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30-day challenge: Teach your dog five new commands (days 25-27)

With three more days left in our challenge, I better get going.

Ace will now do all five commands. The problem is he only does them … sometimes. And he won’t do them all in a row. He needs a lot more work (probably another month), but at least we are off to a good start.

The hardest part of this challenge is just sticking with it. I want to give up if Ace doesn’t pick up on something right away. But it takes time for a dog to learn something new, and it’s not fair to the dog to expect him to learn something too fast.

With the command bang, Ace will do it about 60 percent of the time. The other 40 percent, he either waits until I repeat the command (bad training on my part) or I have to just put him on his side and then he stays. He still has issues with his head popping right back up (he doesn’t want to miss what’s going on) and the tail is always wagging. Dead dogs don’t wag their tails, Ace!

Ace likes to crawl now! But he likes to keep his back end up so he can move quicker. I’ve been keeping my hand on his back to get him to crawl really low. We have a low coffee table that I should have him crawl under because that would require him to keep his butt down.

We haven’t practiced “bucket” outside with a ball in a long time, but he’s been bringing and dropping his toys in a bucket indoors. It still seems like it hasn’t fully clicked in that dog brain, though. If he understood, wouldn’t he do it right all the time?

Same goes with “go long.” He will do it sometimes. I don’t think he fully understands. Or maybe he just thinks I’m a sucker and will throw the ball when he’s just standing there right next to me. After all, that’s what I’ve done for a year and a half.

And as for roll over, I think it is finally starting to click. He does it outside now every time I ask. But inside he gets confused because that’s where we’ve practiced crawl and bang. So when I say “roll over,” he crawls. This morning, though, he rolled over on command two times in a row. That’s the first time he’s done it right indoors.

So, we’re getting somewhere, but slowly. Whatever it is you are working on with your dog, keep at it.

Today is day 27 of my 30-day challenge to teach my dog five new commands. To see my other 30-day challenge posts, click here.

Cute black lab mix lying on a balcony


Tuesday 29th of July 2008

These 30-day challenges are tough! I've had in mind taking my 3-month-old puppy to 30 new places in 30 days, but he keeping getting tired, stressed out, etc. Maybe he's more of a homebody like me. Shorter stays in the new place might work.

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Saint Lover

Tuesday 29th of July 2008

Well done with your challenge. :) I knew you could accomplish it!

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Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 29th of July 2008

Ace does the same thing, especially when we first started working on this. He barks at me whenever he is frustrated. He's like, "What do you want me to do?!"


Tuesday 29th of July 2008

That might help. Penny's not as food obsessed as the Shelties are, but you never know, I'll have to give it a try and see. She gets frustrated quickly and barks at me, like..."what is wrong with you? Just pick up the ball and throw it like you always do!"

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 28th of July 2008

Ace is still learning, Marie. He does pretty well if I say "bucket" and point to the bucket when he has a ball in his mouth. He is figuring out that I don't throw it unless he puts it in the bucket. That is enough motivation for a ball-obsessed mutt. I am trying to get to the point where I don't have to point, and then to the point where I don't have to stand right next to the bucket. It's a hard one for us. Does it work to give Penny a treat when she does it right? This doesn't work for Ace because he cares more about the ball than he does food.