Photobucket Photobucket Therapy dogs spread happiness, love, and cheer to people who otherwise might be lonely, sad or slow to heal. This is the journey of Cayman, a longhair miniature dachshund and his journey and experiences visiting becoming a therapy dog.

Did you know that pet visits often spark good memories of a person's own pets? Dogs often can reach people and children who have withdrawn from the world. It's been suggested by science that petting a dog can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and stress, and promote healing.



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Friday, June 20, 2008

The Power of Positive Dog Training


I am so very pleased to tell you all that last night was the first night that Cayman slept through the night in his kennel! Hurray!

So... right at 4 am I instinctively woke up, prepared to deal with the whole crying and whimpering. But heard nothing! He was still fast asleep! I actually laid in bed for a good 45 minutes, just waiting for the crying to begin. I eventually feel asleep and woke only to the sound of my alarm clock, set at 5:30 am, my usual time to wake to get ready for work.

I am still trying to discover the secret.... Last night my younger brother decided to move back in (Nils, my husband and Shaylee, my daughter and I all moved back in with my folks so we could start saving for a house of our own) with my parents and us. So last night, I went to bed with Shaylee as I always do around 11pm. Anthony, my brother, and Nils stayed up later. I am thinking that is was the fact that Anthony was playing with him so late that it might have worn him out?

Or maybe it was the fact that when I did get up at 4 am, I noticed that my brother had left a light on in the laundry room which shown just enough light to put a faint glow in our room down the hall. Could it be he just needs a nightlight?

Yesterday, while I sat at work, completely missing him, I Googled a bunch of information on crate training, puppy crying at night, and the like. I did find a pretty good article on, which is the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA on "How to Crate Train Your Puppy". I printed it because a line, in all caps, stated " DO NOT GO BACK TO PUPPY UNTIL AT LEAST 3:30 OR 4 AM" which was his normal waking time, and another sentence that said "The early mornings come with puppy territory, like 2 am feedings and babies". It had a lot more information and all the times outlined where that of Cayman's schedule! So it just confirmed that what he is doing is normal. And the best part of the article was that stated "Once he learns this lesson [ referring to the not being let out of the crate when he cries but rather when he is quiet] and it will take about 2-4 nights- he will look on the crate as his special place." Last night was his sixth night here, and therefore his sixth night in his kennel, so even though he drug it out a little longer than the experts estimate, he still did it! I am just hoping he will have another night like last night!

So tonight we are going to recreate last night- using a nightlight and keeping him up as late as possible to see if that helps. And he had another dry kennel this morning, by the way! Whoo hoo!

Okay so far having my little brother move back in has been good. Yesterday, since he did not have to work, Cayman got a free pass out of having to be locked up in his puppy playpen we set up to put him in when we all leave for work. Sure, Cayman had someone to play with all day which he had probably been getting used to since I spent the Saturday we picked him up till Wednesday with him. Downside is that Anthony is not so good with remembering that Cayman is still needing to go outside every so many hours to relieve himself. So after work, I came home to three little piles of poo, and two puddles of pee. Oh and the cat decided to puke so I had that to clean up too. Sigh. I went over the puppy rules with Anthony (no people food or table scraps, let him out whenever possible and actually go out there with him, no getting up on the furniture unless he is on your lap and never, ever let him jump off the furniture on his own).

Prior to coming home, I stopped by Petco and bought two clickers, that SPA dog cologne I blogged about before, and some Halo Dream Coat supplement for Cayman. Today after work I am starting clicker training with Cayman, with the help of the book "The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller. Its one of the top ten dog training manuals out there. I bought it when it first came out in 2001, when Zoey, our toy poodle, was just a puppy, but never actually read or applied it to any pet yet. Lesson one is Turn On the Clicker. Basically you just keep feeding him treats after clicking the clicker so he learn that right after that click sound, comes a treat so that when you start applying actual commands like "sit" he knows that after the click comes a trick but only after he performs what is asked of him will he even hear a click. The click acts as a marker, indicating that whatever he is doing right at that moment is what is earning him the treat that follows. I will get more in depth into his training and the different lessons later.

Nils is off of work today so Cayman gets yet another day of not having to be confined to his puppy playpen. Spoiled puppy!

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