Positive Pet Training #13 – Small Training Successes


Sometimes when you’re struggling with your dog, it’s hard to remember the training successes you have had and how your dog is improving. Mr. N had a meltdown during a training workshop this weekend and both of us were really stressed out. He came home, ate dinner and has been sleeping since.

So I wanted to share some of the small successes we’ve had and I hope you’ll share some of yours as well.

  • I was baking popovers in the kitchen and Mr. N voluntarily came over and lay on his mat and stayed there while I baked.
  • He did not react to the Pomeranian that he usually has a barking fest with and ignored her with the help of some string cheese. Twice. 
  • He ignored the pony that we saw at the bar. 
  • He is getting better at ignoring his arch-nemesis, the goose that lives down the lane. She likes to flap her wings and hiss at him. And yes, we do live in the city. 
  • He is not freaking out in the car when I leave him to run into the store/library/etc. 

For April’s blog hop, we’re issuing a training challenge where you teach your pet something new in ten minutes. It’s totally possible especially if you teach something that builds off a foundation trick your dog already knows. I taught Mr. N in the video below how to fetch a (toy) saw and bring it back in less than ten minutes.

Welcome to First Monday’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Cascadian NomadsTenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days. Please share your responsible pet owner positive pet training tips by linking a blog post or leaving a comment below. Any positive reinforcement training posts or comments are also always welcome. The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop goes all week long. Our next hop will begin Monday, April 6th.




24 Responses

  1. Cascadian Nomads Bethany

    March 2, 2015 3:58 pm

    Celebrating small successes is such a great way to stay positive! And the teach your dog something new in ten minutes game forces awareness of those little triumphs. I am really looking forward to playing the game this month and sharing the results in April. In the meantime, here are some little ways my boys and Amelia are improving their skills:
    Wilhelm has been obeying his "go to your bed" cue with more consistency.
    Brychwyn has shown less leash reactivity when asked to be "quiet" upon having to share the street with a strange dog.
    Huxley has started to join in our group training sessions (Wilhelm and Brychwyn have always liked me throwing our random cues at various times throughout the day but Huxley used to wander off while we played this game.)
    Last night, Leo proudly stopped vocalizing when Jason and I went "shh." This is not something we taught Leo- he just did it! It was awesome.
    Amelia's "sit" is consistently lightening fast!

    • Tenacious Little Terrier

      March 3, 2015 12:36 am

      Yay for all your successes! I haven't quite decided what to teach next month. Maybe a "hold." Or open the fake fridge and get an airline-sized liquor bottle out. We tried but I don't think he has enough muscle to open the fridge lol.

  2. Janet Keefe

    March 2, 2015 8:51 pm

    Good job, Mr. N! And good job to you in focusing on the small successes. I'm really having to learn to let things go when they don't go well. I didn't want to give up on Luke's roll over, but I just decided we'd take a break from it and do something different for a while. It was the right thing to do, since High 5 went so well! I'll have to figure out what else we can try for this challenge.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  3. Groovy Goldendoodles

    March 3, 2015 2:37 am

    Mr. N. Could you please call Harley and explain the "fetch" concept to him? He thinks he's supposed to come towards me with the toy but then he keeps on going – right past me. We need help.

  4. Jackie Bouchard

    March 3, 2015 4:02 am

    That's a lot of successes! And that toy saw trick is too cute. I feel the need for a toy saw now.

    Rita has had a lot of success too – she doesn't freak out at all anymore when mopeds, motorcycles, or bikes to by; she does well with MOST other dogs that pass, etc. But… unfortunately her nemesis (a cattle dog in our 'hood) was off leash the other day and attacked us while we were on our walk. So annoying and has been a bit of a set back when we see other dogss now. We are slowly trying to get back to where we were – with the help of cheese!

  5. AliR

    February 25, 2016 9:49 pm

    String cheese is my "go to" high value treat for training. We've been working on "place" whenever someone comes to the door, which is certainly an exercise in patience. I'm thrilled when even one of the three stays on place 😉

  6. Daily Dog Tag

    February 26, 2016 1:56 am

    A goose down the lane and a pony at the bar… your city is not like any city I've ever been in. It sounds like you and Mr. N have had lots of wonderful accomplishments!

  7. Cathy Armato

    February 26, 2016 5:27 am

    It's so important to celebrate your successes. You have a whole list of great stuff to celebrate! Every dog has a setback here & there or a bad day just like we do.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  8. Cathy Armato

    February 26, 2016 5:27 am

    It's so important to celebrate your successes. You have a whole list of great stuff to celebrate! Every dog has a setback here & there or a bad day just like we do.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them


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