Training Continues

8/1/2017

When I adopted my first dog, Schultzy a dachshund puppy, he amazed me
with how smart he was.  He was small enough to fit in my hand and
weighed maybe six pounds.  What I didn’t realize was that he would be
a constant companion for a number of years in my life.  He was smart,
loving, entertaining, and very protective of my children.  He would
get to be 18 pounds and live to be 15 years old before he told me it
was time to go to the rainbow bridge.  Despite being intelligent, I
never spent anytime training him beyond house breaking him.  He spent
very little time training me though.  There was no doubt that the
house was his and we just thought it was his personality.

As he was approaching the end of his life, I met my wife Nicole.  I
would learn that all dogs are trainable and that even a pet can live a
happier life by being trained.  Animal Planet reports that dogs can
learn more than 165 words.  These means that if you spend the time to
teach them, reinforce that teaching, and reward the behavior you want,
that you can have a dog that will not only be your companion but you
will both be happier.

I’ve introduced you to Atlas the Traveler (also known as, AT).  I’ve
talked about his leash training and told you about his sister Stella
(or Stella Luna).  Atlas was introduced to the leash a couple of weeks
ago (see my post on 7/21/17 Leash Training).  We have progressed past
the fish on the line reaction to an excited puppy when the leash goes
on.  His excitement builds each time because we make it exciting for
him to wear it and we go do something he wants to do, go outside.  An
unexpected side effect of him walking on a leash has been Stella being
able to do her business with out Atlas trying to heard her.

We have gone from a standard clasp leash to a loop leash to begin
actual training.  It provides the action of choker chain without the
actual chain being worn permanently.  It also provides us with a
quicker way to get the leash on him.  Already we are seeing benefits
of him heeling without being told to and his actions outside are a lot
more controlled.  We will eventually move into a martingale collar for
him but he continues to grow rapidly. Already in a short period of
time, we have loosened his clasp collar several times.  As he
approaches full grown we will transition into a slip collar and then a
martingale.  When it gets closer to him hiking I’ll move towards
getting him used to a harness which could be used when he rides in the
car as a seat belt harness.

Atlas has already shown that he is pretty smart several times but as
of late, he has shown that he is capable of learning from his sister
as well as on his own.  The other day I was working Stella with sit,
stay, and come commands.  Atlas, was watching me (with a treat in my
hand) and Stella.  When I would tell her sit, she sat and Atlas
watched her do it.  I gave her a treat and when I said sit again, he
sat also. He has moved to following commands now without treats.  He
also does so without the collar on.  He works best when Stella is also
being worked but when he is distracted (usually by Stella), he has a
harder time paying attention.  That is where the training tools of a
leash and collar, incorporated with positive rewards that include not
only food but praise come in handy.  Remembering that his attention
span is limited as a puppy it is important to work him when he alert
and encouraging him to be ready work at any time.  We have to make it
fun and rewarding for him.

Thank you for reading.  Keep following me for more of Atlas’
adventures, and education.  If you like what you read then please
follow me.  If you want to read about a trail review or gear recommendations, please leave it in the comments below.  Follow me on

Facebook for more pictures of AT and of my hikes. Have a safe weekend
and Happy Hiking.

#AT, #AtlastheTravler, #Martingale, #Choker, #dogtraining,#AustralianCattleDog, #FrenchBullDog, #StellaLuna, #Schultzy,

#dachshund, #puppytraining, #leashtraining, #hiking, #hikingdog,
#camping, #backpacking, #outdoorlife

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