02 December 2015

Boot Camp for Ben

Ben had come so very far since he first came to live here. 

Then, he hid under my chair for a week, refused most food and took six months to regain his weight, couldn't be outside unless tied, and shook like a leaf meeting anyone new. Oh, and he begged at the table and barked incessantly when crated while we ate... I remember having to go lift and drop his crate to let him know he really had to quiet down. 

Now, he jumps on the couch and stays there while we eat with nary a peep. He will sit and lie down, mostly, understands Up and Off (for jumping on or off a person's lap or a chair), and is way more brave around people. 

He still loses his marbles when someone new shows up, though. And he refuses to come when called of he has another idea. 

So. Boot camp. 

He's lost "running around outside" privileges until his recall is solid. He's been asked to do a lot of little things. Meals now come twice a day. We've introduced new commands. 

He's done great. 

Yes right now there are no challenges or distractions, but that's a good place to start. Once it's solid in peace and quiet, we can extend the learning. 

By the end of the month I'd like Ben to be solid on all of these:

- sit
- down 
- up (including not jumping on a person until invited)
- off
- drop it
- in your bed

And we will be adding:
- follow (stay near me as I go from place to place, but walk wherever ya like, not strict like heel)
- wait (stay behind a designated edge and don't cross until allowed)

We will also play with fetch and tug, and maybe start retrieving items by name. 

I think just changing my attitude towards Ben and taking obedience seriously has had an effect.  

I think this will be good for both of us. 

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