the cafe there because the owner often leaves pork meat in there for him. It’s a fairly quiet alley but his lack of self-control is potentially dangerous and not a good habit. He also jumps up at new people, often customers at the cafe, and gets a wanders a bit much when we let him out into the alleyway, and also runs away from the dogs barking inside their locked houses. Normal stuff but important.
The training has been really good to build more discipline and attention so hopefully everyone can keep that going after I leave. There will be another puppy in the house very soon so it will be interesting to see how they interact. Appa hasn’t had much contact with other dogs, so it will be good to not only be around humans. We took him to a homestay with us last week and it took a while to get used to the rough playing of some of the other dogs but we got it in the end.
I’ve mostly been using dog treats as a reward for Appa but have used human food with varying success. Cheese was well received but had other undesirable effects so will have to skip that. I gave him bit of frozen banana tonight and he loved those so I’ll experiment with more fruit. It will be good to have something I can eat as well.
Here are some of the most useful videos I’ve found so far on training dogs.
Awesome Talk: Michael Ellis’ Philosophy of Dog Training