Gracie got to play with her brother quite a bit this last week.  Mr. Rooney was in for some boot camp, aka basic manners training.  Boot camp #2 for him, as the first one was our puppy swap back in March.

He was quite happy to be at the kennels and a little too obnoxious with the other dogs, even for a  Labrador!  I think all the pictures I have of him and Gracie playing have Angry Face featured.

Rooney reminds me a ton of Gracie.  The same weird bark, the same head tilts, and overall super sweet and hard working personality.  Just a 15lb difference in size!  He was a fast learner and a very respectful dog once he knew the rules.  Only a little bit of testing!

And on an unrelated note, Lance and I are headed down to Chicago this morning for a Corgi Specialty!  Wish us luck in the obedience ring!

Sam  – ( October 24, 2013 at 7:55 AM )  

Good luck with Lance!

Monty and harlow

Kathie R  – ( October 24, 2013 at 7:35 PM )  

Laura, I have a question (unrelated to this post, but didn't know how else to contact you :) on how you teach the 'out' when tugging or retrieving. Do you use clicker or shaping? I've been doing the exchange for a treat, but it doesn't always work well so I was looking for something else.
Thanks! Kathie

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( October 24, 2013 at 9:31 PM )  

During a play tug/fetch I don't use food. I first teach a retrieve to me, in order to tug. Let the dog win the tug, get them to shove it in my hand again. Once that is solid I then introduce the drop/out. I make the toy as dead as possible, gathering it up close to my body and making sure nothing is dangling. With a strong dog, I pin it to the floor instead of my body so that it can't move at all. The toy becomes dead, the dog gets bored after a bit and lets go, I mark it with a verbal yes and play tug as reward. Dropping lets the game start up again.

With the formal retrieve, I have the drop already built into the shaping process. I click the mouth/pickup in the very early stages, dog drops to get cookie after I click. It's a very controlled shaping progression to get to the full retrieve and hold, but at every step the dog is dropping on the click. It's very easy to switch to a word since the expectation is already there.

Kathie R  – ( October 24, 2013 at 10:18 PM )  

Thanks Laura, I've been doing a lot of shaping and clicker work with this puppy, so I think this approach will work better. He loves to tug, which is a real change from Jackson, so I'm trying to keep the enthusiasm, while still maintaining a degree of control:) A tug session that doesn't end in blood being spilled(mine)is rare. I'll let you know how it goes.

Big Honey Dog (Honey the Great Dane)  – ( October 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM )  

Looks like the siblings had a great time! :-)

And good luck with the Corgi Specialty!

Dexter  – ( October 27, 2013 at 4:51 PM )  

15 pounds of flying labrador makes a big difference. But labs are clever pups, so I'm not surprised he learned the rules quickly.

Good luck with Lance!

Mango Momma

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