a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stan, the English bulldog

Stan....only a face a mother could love!

Stan came to clicker class because......#1) He doesn't come when you call him #2) If the gate is open he leaves and wanders the neighborhood #3) He jumps on babies and toddlers (Scary)

I met Stan when Shirley told me about him leaving the property and it taking them hours to get him back home. On my first visit I was introduced to Stan through a chain link fence in the backyard. Slobbering, snorting Stan. It was love at first sight. First, I had to figure out how to get the chicken I brought into his mouth. His mouth is like an overflowing bucket of saliva and teeth. You almost have to drop the chicken into the bucket. Totally new thing for me.
I asked Shirley to open the back gate and let Stan out. Shirley exclaimed, "I can't. We will never catch him." I insisted. "Okay, Suzanne, but you will have to catch him." Stan came out and I called him to me and he ran and sat directly in front of me. I clicked and dropped a piece of chicken into his gullet. Honest, I let Stan wander around the unfenced front yard and could NOT get rid of him. Every time I called he ran to me. Click/treat. Shirley was dumbfounded. "You mean all I had to have was chicken?" LOL I encouraged her to bring Stan to Monday night class.

Look how nice Stan is walking by other dogs now (Jet and Yoko are the bait)

Stan comes on Monday night class now with Shirley. Actually, my husband is teaching the class, but he doesn't insist on rewarding HIGH enough. It drives me crazy. I can get results in seconds. It's about timing. It's hard for a new handler. I understand that. They are still worrying about how to get the treat out of the bag and click. It's like rubbing your tummy and patting your head. It takes awhile to get coordinated. Plus, you have to read when the dog is thinking and you have to be ready to reward any small part of the behavior you want.

They were having trouble with Stan on a down. My husband wanted Shirley to gently pull his front legs forward to a down position. I about had heart failure and stepped in. :0) Stan got clicked for just looking downward. Stan got clicked for leaning towards the ground. Stand got clicked for even thinking about downing. Silence and then Stan said...hmmmm...what does she want and he stretched to a bow position. Click/treat. It wasn't one minute before Stan was offering a down. Key word...OFFERING. There is a difference between MAKING and OFFERING.Stan told me he didn't want to wear a prong collar. He doesn't anymore.
So once in awhile (not too often...don't want to totally take over) I show them how easy it is to reinforce with the correct ante. If your dog isn't interested, you are probably paying pennies (dry kibble)...you might have to give up some dimes (jerky treats) or go to dollar bills (chicken).

I walked into the house for a moment and when I came back out to the agility arena, STAN looked at me some 15 feet away and offered a down. I went over and rewarded him highly. His owner was speechless. We all had a good laugh. Shirley said, "My gosh, he is SMART. I'm the one that needs to learn." BINGO.

Stan, now offering a down for Shirley and he's happy about it!

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