Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pooches: Making a "Stay Space" with Verbal Command

While we've learned to live in a smaller space with our bigger pups, we've also learned this means they become involved in everything.
Which isn't always good.
Like when they really want to meet that delivery driver who is terrified of dogs. Or when they want to come investigate the glass that shattered across the floor. Or when I'm trying to mop that one area they keep walking across. Or even when something unexpected like this happened.
So, we created a "stay space" in our home where we can send the pups if they need to quickly get out of our way. Our "Go to Bed"command elicits a type of robot-like response where the pups will retreat even if there is something more interesting going on.
This is how it worked for us:

Creating the Best Place Ever:
We have mentioned before that Miss M only lives for two things: breakfast and dinner. The mere mention of these words will bring on the crazy-eyes.
Knowing how food motivated our dogs are, we made their beds the 'best places ever' by only feeding them in their beds. They also only get their kings and treats if they go to their beds. When the pups see us getting treats out, they often automatically go to their beds.
Once there, they always practice waiting and they need to "stay" before they get their treat.

Linking the Verbal Command:
Since we already had the pups going and staying, as they were running to their beds we would add the verbal command "Go to Bed" and reinforce "Yes, go to bed" once they got there.
Miss M picks up verbal cues quickly, and I think Mr. B learned just by watching Miss M.
We even had our fosters learn the command by watching our pups. You can see our pooches moving with lightning speed, and former foster dog Wilma learning, in this video at the bottom here.

Reinforcing with Random Surprises:
Since the pups get their meals in their beds we are able to reinforce the command daily. Sometimes we even leave hidden treats and toys in their beds to reinforce that the bed really is a fun place where they want to be.

The essentials.
Making the dog-area 


Two French Bulldogs said...

Mom said she is sending us to you for training. When we hear treats, we are sitting on her feets
Lily & Edward

Second City Pet Care said...


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