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Socialising Kali with Children

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By Sue Williams Bsc, GODT(MT), MCFBA, Chairwoman Guild of Dog Trainers 12 September 2014

To follow on from last weeks excitement this week Kali and I had a trip to a professional photographic studio. Definitely a show off, Kali loved being the centre of attention and posing for the camera. I can’t wait to see the results. Once we had finished we went to Cumbria and joined the dog display team who were set to perform at Dufton Agricultural show the following day. Kali once again strutted her stuff and did a fantastic demonstration of puppy training. I’m a real proud mum but I thought I was going to burst with pride with all the lovely comments from the audience afterwards.

Kali is now in the later part of the critical socialisation period so im concentrating on making sure I expose her to as many new people and experiences as possible. Lucky for me Kali’s arrival coincided with the children’s school holidays which equates to lots of families visiting my llama trekking centre. This has been brilliant as at the end of the sessions I have been able to take her to say hello. This has meant she has met lots of children of various ages. In the socialisation film you can see how I control these socialisation sessions and use Kali’s favourite Natural Instinct Beef Jerky and liver treats to create a positive association.

In one of my earlier posts I told you about Kali’s excessive grabbing behaviour particularly towards clothing. I have helped lots of puppy owners who are having this problem. Some breeds are more inclined to offer this behaviour than others. To the puppy it is a natural behaviour, however it is imperative that it is stopped as soon as possible, as it can develop into a serious problem. Kali is definitely an extreme case!

I have used conditioning techniques to tackle this behaviour in Kali. Through teaching the ‘No’ and developing this using tug games. I have taught her to stop tugging and let go of her tug toy when I say ‘NO’, I was then able to transfer this across to the problem behaviour and stop her by using my verbal command. This has over the week resulted in her trouser ripping behaviour completely disappearing .

You can see in the film how severe the behaviour was. The film shows an early training session, note how happy she is as I work with her and how she responds.

The success is down to me being able to communicate with her clearly so she understands not to do it and then positively reinforcing her good response with a reward. A great result for both myself and Kali.

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