Sunna in Sub-Novice

Posted by kjd
Nov 4, 2010
Sunna is doing pretty well in class. But there are some weird things.

When I called her last week, she started past me -- I attempted to get the treat in front of her nose and she flopped to the ground, looking as if she had killed someone and expected a very harsh punishment. :confused: Unfortunately, the instructor wasn't looking and couldn't tell me whether I had done something to elicit this response.

We were supposed to teach the heel position by leading the dog by its nose on a treat while we walked backwards. Problem is, Sunna will follow the treat about two inches; then she either sits and waits for it or goes past me to one of her rugs and sits or lies waiting. (Outside, with no "place," she sits for the treat.) I taught her this. Now I have to figure a way to break her of it -- at least when I have the treat in front of her nose!

Well, maybe the instructor will have some suggestions tomorrow morning.

Sunna sends her love to all the dogs out there!

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Nov 5, 2010
Hi kjd,

I will try to explain how "back to heel position" works:

First of all, Sunna doesn't seem to be very food motivated so you might want to look for treats that are super tasty for her (maybe freeze dried liver?).

Have Sunna in front of you facing you (she can be either sitting or standing). Bring the super tasty treat in front of her nose using your left hand. Bring your hand (with the treat) toward you as you move your left foot one back step. Your hand will draw a half circle counter clock wise as Sunna follows your hand. You will then move your hand to the front direction right by the left side of your body as your left foot go back to the initial position (one step forward) and raise your left hand a little bit so that the treats goes up and Sunna sits down.

I hope this describe the motions of your hand and your body.

I am now taking canine freestyle dancing class with Daisy and heeling is a very essential move for that. Daisy needs to heel on my right as well and we need to name that command differently (maybe "Side"?). Every movement should be named differently when it's on your right or left, or clock-wise and counter-clock-wise, so I am very confused!

I hope you and Sunna are having good time in the Sub-Novice class! Good luck

I am going to put Dundee on adoption. I will be very picky about candidates though He is now totally happy indoor dog!
Posted by kjd
Nov 5, 2010
Hi, MaxHollyNoah.

I'm not sure Sunna is having a good time. She seems pretty stressed at times. I didn't see this so much in Advanced Basic. I'm wondering whether she had bad experiences before.

I've decided to "fix" the problem with come by teaching her "front." Thus "come" will only mean to get over to me, while "front" will mean to sit directly in front, looking up at me. "Front" will only have good connotations, being a brand new command.

I want to use "follow" for following the piece of food. As you noted, she is going to need something extraordinary to keep her interested. Freeze-dried liver didn't do it, nor cheese. I'm going to attempt pepperoni, though I hate the smell.

My instructor agrees that the sitting is my fault and I have to break her of what I taught her. Poor baby!

When I first got Sunna, she was very suspicious of all food. Wouldn't take treats I offered her. She has gradually learned I usually only offer her good stuff (she doesn't like broccoli any more than I do!), so will tentatively taste something new. Unfortunately, away from home, she thinks food is bait to be ignored. I may try feeding her some of her top treats (which take too long to eat to be used for training) at the class building, just to see how bad this aversion to food is.

I will comment on Dundee and canine freestyle in a separate message.