August 15, 2014
Without puppies to slow us down, Tammy and I get to the Chippewa Correctional Facility with two minutes to spare. The guys, as always, are waiting for us.
|Tim and Bryan meet us in the yard with their charge, FLD Adell.|
|Harlan strikes a pose with FLD Ekco.|
FLD Henry pays me no mind when we enter the chow hall where we will have class. Tammy starts the same training plan we put together for Baraga with the relaxation protocol. Eric does a nice job handling Henry.
|Eric (left) takes a step away from FLD Henry during the relaxation protocol. Henry's brother, FLD Harley, sits for his handler Brian.|
This time Tammy decides that I will demo how to teach the stand. I hope I'm up to it - the nine-week-old Henry doesn't know stand and this is a tough crowd. Not because they are inmates, but because many of them are accomplished puppy raisers. My demo is rough.
I take Henry from Eric and ask the pup to sit. He swings out in front of my left side to face me, and sits. In the just over two weeks I've had him we've made good progress with sit, but not position; Henry is a long way from knowing "leg." I could use light leash pressure to help guide him back into proper heel position, but without thinking I reposition myself instead. I take a half step forward to encourage Henry to stand. It takes a couple of attempts before he stands, but then he sits right back down. This is one way to teach stand. Another way? I kneel down and with slight pressure forward on the leash I help him up with my hand on his belly. I rub it a little to keep him standing.
Somehow my stand demonstration morphs into a discussion about "silky leash" training. The guys want to see what I'm talking about. Henry rocks this demo - every time I give slight lateral pressure on his leash, he gives into the pressure and moves toward it. He is learning to overcome his natural reaction to pull against pressure (oppositional reflex).
Ideas for applications for this technique fly around the room. Loose leash walking, positioning (into heel or under tables, for example), ignoring distractions, direction changes, "around."
See what I mean about accomplished puppy raisers? Thinking all the time, just like we want our puppies to do.
|FLDs Henry (left) and Harley (right) sure look like brothers, don't they?|