Thursday, June 26, 2014

Muzzle training for everyone!

As you can see Catty sure does love muzzle training!  Such a silly girl and she has tons of good emotional responses when it comes to the muzzle.

After a few practice sessions with Catty, it was time to let D'light work with the muzzle.  He's been milling around and watching us work.  We started with a simple touching of the muzzle.  So, when he touches any part of the muzzle he is rewarded/reinforced for that behavior.  As you can see he then makes the choice to put his muzzle in the basket.  He's such a superstar! 

You can see he pops his snout out quickly and that's perfectly fine - putting his snout in the muzzle is a lot of work for him.  D'light's training will be much slower than Catty's and that's no problem. All the risks he taking with trying out this training he gets rewarded for.

And Catty is doing more work by sitting on her mat while D'light and I work.  Back in the day, she could not even be in the same room when I was training with another dog due to her lack of impulse control.  We've worked a lot on impulse control and she's now a mat queen!  Good girl Catty.  Here's a past post on Catty learning  "Go To Mat"

As time progresses you can see D'light holding his muzzle in the basket.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to give your dog choice during training.  Because of all the choices that both my fearful dogs are given they end up trusting the training experience with me and they love training.  This is wonderful for both of them as they are learning new skills but, they are also building confidence and having fun. I'm so proud of both of them!

As you've seen with all the "muzzle" posts, we've had a lot of fun. And that's what all training should be - fun for everyone.  We will continue working on muzzle training, adding one more skill in our toolbox.  I recently read a quote that rings true for muzzle training and true for all training:

Training is not what you do the moment things go wrong, it is about preparing your dog for those moments.

Tired pups after all that fun training!

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