Socialization Step 5 – The Work of Learning to Be a Dog

Todd started working with Mystic at Dog Gone Smart. 

Maremmas are not known as easily trained. They are just too independent. But Mystic is taking to it very well.

Todd started Mystic with the basics in swimming and leash walking.

Since that went so well we progressed to standard commands and behaviors like sit and stay until released and “Go to Bed’.

Todd used the standard techniques we use at the canine center for training.

For sit and stay, Todd started Mystic with a sit cue followed by a verbal keep going signal, “Good”, and then a click and a treat to mark the completion of the behavior.

Noticeably, Todd uses a high pitched voice when working with Mystic. Go see some of the videos you’ll recognize some of the techniques we’ve previously gone over on these pages.

An important element is that when Todd feeds Mystic the treat, he first brings the treat to his face and then feeds the treat from his face. That keeps Mystic focused on Todd and not any other distractions. Mystic wants the treat, so he keeps watching Todd intently until the whole process ends.

And the process isn't over until Todd releases Mystic. That makes the whole thing a complete cycle.

And that’s how it’s done. Over and over again. Repetition. Until it’s a natural behavior.

There are no shortcuts to this. It can take a hundred repetitions over the course of weeks to teach a behavior so it sticks. But it’s worth it.

Todd also trained Mystic on “Go to bed”, which is like it sounds. Teaching Mystic learning to go to his bed when giving the verbal cue.

Maremmas are very independent. Untrainable according to some Maremma experts. Mystic would disagree.

He’s a great student. I’m very proud of how far he has come.

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