May 26, 2005

Thommo Training

The last weeks before Red Girl comes home is an opportunity to train the behaviours that I will need from Thommo when we are a two dog house again.

First is to wait on a mat while I get collars and leads on and open the door. My door opens onto a city sidewalk so I have to check they they are not rushing out on top of a little old lady or into the road. I've let this slip a bit while Thommo was an only dog, he can hang around my legs without a problem. So I've gone back to insisting on sit and wait for a release.

Next, is to go to his crate while I take the rubbish out to the bin in the lane. Joel would run up the lane to another cattle dog and they'd bark at each other through the gate. This dog was dead before Thommo arrived, but he would join Joel in running up the lane to bark. Joel is now gone also, so Thommo just races to the end of the lane barking all the way. Diesel would start barking as soon, and whenever, I rustled any plastic in the kitchen. Each dog is becoming more hysterical about rubbish take-out, with less reason. So I've decided the practice stops now. I'm sending Thommo to his crate before touching the kitchen tidy.

Thommo has a good "give it" and "leave it" but he hasn't had to do it with anything of real value for a while, so we'll brush up on those skills as well. I'll also put up the baby gates and reward him for respecting them.

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