Well, my training sessions this week were great! It is so exciting for me to see the changes in my pack (5 dogs) each time Dr. Soto spends time with us.
This week we worked on “here”.
First I cut up tiny “training treats” (I used tiny pieces of cut up hot dogs because I forgot to bring home training treats) and put them in a plastic bag attached on my hip. Then with one dog at a time, and a tiny piece of hot dog I let the pup smell the treat. I walked away while Jose held her. I walked 10 paces, turned and said “here” and waited until she ran in front of me. As soon as she was in the triangle between my feet, I held the treat out over her body, past her head until it made her sit! I then vocally congratulated her as I said the word again “here”. Each time we repeated this command, I walked further and further away before he let her go. Each time she ran and sat, I made her wait a few seconds longer before giving her her treat. This intensified her concentration and patience. By the end of the lesson, I was hiding somewhere in the house, out of her line of sight, and saying the word “here”. When he let her go, hearing my command, She tore through the house, following my voice, came rounding the corner and came to a screeching stop and sit when she reached my triangle! She obediently sat and waited for her treat! She is my youngest, a 6 month old poodle. She is an unbelievable student! She learns instantly and graciously, and has fun doing it. Her tail wagging a mile a minute during the entire exercise!
Then came the others…. My 5 year old Maltese, my oldest Yorkie (3 years old), my youngest yorkie (2 years old) and lastly my little chihuahua! Oiy…..a chihuahua! How on earth did I end up with a Chihuahua! They all did quite well with learning this command and “game” and were all mastering the lesson, really all except my little chihuahua. I know she understood the command, she was just demonstrating her power and insisting that she should not have to sit as the others. She preferred her treat while standing and violently wagging her tail! She needs more work. She definitely gets it, but she needs more time and patience and practice work one on one. Honestly, if not for her tail wagging so violently, she could have sat! All in all that was a successful lesson. The time goes by so quickly, when you have 5 dogs in one lesson! Our hour always seems to extend longer, so each and every dog gets the opportunity to practice. Dr. Soto has been really patient and forgiving on the time aspect to get my entire household in the lesson!
This week we met two days. When Dr Jose came the next morning, we practiced the command of “Home” which gets them all going into the “corral” he built in my corridor. Then, when they are all inside, I open the gate and use the command “stay”. When I walk away, gate open, of course they all want to charge out. We practiced over and over again walking away, vocally commanding them to “stay”. they got it, and he and I were walking far away, and they were all patiently waiting in the corral until they heard my command “out”, then they all rushed outside to play. My homework for the week will be working with each dog, one and one, and reiterating the commands we are learning. We are conscience of the “pack leader” and getting her to observe the rules. We also worked on keeping them off the furniture and sofa’s until they are invited into my space. This is reinforcing the fact that it is all mine, not theirs, and they need to be invited into my space. This is a valuable lesson for my pack, who seem to think that the entire earth is their oyster, me right along with everything else, and they allow me into their world! Setting the limits and the boundaries is already making for a much more respectful household, and a pack that now sees that they have a place, as do I, and that there are rules and work to be done in order to play with toys, eat treats, and even their meal must be “earned”. My house is finally becoming a great place to live, and its just been two weeks and four lessons!
Other than the obvious, stated, benefits, the truth is that I adore my dogs, and spending this time, working with them, watching them learn and change is just so much fun for me. I love the time spent with them, one on one and in their pack. after all, this is why we pet lovers have our pets, to enjoy them, play with them and watch the world through their eyes, just like our kids……. well, this week was another milestone for us, in my household. Dr. Jose Soto never ceases to amaze me. He understands them so well, understands their cues and language, and he knows how to “talk’ to them so they will understand! I think he simply has a gift! I know it sounds cliche, but he is literally my ” dog whisperer” in my eyes! I know that he is going to make a huge difference in my life with my pets…..and we are having fun along the way!
Stay tuned to next weeks blog post! Until then, if you have any questions, please ask them here and I’ll pass them along to Dr. Soto and send you his response. Anyone who wishes to schedule home training, drop off training, or classes, may call the PetLife office and schedule a NO CHARGE consultation with Dr. Soto!
6901 Okeechobee Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
Hospital & Grooming: 561-790-6464