Friday, 17 February 2012

Proofing stay at the Bank

Kobi has been working on his Stay command since we first adopted him. I try to work his stay into as many random places as I can. He stays before he gets his food in the morning, he stays at the top of the stairs while I get my shoes on to go for a walk, we get him to stay while we eat dinner and I try to throw in short stays out on our walks. The way to get a reliable command in any situation, is to use it in every situation you find yourself in. Kobi is still working on staying when there are more distractions going on. He's able to do it in the yard and on a quiet street, but kick a soccer ball or if a cat darts by he breaks his stay. I made sure to start him with minimal distractions and am slowly working at building in more distractions. Our puppy class was a great help for working on his stay, for him to just sit and watch everything moving and continuing on without him while he's stuck in a stay is very hard for him. Today though I decided to bring him to the bank with me. I knew that he would have a tough time holding his stay and would probably bark a fair bit but I was up for the challenge. I did make sure to bring some of the Tuna/Liver fudge treats I had made (I'll post the recipe soon) to keep his attention. As soon as we got into the line I signaled him into a down and told him to stay... and he did! The line ended up getting pretty full, there were lots of people moving and talking but he stayed! And only barked once! I may have been handing out treats like a pez dispenser, but he stayed! I was soooo impressed with him. Once I was done with the teller she leaned over the counter to give him a treat, I released him from the stay and motioned for him to stand so that he was tall enough to get the treat! Everyone loved it! These last few weeks are really starting to give me hope that I will be able to put Kobi through the Therapy Dog evaluation closer to his one year mark rather than waiting until two or three years. That being said he is very very much still a puppy. As soon as we left and rounded the corner he decided to through a tantrum, running around me in circles, biting at his leash and thrashing himself around. I guess it was payback for making him behaving so well.

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