July 7, 2010

It Takes A Village

As a service puppy raiser, I want to give my dog the most well-rounded education I can. I take Ruby everywhere and expose her to tons of different situations, but it's also good practice for her to take cues from, and listen to, people who are not "Mom."

Whenever Ruby is around our family or friends, I hand over the leash and have them work with her. They'll start with basic stuff such as sit, down, and stand, then move on from there.

Here's Ruby and her Grrrandma working on "Lap" and "Off" and a beautiful execution it is!

Another good opportunity presented itself recently during a walk. Ruby got all jumpy and overly excited when she approached a kid who wasn't familiar to her, but she needs to learn to sit calmly while people (especially children) interact with her. I knew I could just put Ruby in a sit and let the girl (I'll call her Ann and she's probably about 11 years old) pet her, but I thought it would be a good spontaneous lesson for Ruby to have to listen to Ann instead.

With her family looking on, I handed Ann the clicker and a pocketful of treats and let her work through Ruby's rambunctiousness. At first when Ann said, "sit," Ruby kept trying to jump on her, but as soon as Ruby sat, Ann clicked and treated her. Then, while Ruby sat, Ann tried to pet her and Ruby jumped up again. Ann stayed calm (great kid), backed off, and tried again. After a few tries, Ruby sat still with four paws on the ground while Ann patted her head. Click, treat. Awesome lesson. Unfamiliar trainer in unfamiliar surroundings, but our girl went from being a crazy kangaRoo to a chill pup, all under Ann's direction.

One more. Last week, my friend came over with her two young children. As we all sat down to a scrumptious lunch of Mexican delights, Ruby started taking liberties of the begging variety with the kids that she would never try with us. So, I told the kids to tell her to "Down." They did...and she did!


Elizabeth said...

Looks like I will be getting out my clicker again as luna LOVES to get all jumpy/excited with our neighboor girl. Thanks for the tip!

Elizabeth & Luna

Amy said...

Ruby is such a good girl - and I love that you're having other people give her commands. This is something I'm going to have to work on with our boys!

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

How pawesome is all of that!!!

Thanks fur sharing!


Lisa, Ellie and Hosta said...

Great "Lap" Ruby - our command for that is "Here Up". But "Lap" seems a bit easier. What good training opportunities for Ruby and what a good little listener she is! Way to go!

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Awesome work, Mom. Ruby is doing so very well. We could use you and her to come help us out.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

1000 Goldens said...

That is the best, I bet it was very special for the little girl too. Nice job Ruby Raiser :)

Copious Couture said...

Thats great!!!! Congrats Ruby!!!!


Sarah and Vance said...

Vance and kids spells "Oh can I go play with them, please Please PLEASE!?!?!" lol he needs a ton of work with them, but meeting my family next month with a ton of nieces should tire him out :)
Ruby, you did good :)

AVCr8teur said...

Ruby learns fast! It's good that you're exposing her to different situations. What a good girl!

Twix said...

I love the story about Ann! You never know, that few minutes could turn her into a raiser in the future ;o) What an awesome experience for a young lady. Ruby sure is learning lots of stuff lately! I'm so proud of her! Wish I could give her some kisses. Is there a particular reason you teach the lap command? Other than the obvious?
Twix and Mom