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About maggiesmom

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  1. Hi all- Interesting thread. For exercise, try riding a bike while your dog runs... sounds like she needs a lot more than you can give her, but many owners successfully exercise their dogs while riding a bike. I agree trying the backyard flyball training before the group setting. In terms of obedience, I agreed with the one thread that with a COMMAND, you do well if you never give the dog the option not to obey. We discovered this by accident with our two Border Collies. From the time they were puppies, every time I put them in the car, I'd say, "Load Up!" I don't know why, it was just a habit, and I wanted them to learn the command so that when they got bigger they'd jump in by themselves. Well, just by habit, they've never had the experience where I said, "Load up!" and they didn't get into the car. One day, the dogs got outside and started racing down the street. In desperation, I hollered, "Load Up!" and they immediately stopped, turned around, and ran back home to the car, waiting to be let in. It's the only command they follow completely reliably and has never failed in any situation. It's like it is hard-wired into their brains. So I agree with the owners who recommend that you never give a dog a chance to disobey. And finally, every dog must learn that they can't go through a door without being told, and that they never go through before you do. (We didn't do this early enough, and our 6-month old puppy ran through the door and got hit by a car. Luckily, he survived and is fine 4 years later.) The way to teach this is to put them on the leash, command them to sit, then open the door. As they try to get through the door, pull them back on the leash, close it and put them back in the sit. Keep doing this until they wait for the release command to go through the door. (And you always go through first, then give the command.) Again, they are therefore never rewarded for not following the command, but are rewarded by following it (they get to go outside!) Good luck.
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