Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chloe the prison dog

I am in love with this dog. She is so much fun to work with and incredibly sweet. If I had the space for a 4th dog I would be in SO much trouble right now. Someone really had no idea the gem they had in this dog. Their loss!

She just loves to work and is very smart. She is also very beautiful and has bounced back from having puppies wonderfully and has filled out well. I took Jack to work with me one day and while she was to defensive to play with him this time, she had great focus on her handlers and worked well with him there as a distraction. Hopefully seeing him play with her tug toy and ball will spark an interest in it for her. We at least got some dog slobber and scent on them for her. The handlers report she doesn't seem interested in playing with toys at all. It is possible due to her past neglect she never learned to play or that she was not allowed to play.

I ordered the DVD from on The Power of Marker Training and we have incorporated that into our program with great results. There has been some adjustment for us as what I was doing was similar but not exactly the same. I am VERY impressed with the video and it is well worth the time it takes to watch. (3 & 1/2 hours) It has great detail and shows many video examples. Of course I also love the beginning where he apologizes for using some of the methods he has used in the past on dogs. This is a guy with 40 + years of experience! He even admits that he used to laugh at this training method in the past and how he was wrong. I love a man who can admit his mistakes.

So for anyone interested in learning more about positive training with operant conditioning for dogs this is a great video. And for those not interested in "clicker" training, you can use verbal cues instead, which is what I have always done and what they show predominately in the video. And luring is also allowed so it can be used with deaf dogs as well using hand cues.

Chloe is doing well and I expect she will be very easy to place when she graduates the program. It is just to bad that not all shelter dogs get to benefit from this hands on training. So many dogs, so little time.

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