Engagement: Choosing to Work

I've written quite a bit on the work I've done with Vito's obedience training and the re-training I had to do for myself to stop trying harder than the effort he was giving.  It was easy to wave the food or toys in front of his face and pretend that he was really engaging with me.  But of course all of that was just fooling myself into believing that he didn't really have issues of focus and motivation.

All of our re-training went into Vito choosing to work and giving him the power.  Our initial "work" was really 95% play.  But it was driven by Vito and his choices.  No more somersaults and pleading from my end.  It also meant a lot more time spent on doing nothing.  And we still have that issue, especially in new places as he has to check out the world.  Baby steps.

But Denise Fenzi's blog post yesterday on the topic of engagement summarizes so eloquently the philosophy that I had to move to with Vito and have taken with all the puppies since.
Comfort first, then engagement, and then finally work.

Py loves offering focus and "heeling" for any possible chance I could be willing to train and hand out cookies!  With Vito I have a million deleted pictures of his butt or maybe of his body but with his head swiveled in another direction.

Liama Jhons  – ( November 7, 2014 at 12:34 AM )  
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