Breaking my (radio-)silence but keeping Daphne’s
Remember how I was going to write about the Grand Adventures of Daphne every weekday, and religiously journal about her training progress? Well, instead I got sucked into this other project, which is now essentially finished:
Some big things have happened in these radio-silent days:
- The anti-bark collar has been working wonders. She barks once or twice, we reward her for it, and then we put the collar on her. We don’t even turn the collar on. Again, I’m still not sure that this is the best way to go about things, but it’s working. As long as she’s wearing the collar, she doesn’t bark.
- We had a visitor, briefly, and it went really well. Part of this was the magical collar again, which we did turn on in this case. We let Daph bark a couple of times to let us know someone had arrived – thanks, Daph! – rewarded her, and put on the collar. We did let her greet this visitor at the door, because they had met before, and Daphne barked once, was startled by the collar going off, looked at me, got a treat, and was quiet and actually sort of friendly for the rest of the (brief) visit. It was like magic. One bark? Maybe we won’t return the collar after 29 days. We’ll see.
- We had that human visitor because we had a puppy visitor! This week, I’m taking care of 8 month old Rayah every afternoon until the new regular petsitter kicks in. She and Daphne are the best playmates, very fair in their instigating and ending play, and stick together during a hike in the woods.
I’ll spare you the torture of having to see a picture of them curled up in bed together after the hike (yes, seriously), but here is another one of them being adorable in my living room. Want to keep!
- We’re working on some new behaviors, and it’s going really well.
- She’s got “away” pretty much down pat in a sit – I say “Away” and she turns sits in front of me facing away from me. Working on having her lie down while facing away, but that’s a little harder – she really wants to see me for all instruction.
- The other thing we’re working on is having her sit spontaneously: right now we’re walking in a heel around the house with the goal that when I say “sit”, she just plops her butt right down, even though I’m still walking. Luckily, we’re in the house so it’s clear I’m not going anywhere exciting, and she’s doing pretty well. She looks confused for a step or two, but then she sits. Working towards more immediate response.
- Finally, we’re still working on commands from a distance. Right now, she can be in the living room and I can be in the dining room, and she’ll sit and lie down without coming over to me. It’s a distance of probably ten feet; the size of the apartment and the furniture arrangement limits us a bit. I tried leashing her to something so that I could work from a little further away without her coming over, but she got really obsessed with the leash and ignored me. Um, mission not accomplished.
What have you and your beasts been up to for the past few days? Any visitors? Any breakthroughs? Any suggestions on ways to work on the tricks I mentioned?