Let’s Go Rally-O!

Kasey and I had our first Rally-O class last night at the new K-9 Jym (I hate the way they spell gym–it hurts my editor’s heart–but they are great people). I think it’s going to be so much fun. Kasey has not been in any sort of formal training in a while, and for a 20 month old puppy, he did really well. I’m so glad he’s well socialized and friendly.

Our main problem, well my main problem, is going to be keeping him quiet in between his turns at the course. He has a habit, when he’s on leash and around other dogs, of really getting his “big boy bark” on. And he has me trained…he’s figured out that in order for me to use the “shhh” command and treat him, he has to be barking. My suspicion is he just gets bored, but I’m really not sure what triggers the behavior, as he’s far from a barky dog in any other situations, the dog park included.

What I ended up doing was bribing him.  When we were working, I used dehydrated turkey dogs, which he works really well  for. And once we got off the course, I’d grab a stick of string cheese, hold it in my fist with a little bit showing, put him in a down and let him work on getting the treat out of my hand. My hand suffered a bit from this after a while, but at least it shut him up. ;O)  I think next week I’ll bring a kong and  a supply of peanut butter; it should have the same effect and save my hand. It’s a band-aid, I know, but I’m hoping he’ll just settle into the environment eventually.  Not sure what I’ll do if he doesn’t. If anyone has suggestions, I’ll surely take them.

4 Responses to “Let’s Go Rally-O!”

  1. 1 Jen April 22, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Fill the kong with PB and freeze it for a few hours before class. Another band-aid but it will keep him busy longer.

    Maybe bring a squirt bottle with you. Everytime he barks give him a quick squirt and say your command for quiet. Not my favorite remedy for bad behavior, but it helped my guy when he was sassy in class. It’s also helped with jumping on guests when they come in my front door. The barking is just frustration for having to stay in one place while all the fun is happening around him.

  2. 2 Brittany April 22, 2009 at 4:07 am

    I have a similar problem with my dog. He whines when he is bord. A simple quiet whine slowly turns into a high pitched squeel if he is ignored. I use our down time in agility class to do some extra training. Nothing special, just busy work. Sits, downs, bows, stands, stays and balancing treat on different parts of his body. This is good entertainment for the both of us. I didn’t realize it at the time but all the extra busy work has really gotten him to look to me for commands and treats outside the agility run. It has been nice.
    Good luck!

  3. 3 allforthedog April 22, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    It’s always good to hear that other people have dealt with the same problems, and found solutions that work for them. I hadn’t thought of freezing the peanut butter, that’s a great idea!

  4. 4 Marie April 30, 2009 at 12:44 am

    I agree with the using the time to work on other stuff to keep him busy. Refocus his attention to you. You can add trick training to the mix too just for mental stimulation.

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