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On leash/walks.

He sits and stays for his leash and collar to be attached.

Unless he is excited by people or other dogs he walks to heel and until fully trained I will keep him on a short leash although even now he walks to heel without restraint when calm.

He seems to respond best, when bringing him to heel, to the words “Come” and “Here” rather than “Heel”.

For a couple of months he has been responding to “Stop” “Sit” “Stay” “OK” before crossing a road. Recently, he has started sitting of his own accord when we stop at a road. Excellent; he now anticipates and acts accordingly.

c. Aug. 11. Equine hurdles: On the showgrounds, in the horse areas, are a few equine hurdles with flat tops so, in order to give Tali extra interest and/or stimulus, this is what I did. From a position from which he could not climb or jump up I asked him to ‘Get up here’ tapping the flat top of the hurdle. he tried but failed. I then repeated ‘Go round’ whilst pointing to and directing him round the hurdle to where there was a ramp he could use. I did this on two or three hurdles and in three days he did not have to be told to go round.

Update 27.10.11. I can now easily dispense with the leash and use only verbal control. There are two things preventing this and they are 1. By law dogs must be on a leash when in public spaces except in designated areas and, 2. the sudden passing of noisy vehicles or the sighting of something or someone may cause him to dart anywhere spontaneously.

Directing change of direction: When approaching, or at, an intersection or possible divergence I have starting to teach him which way I am going by indicating the direction with an extended arm. So far he seems to be cottoning on but this is not an easy lesson. [see update of 13.08.11.]

Update 05.08.11. Directing change of direction. There is every indication that he is aware of the indications I give with my arms and that he looks for them although, at times, I have to get his attention.

New: 11.08.11. Waiting outside places while I go inside:

About ten days ago I gave him the first lesson outside a small shop in town having tied him near the from door and stayed where he could see me. He was very uneasy and as soon as he could not see me he started pulling on his leash so I ended the lesson. Three days ago, at the library which is quieter, not being on the main street, I gave him lesson two and allowed the automatic doors to shut between us a few times and he watched intently but without incident. It is possible that he could see me at times but I selected a book and returned to him – and successfully. Note: I suspect that I had given him a practice dry run at the library a few days earlier. Also, at home I have taken every opportunity to train him to wait while I go into various rooms and shut the door and soon return.

Update 13.08.11. Yesterday, I took him to the library, tied him to a rail in the verandah outside the front door, as before, close to a little poodle sitting by its bed and told him to wait etc. and went inside. I made the mistake of coming out to check on him and he got very excited. Meanwhile the poodles owner had come out and was sitting with them so she said she would mind Tali. Some five minutes later when I emerged he had not been panicking (from my observations from inside) but had his attention fixed on the interior of the library and me when I was visible through the automatic doors.

That afternoon I decided to try him at the supermarket where I had to get a bottle of milk and a carrot – yes a carrot, and it was for him! Yesterday he tucked into a small piece of celery and a small piece of carrot so I thought I would try him on a chunk of carrot today (he is teething too). Anyway, although he was not calm outside the supermarket hitched to the Fido Hook, from where he could not see me, he was accepting of the situation and waited for me silently. His greeting of me was exuberant as usual but not excessive as can sometimes be the case after such a separation.

Update 16.08.11. Yesterday, I was told by a prominent Malenyite that people steal dogs from outside establishments and that he was aware of two instances. I had this fear at the back of my mind and, since I cannot be a party to Tali being emotionally traumatized I have decided, sadly, not to ties him outside places where there is any chance of his being stolen. It is better that he protests at being left at home than be removed from his comfort zone.

 On verbal leash: 16.05.12.

He knows the following [either as a command or just speech]:

  1. “Wait”, “Wait for me”, “Come”, “Come with me”, “Don’t go there”, “Not to go”,
  2. “No” which he will respond to even if it is just spoken.
  3. “Left”, “Right” or “Going left”, “Going right”.
  4. “Careful – car coming!”
  5. Hand signals for #3 above and “Come”, “keep away”,

Most often he will respond or do so without giving the slightest indication that he has heard, whilst at times he genuinely seems to not understand. Of course, I always maintain a dialogue with him although not incessant!

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