Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ellie gets trained

We signed Ellie up for a workshop on leash walking. We opted not to sign her up for a whole 6-session class because she has already learned a lot of what Sienna learned in Basic Manners class, like sit, down, and some other tricks. Her main issues are with walking.

Inside, Ellie is a calm and quiet dog. She doesn't chew anything or make much noise. She sometimes hides under the bed just for quiet or when she's hiding from the comb or toothbrush. But when she goes out, she's a wild dog. She loves to track and chase squirrels and the neighborhood cats.
At the workshop, Ellie was a model student. She followed the cue and even got used to the clicker (she has previously been fearful). But when we tried to take the techiniques home, she didn't show any interest in the treats outside. She heard the clicker, as we clicked when she did something we wanted her to do, to "shape" her behavior, but didn't care for the treat.

Now we know we may have to find a more desirable treat, but she's never shown much interest in treats. It just isn't her thing. She gets used to them and will eat them inside but much prefers chasing squirrels.
At least we are armed with a few ideas now and know that she doesn't hate the clicker. She's responded well to training indoors, so we'll keep up with that and hope something transfers. We also struggle with whether to avoid walking her to the places where there are squirrels, or to just walk her where we know there is grassy area at the nearby park. It's a tough call.

Advice welcome!


Ms. Huston said...

if you are open to trying a non-vegan treat to motivate her, every dog I've seen goes nuts for "Stella n' chewies". I's some sort of raw foods (but with meat) treat...

bitt said...

She is not nuts for nonvegan treats but will try them (I've gotten samples). She's more nuts for wildlife than anything. I haven't seen that one around here though. She loved the cheese at the training center but even outside doesn't care about it at all.

chris ward said...

Tofu pups are working! :)

Vegan Dog's Life said...

She sounds so much like Emma. At home, she's so calm but as soon as we bring her for a walk or ride, she gets so excited. Especially if she sees squirrels, then the "squirrel tunned vision" kicks in. We've worked with her so much and even have worked with a trainer, but almost five years later, she hasn't changed. I hope you have better luck with Ellie! We'll keep working with Emma. :)