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Old 11-02-2012, 04:39 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Default Bumps in the road

Otherwise known as human problem solving I guess...

I have been teaching Miss Abby the dumbell and I've been really pleased with our progress. We were at the stage where she had strong value for it, she would pick it up after I had placed it near by and bring it to me, sitting and hold it until I said give.

We were just going through the process of me sitting/standing/kneeling and trying different positions and also just making sure that she knew that 'give' was the cue for her to cough it up, not just my hand touching it or being under it.

That was going really well until she dropped it once a little early and it fell down onto the floor, making a fairly loud clatter. Abby is a noise sensitive dog and I thought it might throw her a bit, but I just reset the dumbell and figured I'd just wait and see.

As expected, she was all freaky about it, so I ended up just putting it away for a couple of days. Which to be honest is my plan of action when I have no idea how to proceed next (which is probably why I never get that many behaviours trained lol). Fast forward a few days - back to normal with the dumbell. Then, seemingly out of the blue, her enthusiasm for the game waned until now I have a dog determined to just offer the behaviours that were rewarded at the start (sniffing, looking and mouthing) but won't go beyond that to picking it up again.

Now - I figure I could eliminate the sound by using a towel/mat inside or play on the grass, but I'd definitely like to fade that out. Or I could address the noise sensitivity issue (not really sure where to begin and I feel that I need to be extra careful as I really want this to be a fun exercise for Abby). Or, perhaps a combination of both? I'm not sure how to proceed... what do you guys think?

If/when I get her back on track I have to post a video. She's kinda cute with a dumbell in her mouth.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:53 PM
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spiffy spiffy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
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All dogs are sensitive to sounds but some individuals appear to be more sensitive than others. Miss Abby's sensitivity to noise though can worsen until it becomes a phobia. It is therefore imperative to address the noise/sound sensitivity issue. Instead of totally fading out the sound, it would be a better idea to desensitize the dog by starting with a low volume of sound that will be gradually increased.
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