Friday, April 12, 2013

A little off topic - An Old Dog CAN Learn New Tricks

I know I haven't posted much lately.  But as some of you may know I got engaged back in February and the BF and I are planning a June 14, 2014 wedding.  I am making a ton of recycled projects for our big day, but I don't want to share them as I'm hoping for them all to be a surprise.  Anyways, my flea market trips have continued as i search for more little lovelies to include at our wedding.  I will continue to post on items I find, but decor posts will be limited.

I do however want to share progress on Bubba's training.  As anyone with any type of terrier knows they LOVE to bark.  Bubba is my silky terrier, that I got when he was just under a year old.  Bubba had very little training before he came to us.  Like all terriers, he is high strung and I'm pretty sure he has ADD.  He has trouble focusing and loves to bark (all the time).  He loves to bark at the television which is becoming a particular annoyance.  I think his favorite shows are Duck Dynasty and Bone Collector, but just about any hunting show or anything on animal planet will do.  I have tried loud noises, high pitched beepers, the Thundershirt, and unfortunately our next step was a shock collar but I just didn't have the heart.  All of the above things worked briefly, but he got use to them so not a long term solution.

With the BF and I now talking about children in our future, I knew we were going to have to do something with Bubba.  I had reached out to a few local training clubs, but was told he would not do well in a group session since he is an adult dog and would need individual training, which has been hard to find in Northern NY.  On one of my flea market trips, while walking back to my car I saw the sign on a car door for 4 Paws Training.  I found her contact info on Facebook and called that day!  Maureen is owner of 4 Paws and we setup a consultation at my home so she could meet bubba in his environment.  Everything went great at our consultation, I was so impressed when Maureen was able to get Bubba to sit within a couple tries, something the BF and I have tried many times before.   Basic training seems to be the key to getting Bubba to stop barking, learning how to sit will eventually work towards him sitting on a mat/bed and staying until I release him, so if he is barking I will send him to his mat.

The best part is this is also training me, to be what Bubba needs.   I successfully for the first time ever got Bubba to sit this morning 6 times, with only a little assistance.  That is only with 2 days of training.  I have been trying to work with him for 5-10 mins explicitly on training morning and night every day.  Then I try little things in between, in his normal routine.  Having such quick results has really inspired me that the barking will end!

Also Bubba doesn't really enjoy playing fetch must and some of his barking may be due to boredom.  Bubba will play for maybe 5 throws if that and doesn't want to anymore, but I never know what he really wants from me.  He wants to play but not fetch!  I knew that silky terriers were bread for hunting mice, rats, squirrels and other small vermin.  Which makes sense after he brought a dead squirrel onto our bed one night this winter!  I ordered Bubba some squirrel scent and I am going to start hiding his toys for him to find, instead of fetch.  I think he will love this!  The scent should be here next week so I will give it a try and let you know how it works!!

For all the terrier owners, there is HOPE that your dog can stop barking too and professional training is so worth the money!