Bentley Opening his Present

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I got Bentley a new toy for Christmas. (only took him 20 minutes to pop the seam and start ripping out the stuffing once he began playing with it in earnest)  I wrapped it up loosely and put a treat in with it to see if I could get him to unwrap the gift himself.  Since he loves ripping up paper I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a challenge for him, and he did indeed manage to open it with almost no help at all!  I might have to do this with all his toys from now on; it makes for a fun little enrichment game for him.

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Tug of War

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I will admit, I don’t have Bentley very well trained yet. I can easily get him to do new tricks, but getting him to change his behaviors is proving far more difficult!  I’m finding it much easier to teach him how to do something than to teach him to NOT do something.  I still haven’t taught him “drop it” or “give it”.  In that vein, I don’t play tug of war with Bentley.  Since I can’t get him to give up his toys and he’s going through a “teenager” phase, I really don’t want to get into a power play with him.  But I know he loves to tug, so I rigged up one of his toys so he gets his tugging in, but I’m not a factor.  Hopefully once I get him listening better, we can actually play together!

Give Paw

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Bentley’s nails are looking a bit long. I figured I would teach him how to give paw in preparation for his paws being handled at the groomer. I started by trying to get him to sit.  Now, he knows how to sit. He does it all the time before we go on walks so I can put the leash on. But whenever there’s a treat involved he seems to think that he must lay down for the treat. So the hardest part of this was getting him to sit and stay sitting rather than laying down!  Then I would tap on the back of his leg to get him to lift his paw up.

 

 

As you can see, he wasn’t quite getting it. BUT! A couple days later, I tried again, and this time, he gave his paw like a pro!

 

Bentley Playing

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I have no actual content at the moment, so here are two horridly shot* videos of Bentley playing with some toys.

 

 

 

 

*I have a tremor, so all my videos come out shaky.

Leave It!

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This evening I worked on teaching Bentley the “Leave It!” command.  He’s got zero impulse control and puts just about anything in his mouth, so teaching him to go against his instincts is tough!  To keep his attention, I used a treat, and as a reward when he actually did leave it, I used tasty, tasty hot dog slices.  I made sure that he couldn’t get the treat from me, and told him to “Leave It!” and when he successfully looked away from the hand holding the treat, he got a piece of hot dog from my *other* hand.  I wanted to be sure he didn’t confuse what I wanted him to leave with his reward.

Check out the video to see Bentley in action!

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Teaching Sit

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Today I worked on re-enforcing the “Sit” command with Bentley.  He already kind of knows it, but I really wanted to hammer it home, and make sure he starts to get the difference between “Sit” and “Down”.  Bentley’s a really smart pup, so this was actually hard… for me.  He would anticipate what I was asking and give the behavior before I even asked for it!  But you never want to have your dog dictating when he gets treats/food.  Just because he sits nicely doesn’t mean he gets something, I have to ask for it first.  Food and affection must always be done on your terms, not his.  Keeping him leashed during the exercise helped because I could then get him to stand back up the times when he sat without me asking or gave me “Down” instead of “Sit”.

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Clicker Training

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Started work on some clicker training with Bentley.  I managed to record the training session, but unfortunately I don’t have the resources to edit the video just yet, so you’ll have to endure it in its raw form!

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