Also, before getting Susan Garrett's book, wondering if you can give me an example of a crate game? At this point we do some self control exercises in the crate but I'm sure Garrett has some good ideas.
Ummm, I haven't even looked at the DVD in a while. There are a LOT of progressive exercises, ranging from simply going into and out of the crate to using the crate as a target in agility work and many other things. I'm not sure I can give you a single example that would show the value of the DVD. Her "Success with One Jump" is great too, but more an outdoor sort of thing unless you have LOTS of room indoors.
We use the Premier no pull harness. It works somewhat. Once he's pulling I can redirect him but he is still so often out in front. He does respond to "side" but I suppose it's me - I get tired of having to keep repeating it. And he will come to side. It's just - how do I get him to stay there?
Remember, you shouldn't really "redirect" him, nor should you tell him "side." If he pulls, you simply stop dead until HE remembers where he should be! Also, is there a specific reason he must remain at your side? I have a looser criteria for Kodi on casual walks. He must maintain the same general direction as me, and I don't want him to pull. Other than that, I don't mind if he drops behind for a second to sniff something, or takes the lead as we are walking. (his preferred position on walks, actually!) BUT, if he pulls AT ALL, he needs to be back at my side, with a shorter leash. This is where he is least likely to get distracted or over-excited. When he's calm again, he is allowed to have more freedom. While he clearly understands these rules, and mostly abides by them now, he IS still a dog, and things like a squirrel or rabbit can catch his attention and make him "forget".
These are the times the harness is a great reminder.
It is very important to me that Kodi understand that there are times for formal heeling, and times for casual, loose leash walking. It's not good for a dog's neck and back to maintain the formal "heads up" heeling position for long periods of time. When we are not in the ring, I want him to respect my space and not pull, but other than that, I just want us to be able to walk companionably. Even in his preferred position, which is out in front of me, he is completely aware of where I am and what I'm doing, as proven by the fact that he knows which way we are turning at street corners. He can only get this information from me, since we don't go the same way every day!
That said, this understanding between us developed over a LONG period of time, and I'd bet he was closer to 2 before he was really reliable about it. (and he STILL tries to pull more with my DH) The important thing is to decide what your criteria are, and be VERY consistent about reinforcing! BTW, that's another great thing about Susan Garrett's DVD's... they will teach YOU a lot about setting and maintaining criteria, a really important part of dog training. A LOT of the problems people have with dog training is that THEY aren't clear and consistent about their own criteria, so it is very difficult for the dog to learn what the rules of the game are!
By the way, I'm afraid Charley is no longer interested in the litter box. And I need to figure out how to get him back into it. Any ideas? Even if I am out ALL day he will wait until I get home to go outside.
Kodi went through a period of being unwilling to use the box too. We just made sure it was always available. Over time, he decided on his own that there were times (pouring rain, deep snow) when the litter box was more attractive than the alternative!!! I think I mentioned that yesterday, after the storm, he TRIED to find an "acceptable" spot outside, and finally came in and used his box under protest.
It's fine with me if he wants to hold it until I get home. But i want him to KNOW he has an alternative if he needs it. They DO remember!