Its been pretty cold the last few days, making outdoor training a bit difficult. I am a bit of a pansy when it comes to -47 and tend not to go outside. I think the dogs appreciate that as well. Except for Banner. If there is food or bones outside, it really doesn’t matter the temperature, he won’t come in on his own.
Banner, from day one has been a pig. We, and by we I mean me,(waaaaay better with Emily) have had great difficulty trying to train him to calm down around food. There have been battles, and patience tested but he seems to be improving. By far the worst with food out of all our dogs.
I like to use days like we’ve had the past week or so, for indoor training. I’ve been working on food refusal lately and each dog is improving. I like to use food that they don’t usually get, like today for example I used jerky and pepperoni. Isis is usually first to start. I start with some basic obedience with food laying around on the floor. The difference in all the dogs when I do this is amazing. All of them don’t seem as excited to work, and I’m thinking the food distraction plays a huge part. I don’t think they enjoy it too much. After a bit of obedience I make the each dog down with a piece of food between their paws. I think its funny the way they look at me when I do this. I walk around, doing little things making it seem like I am not paying them any attention. They watch me like a hawk. Then, I will go into another room, close the door and watch, in the dark, through a crack, or underneath. I like to think that they can’t see me, and I’m not going to ask, so I’ll just say that they can’t, and think I’ve gone off through a secret door to Narnia and left them alone. The two females seem to have no trouble with this. They leave the food alone and rest their weary heads and wait. Banner on the other hand, watches where I went, and at times has snuck the food. He is corrected and another piece replaces the ill gotten treat. I watch from my dark room as Banner stares, and drools. He now knows for sure he isn’t supposed to have that food. A few minutes pass and he is released to eat the food. By the end of each of the dogs training session I can put food to their face without them eating it until I tell them the magic word, and for when I do have help, they refuse. The two girls, they can maintain that for next time, but Banner, like me, is a slave to the tasty treats, so it takes a bit of refreshing each time.
I can’t wait for the weather to warm up to at least -30!