First of all, it's much harder than you think. Old dogs are stubborn, they are set in their ways, (kinda like old husbands). But I think eventually it can be done. I wish I could say that after a week of trying they were perfect little angels but they aren't. Although having all those great treats around made them VERY interested in listening to me. We practiced in our yard just in case another animal or person distracted them and they took off. I couldn't risk another massive bruise on legs from them pulling me down.
During the training I tried splitting them up. I think one gets over excited and then the other follows suit. But I also thought that maybe the big dog doing it right would teach the smaller dog to chill out and listen. So I ended up trying both ways. I believe they were better alone. They listened to me much better. They both started listening to JaMonkey as well which they never have before now. That was a huge task in itself, realizing that she was a leader in pack also.
After getting them to calm down, sit in place so that we could put leases on them we took them around one at a time. After fighting with the little dog to stay next to use he finally got the hint and was excited when he realized he'd get a Milk-Bone® treat for doing it right. It's a breeze when they realize that, however it takes some remembering each time we practice.
The bigger dog is much better. He is going to need more “real life” training for being around other animals and for that I need my husbands strength. He's a big dog!
He did great in our yard practicing. Especially when JaMonkey was walking him.
The best rewards are the looks of joy on their faces when they get those treats! So far it's been a success but the true test will be this weekend when we take them for a walk through our neighborhood. I'm sure they will do great.
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