Tues 14 May – On days/off days + compounding (Report to follow)
Because of Cookie’s breed and temperament, there will be on/off days; but as much as possible, sometimes in a new place it can be better if she hasn’t practised barking at other things.
Essentially she perceives things as threats and to communicate to her that they are not. Threats can also be compounded, so a person in a wheelchair (scary) – bark a little; see a dog (scary) bark a little – see them both together = bark a lot.
Her motivation for food is quite good, so it’s possible to make her BETTER. Having her also a little hungry when you go out to places will help too.
10 May – Meeting other dogs and people
Sometimes Cookie ‘woof’ barks (little barking, but not full on) – this is a sense of unsureness, so the best thing to do is (i) feed her around whatever it is that is making her bark BUT (ii) going to see what it is, as long as the people and dogs are friendly too.
Here she is playing with dogs (she did bark a little before seeing them)
7 May – Progress…
Toilet training is back on track, she had a few accidents last week, but seems to be getting the hang of it. I would highly recommend controlling her water, as sometimes she can drink a lot, (more than she can hold). Also toilet breaks every 3-4 hours.
Here some videos of Cookie in the park on a bank holiday, very busy with lots of people and dogs.
- If she barks, call her name, if she responds – TREAT! If not, gently tug her on the leash until she responds – TREAT! She needs to feel more comfortable in those surroundings. It could be something that may take weeks/months to show small improvements.
- If she ignores certain things that she barked at previously – REWARD! 🙂 Key thing is, lots of nice rewards (she loves chicken!)
3 – 5 May – Low threshold – food (i) Calling her for attention (Cookie, come) (ii) Rewarding for ignoring other dogs/threats
This is a very difficult aspect to train, as it is a large part genetic (type of dog/breed) as well as socialisation and raising.
Some videos showing her training with food. If she starts barking, calling her for attention and feeding her around those things. It is not advisable to correct her as the barking is caused by her feeling uncomfortable in situations. This will be a long term on going process.
30 April – Meeting other dogs
As I get to know her more, the barking at other dogs is a combination of unsureness, fear and socialisation. The best solution is to allow her to meet as many FRIENDLY dogs if possible, but obviously it’s very difficult as not every dog she sees is suitable to say ‘hi’. In those cases, we use food to get her attention and ‘pass-by’.
The reasoning is because of her threshold to behaviour. She easily sees other dogs as threatening, hence the barking. The best way for now to resolve this is to teach her other dogs are and can be friendly. It may take 5 dogs, it may take 50 or 500… I will continue to expose her to meet lots of other dogs and environments.
I will try to get more video soon, but as she is training I need both hands (holding and giving her food!)
26 April – Adventures of Cookie
Cookie barks on different occasions and for different things. Some can be helped, and improved, but a lot of it is dependant on her breed – which is quite sensitive to threats and ‘large’ scary events. You have to understand she is so small, so it’s understandable things can be scary for her. For this type of barking (i.e. to something out of the ordinary/stranger) it’s perfectly normal, and the best thing we can do is reassure her and let her explore and ‘see what it is’. To help this, I have been taking her out on day trips to see new things so she can see more and ‘get used’ to more and more different things.
Occasionally she may bark for attention or demand something, this for now is just simply ignored. If we encourage or respond to her, then of course the barking will get worse. (Again, this is also partly her breed!)
She is progressing with some basic obedience, sit, recall, down. Her toilet training is going very well.
23rd – Happy Easter!
Toilet training is going very well.
Schedule – Every 3 hours (sometimes 4 hours to try to extend duration). Toilet breaks first thing in the morning, last thing at night. After meals.
Lots of praise and a treat as soon as she finishes her toilet!!
ONLY when she has done her ‘business’ is she allowed to roam the house freely. At night she is in a small crate, which I would highly recommend as she is more than capable of ‘holding herself’ throughout the night (6-7 hours).
She is DEFINITELY a woman’s dog – she has chosen my wife and daughter so they will be involved with her training too.
Day 2 – 19th
Toilet training is going well. She can definitely ‘hold it’ and when a little dog is over 6 months on average she should be able to be clean for 4-6 hours and overnight too.
Teaching her ‘going outside’ is the right thing to do can only be done via two ways (I) prevention and (ii) rewards. She likes cooked chicken so that will be her primary reward!
Day 1 : 18 April Pick up!
The sweetest, most adorable pup ever!! Cookie has travelled well and settled at home in Cambridge for the next few weeks.
She will be using a crate for training which will help with establishing a routine with her toilet training!