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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Adventures in Dog Training!

Since this little guy arrived, I've spent a lot of time teaching him new things.He's a curious puppy, and we're working hard to expose him to all sorts of things while his mind is most open to learning new stuff.

I have also continued to work with Shyla on our fun training projects. I don't plan to ever stop doing those with her because I feel that our work together has made a world of difference in her confidence.

Most recently, I've taken a course to teach her "modifier cues", which is words to direct her to distinguish between multiple objects. So far, I've taught her left, right, large, and small.

For left and right, we did myriad games to help her to generalize her left and right. I put two crates out, and I asked her to go into the left or the right one. I put two low tables out, and I asked her to jump onto the left or the right one. We did at least six other exercises to help her to learn left and right.

Next, I taught her to distinguish between large and small. I had a series of similar objects that I put out in front of her and asked her to touch either the largest one or the smallest one. I had a bunch of sets of similarly shaped but different sized objects so that she could generalize the concepts of large and small (e.g., boxes that ranged from tiny to huge).

During today's snow storm, I tried a new challenge. I put out two cones, one that was that was large and one that was small. They were next to each other so they were left and right relative to Shyla. Then, I asked her to touch the large one ("large touch"), the small one, the left one, and the right one. Obviously, if the cone on Shyla's right was the large cone, it would be the correct answer to either "right touch" or "large touch". (Left and Right are always referring to Shyla's point of view).

I was so proud of how well she did. Check out the short video if you have time.

I have so much fun doing this kind of training with my girl. Now that we have an untrained little puppy in our life, I realize how far Shyla has come that she can learn such high level things in a pretty short time. I love her and our training together!


  1. What cool training! The dogs know different cues to come to my left and my right, but that's the only work we've done with left and right. This might be fun to try with Rye to give us some new tools to send to specific obstacles in agility!

  2. Hari OM
    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY Shyla!!! Hatchi, you are still at the 'squee' stage... hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  3. totally amazing!!!! she is so smart, but then so are you.. to teach her that. now that you mentioned this, I have noticed since I started training Big to sit on the leash when we are out walking, he plays more than he did. he sits every time but on leash he did not do it on command, he was trained if we stop to talk with a neighbor to sit automatically. but when walking, he would not sit. after 3 days he is doing it really well. and yesterday he got the football he has never touched out and threw it in the air and chased it.. still trying to teach him to play. thanks for all the tips

  4. That is AMA I got. The Man and I are very impressed.

  5. Shyla is such a smart sweetie!

  6. You and Shyla are quite an amazing team. She is so smart and you are so clever to teach her such difficult tasks.

  7. You are so incredible smart, Shyla! I love watching you back up to your mat to wait for another command and I love that your tail is wagging the whole time. You love your training sessions!

  8. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Hachi...just when I think you cannot get any do!!

    Shyla if I lived at your house I'd so look forward to all the fun your Mom makes for you two on a snowy day.
    I am impressed tremendously by your skills and OMDs you can backup like a pro. Did you learn that on your own or did you have to be taught to back up!? Well done beautiful brown girl
    R how are you feeling?
    Hugs cecilia

    1. I taught Shyla to back up with her belly on the ground ("back up") or while standing up ("reverse"). Crawling backwards is one of her favorite things in the world to do!!!!

      R is getting better and better. The big question is whether this was just a simple urinary issue or whether something more awful caused it (like a cancer). Time will tell... but we are thrilled that he's doing better now!

  9. Wow...that's amazing. I've done a little left/right on walks but am gonna try doing this more. Cool video!

  10. We have done left, right and forward for sled training and I use it on walks all the time. It makes walks so much more fun!

    Shyla catches on fast. :)

  11. Your video is amazing..! I never would have thought a dog could learn things like this!
    Shyla is so smart!

  12. That is very impressive. I'm always wondering what to do next to challenge Luke, and didn't even realize this was possible!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  13. I realize so much work and practice goes into this
    and the hours it takes being persistent.
    I can Astro to shake paws and kiss but anything else
    is way beyond me or him. Oh does know potty and bye bye.
    Mitzie is another story.
    So all that to say.Well Done to both of you.
    Shyla was always smart to begin with.
    Yeah to R feeling better.

  14. Shyla is just so smart!!! You need to open a training school for all of our dogs to attend. Wouldn't that be fun? LOL

    Hope R is doing well, and thanks for our puppy fix today with Hachi.

  15. You are so smart gurl! If you asked which has the chicken under it, I could do that! BOL! (did someone say chicken??????) Anyhu, pawsome job gurl!
    Ruby ♥

  16. Love how Shyla backs up to her mat to receive her treat!
    Hazel & Mabel


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