Buster the Great Boy

24 May

I interrupt my ‘Job Search 101’ series to announce that Buster had an excellent training session on Sunday. By excellent I mean zero aggressive actions: no growling, no lunging and no snarling. He only got one correction during the entire lesson. He was too eager to greet his helper dog, Juno. I’d rather work on dog rudeness than monster dog tendencies any day. Literally. Basically, he was relaxed outside. Our trainer even pulled a ‘Dog Whisper’ move and walked little Buster in tandem with his huge black German Shepherd helper. It was a beautiful sight.

As always, we learned a few things, and I’m ready to share. We also have some exciting challenges coming up. By all means read on to find out more!

“Belly”

We have yet another command to add to Buster’s growing arsenal. This is another one of those useful but not necessarily cute tricks like “Leave it,” “Settle” or “Quiet”.  I’ll try nearly anything to help this little guy. The obvious exceptions are walking on fire, sky diving and things of that nature.

How to Teach It

“Belly” is basically half of “Roll Over.”

So, start your dog in the “Down” position.

Then hold a treat just behind his ear on the side he normally rolls over toward. Your dog will most likely fall onto his side while reaching for the treat.

You may have to place your hand on his belly so he doesn’t roll all the way over. When he is in the right position say “Belly” and treat. Repeat, repeat, and repeat anywhere and everywhere.

Application

Lying on their sides is sign of submission for dogs. So if we can get Buster to show submission in the presence of other dogs he will be less likely to attack them later. Sounds like a great plan to me.

Triple Crown or Good Dog Collar

This is yet another training collar option. Our trainer described it as a pinch collar made out of plastic. It doesn’t hurt the dog, but simulates his mother’s bite. And dogs respond quickly to such pressure. Our trainer said that an unruly Bull Dog was nearly transformed by this collar after one class. So again, if you haven’t found the perfect collar, this is yet another proven option.

Coming Soon

Flirt Pole

This is a toy that helps a prey driven dog release his hunting urges in a healthy way. I’m interested to see its effect on Buster. Will he stop chasing every bird, dog, unexpected person, stray leaf and helicopter in the sky? It is worth a try. I will keep you updated.

Next Class

As I proudly reported, Buster did not show aggression during his last class. But that was the 2nd time he had worked with the same helper dog. So next time, our trainer is going to bring a different helper dog. And depending on Buster’s reaction (good, I hope!) we are going to a dog park! The thought of Buster in a dog park used to make me feel almost sick to my stomach. But after all of his promising progress, I actually think he is ready for it. Wow. I honestly thought I would never be able to say that!

So that is it for today! We have a Buster session scheduled for next Thursday. I’ll be sure to give you a full report. Have a wonderful Tuesday. Until next time!

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