Teaching Calm

Ranger did not know that he was being trained today.  It’s now after dinner and he is nosing around at me wagging his tail saying “Hey!  It’s training time!” But, poor thing, we’re actually already done.

Today he started learning Doggy Zen.

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Ranger and the Rolling Lumpy Squeak Thing

Yes, she is a person.  She is an adorable little human puppy.  But Ranger is a dog, and he is just starting to figure these things out. So for today, she shall be deemed Rolling Lumpy Squeak Thing (RLST).

The baby has begun slow-mo flopping and flailing and can migrate herself from one end of the living room to the other, without crawling, over the space of a few minutes. And Ranger is quietly curious, but so far unconcerned.  This is fabulous, but we are still starting to take greater precautions.  So what does one do with a RLST and a dog in the home?

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Stay Drills

Ranger and I have been working on “Stay” so that he can be the boss of the CGC test.

I have to admit, I have had trouble coming up with interesting ways to talk about “Stay”.

Even pictures are boring. “Here is a picture of a dog nothing-ing”.  Alert the media.  [Note: In the header picture, the media were in fact alerted to Ranger’s Stay].

But, since some of you may be using these posts for actual Information, that I can provide.  So here’s a little summary of what might be a few less-common Stay drills than you have practiced before.

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No Excuses

This one isn’t really about dog training.  Okay it kind of is, but kind of not.

The header pic says it all.  Take a look.  I obviously don’t have it all solved.  I have an ugly box of packaging stuff under my pretty desk.  I have kid toys on the floor.  There’s a DEER ANTLER on my floor.  There’s a sweater in the dog bowl. The baby is still in pajamas.

But, there is also a quiet, happy Labrador safely tethered close to the baby, but out of reach.  Together, but safe.

There are good solutions in the midst of sometimes-chaos.

I’m a human being with both successes and failures.  And that is normal.

What got me thinking was a little fuss I saw yesterday on a Facebook group that I’m a member of.  It’s a fitness group, and a couple of those NO EXCUSES “inspirational” pictures were posted.  You know, like this:

No Excuses
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A Touching Moment

No no, not that kind. Although babies and dogs can be adorable, we’re talking about a brand new cue for Ranger.


Teaching a dog to target on an object is a fluency that can help him learn a ton of other things – from going to a specific spot, to just going away, to heeling more precisely, to finding people, to moving his body in a specific way; the potential is endless.  Here’s an article that says pretty much what I am about to say, but I’ll link it anyway just to show you guys I’m not making this all up – Dog Obedience Training through Targeting

I taught my elderly Collie to target on my hand and on a pen or target stick, but I have chosen a little plastic lid for Ranger for a couple of reasons.  First, I don’t want him to learn that jumping up at or shoving hands is good.  Second, if I give my kids a pen and have them practice this, they will probably stab him in the eyeball.  So, a lid it is.

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