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Control Unleashed: Class Seven

Control Unleashed: Class Seven

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We started with massage again. Kienan commented that the dogs didn't seen to be settling down to a relaxed state very quickly.  She wondered if we had been working on massage at home enough.  She said it was important to work on massage when the dogs were not already lying down and relaxed.  After a while she asked us to do focused attention exercises with our dogs.  Then we went back to the mat to massage.   Kienan had a couple of teams take turns working in the box playing any of the games they chose to do while those of us outside the box moved our mats near the box and she directed  us to send our dogs to their mats and stay there while we did jumping jacks, clapped, walked around them  walked around our neighbor's dogs, and in other ways tried to distract them.

Next we learned the Off-Switch Game. Kienan asked if any of us could get our dogs really excited playing with them.  It needed to be a close contact game like tug or a sort of tag where you would push your dog.  Throwing a ball wouldn't work. After another team worked, Matilda and I went in the box.  I used my Kong on a rope. I dragged it around on the ground and got Matilda into an exciting  game of tug. After a while Kienan said I should tell her to drop the toy. The game would stop until she produced some predetermined, calm behavior such as a sit that I wanted from her.  After a few moments Matilda did sit.  I clicked and the game resumed. We did this several times with Matilda getting herself under control and into a sit to restart the game. Then Matilda's excitement went over the top and she wasn't able to get herself under control. I'll need to keep the excitement level  down a notch until she learns to keep self control.  We played the game some more outside the box.  Once when I asked Matilda to drop her toy, she wouldn't give it up.  Kienan said I should use the toy for Doggie Zen. I should dangle the toy in front of her and click and treat if she doesnt grab at the toy.

Last we worked on Leave It. We dropped food on the ground and said leave it.  Matilda was doing fine with that.  She was sitting and leaving the food around her. Kienan said, "Good, now walk her past the food."  I said, " Ichibon" and Matilda ate a piece of the food.  I should have said, "Let's go."  Kienan also said that Leave It should mean now and later, too.  Next week they should be able to have food thrown in their faces.
  • 1. I never remember to do the relax massage when we're out and about... 2. Stella is pretty good about people acting crazy around her when she's on a downstay 3. B and I both do the off-switch game with her, but she can always always use more... she can hardly contain herself when I pick up the soccer ball which is the game she would like to never end... I never thought of bringing a clicker into this game-- I'll try that 4. Leave It---do you just throw a handful of treats down around her? or do you drop it piece by piece slowly? was this off leash?

    nice post... i sent it to Curtis
    • Sometimes I throw one piece of food. Sometimes I throw a bunch. At class she's on leash, but we usually work on this outside the box, and then they're always on leash. At home she's off leash.

      When I sent the book to Curtis, I forgot to send my notes. I'll send them off to him today.
    • When I did the off-switch game in the yard today, Matilda first tried running weave poles and jumping jumps to start the game again. Finally, she sat. I do use the toy as a reward for weave poles so I see why she did that. The second time she sat right away.
  • Pan knows "CHILL" and it is a lifesaver. Literally, my cats' lives! Ha, ha. Sometimes she gets all crazy about my one elderly cat and once she goes over threshold the only thing that will calm her down is if I get in between them and say "Chill." "Leave it" doesn't work but "chill" does because chill has such positive connotations due to the fact that she learned it playing "dance" and "tug of war," two of her favorite games.

    What is the relax massage?!
    • We just massage the dogs all over until they relax. They should be comfortable being touched on any part of their bodies. When they're relaxed you can change to an active attention game such whip lash turns or look at that. After a few minutes of that you return to massage. They learn that calming down allows them to be more active again.

      Were you able to get the Control Unleashed book?
      • I wonder how you would teach cats---chill!

        they are so into my laptop... i think i have to shut them away...
        • I've never really tried teaching cats. Can you interest them in toys on the floor?
          • B has taught Lo how to sit... well, last night, she was sitting for treats...

            about playing on the floor... when Stella is trying to play with them and they don't want to play, they hang in the chair up with me while I work and chase things on the screen... I could put Stella on a down and play with them on the floor, but then I'm not getting any work done then either...
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