We love dogs and don’t ever see ourselves dogless. HappyDog recently celebrated her 8th birthday. DotDog follows at seven. They are starting to get tired when we hike and get stiff after resting. It works out well for us because Margo and I also are getting tired when we hike and are stiff afterwards. BTW, HappyDog gets a drink when she sees us taking out trekking poles. I think that’s pretty darn cool.
The dogs weren’t trained to ride in a vehicle when little, but as we spend more and more time in the mountains we’ve had to step up the training. The dogs loves to ride in the truck and assume that when we grab the keys they are going with us. The sky falls when we tell them they must stay home. I tell them how long before we will be back. I don’t know what they understand, but it appears to lessen their anxiety.
There are some important commands we absolutely demand that they follow when we are out and about. It all begins with the big “NO”. “No pull”, “no sofa”, “no bark”, “no skunk”, “no chase”. They know “leave it” mainly to keep them from tasting of all manner of things, and “wait” before they get in or out of the vehicles. That helps when I have to move something out of the way or I want to leash them. “Come”, “come to heel”, “better” (when they doesn’t position correctly), “sit” and “stay”. Both are trained to go pee-pee on command except they absolutely, positively, will not go on the side of the road or rest stops.
They will never be farther than our voice will carry. HappyDog is half weimaraner and is seldom farther than a shotgun distance from me. She taught herself.
In the evening when they come in after last potty out, they usually gets a goodie. When I was in the mountains, I would hide little training treats all through the house. “Find the goodies” sends HappyDog into a frenzy. I’m slowly adding hand signals for places I don’t want to make noise. Sit, stay, release, “this side/way” and “that side/way” with big elbow/hand sweeps. I transferred this inside lesson to outside to keep them on the correct side of the road or path.
We are working, poorly, on “Look at momma”, “Far Stop” and HappyDog not pulling on leash.
Well, that’s about it. Do any of y’all teach your dogs additional commands?