The past couple of months, we’ve been training up a storm here at Dog Town SA for a special project we did with our dogs. This was a great opportunity for me to learn what the furies under my care were good at, and what they weren’t so great at. Knowing what they are good at would give me a starting point for building even more skills.
Rozzie and Zeus are two completely opposite personalities. Rozzie is a little pocket rocket, a teacher’s pet if you will, imagine her having her paw up to answer every question asked in class. She tries all sorts of things for a click and a treat. And then there is Zeus, when I started working with him he mostly stood and watched Rozzie, yawned, stretched and then lay down.
Working with two dogs at the same time presented a challenge, yes I could have crated one of them but they wanted to earn rewards so badly, that they’d cause quite a distraction. I had to take a couple of steps back; I had to teach them what I needed them to do so that I’d be able to do individual training, even though both of them were there.
Zeus was the easiest; I just rewarded him for what he was doing anyway so that he’d continue to be calm when I was working with Rozzie. Rozzie on the other hand, did everything but sit still, but I found that giving her a brain toy kept her quite happy. Of course she checked in every now and then, but she soon realised that intervening with Zeus’ session wasn’t as rewarding as the toy on the other side of the run.
I changed Zeus’ bored stretches into play bows and Rozzie’s pawing into a couple of fun high fives and waves. Training two dogs at the same time can be a little tricky, but it can also result in quite a couple of laughs. As long as the dogs are having fun, that’s the most important thing.