Baby Thor

Baby Thor

Training Thor

In January 2010, Thor, a 5-month-old weimaraner, came crashing into my life.

Here, I will outline the steps taken to train him to be a well-mannered dog,

to do agility, and to perform some service dog tasks.

At five months, he is pretty wild.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our First Night

We made it through the night!  No accidents!  Thor was crated, of course.  Twice he woke up and started to vocalize so I took him out.  The first time he peed; second time, nothing.  That's okay.  He tends to vocalize in his crate when first put in.  I'm learning how hard it can be to be a cross-over trainer!

For those who don't know... A cross-over trainer is one who has abandoned the old traditionally-used (and often aversive) training methods to embrace the new scientifically-based methods.  This requires ignoring all undesired behavior.  In the old days, I would have reacted to barking in the crate by yelling, throwing keys, and/or a squirt of water.  None of those worked very well if at all.  Now, it is important that I not react at all. 

This is so hard!  In my head, I am yelling.  I'm thinking, "What would it hurt if I squirted him?"  And immediately I know that it WOULD hurt.  Okay, so a squirt of water may not be physically painful.  But would YOU like to squirted in the face?  I know I wouldn't; and I no longer do anything to me dogs that would be unpleasant to me.  So I'm being completely non-reactive and each time Thor settles down a just a wee bit faster than the time before.  I did make a tiny mistake this morning.  I glanced at him as he was barking.  Now that is not a terrible mistake, but this is a dog who likes eye contact.  So a mere glance will be rewarding to him.  I don't want to let that happen again.  Ignore, ignore, ignore!  When he is quiet, he gets verbal praise and, sometimes, a treat.

And I am exhausted!

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