Saturday, January 23, 2010

How we combine training Mia with everyday life...

Just like humans, Mia is learning in class and then applies that learning to life. There are many ways we incorporate her skills every day, and it is fun to be creative in trying new things. Today I taught her how to open and close her kennel door (not to unlock it though). We also worked on "leave it" with our small wastebaskets. I put a really good treat in the wastebasket so that she is interested, and then reward her when she turns to me instead of the wastebasket.

She is becoming more reliable around the house so that we now have taken down the gate to the living room. All we have to do is to shut the bedroom doors and she doesn't get into things or cause trouble.

On the days it is too cold to walk we invent games. She gets a tennis ball and drops it down the stairs and then runs after it, bouncing all the way. We have a long hall where she can run for a ball over and over, which helps her blow off steam.

We try to imagine all the times she will have to wait for her owner, so when she wakes in the morning and barks I tell her to wait and she stops barking and waits for me. She waits when we go out the back door and lies at my feet waiting while I cook or wash the dishes.

It looks like Mia may graduate in the fall, with a small chance it could be sooner. It will be nice to enjoy some better weather with her in the spring. She has come a long way!