Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Radar - 11/12/08

Today was Radar's first real training session. I spent the first 20 minutes trying to teach him what a circle is and how to stay more than five inches away from me when on the lunge line. Radar is the same age as Hunter, but not nearly as intelligent or laid back. The main reason I was trying to teach him to lunge is because he's terrible about having his feet picked up.

Make sense?

I'm all about making the thing I want easy and the bad behavior hard. Whenever I try to pick up Radar's feet he backs away and yanks his leg out of my hand before I even get my hand to his knee. Meghan was the same way when she got here and Jewel still does the same thing. I had great success with Meghan using this method and just haven't tried it with Jewel yet.

Once Radar had the lunging thing down well enough to stay out of my personal space and do a halfway decent circle I tried picking up the inside front foot. As soon as he'd back away or yank his leg out of my hand I'd send him back out on the circle at a trot. Don't want to do as I ask? Then go back to work! I only make him trot around the circle twice before asking for a whoa and trying to pick up his foot again. It only took Meghan about five minutes to figure out that standing there and letting me handle her foot was a lot easier than trotting around in a circle. It took Radar 20 minutes. That was just for the right foot. Like I said, not the brightest bulb in the pack.

As soon as Radar let me pick up the right foot and hold it a few seconds without yanking or pulling away I put it down and let him stop for the night. Tomorrow we'll work on the left foot. The good news is that by the time he lets me pick up all four feet he'll be a pro at lunging!

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