Starting a Dog Training Session

On St. Patrick’s Day 2012, I adopted LeeLoo from The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas. If I remember correctly, she had been there for about two months. That’s a long time to be stuck in an animal shelter. LeeLoo was two years old and already spayed, so she no longer had to wait. I got to take her home right away. From that day on, I have been learning about walking a dog, dog and cat friendships, separation anxiety, reactivity to dogs, bike riding with a dog, clicker training, taking a dog camping and more.

When I adopted LeeLoo I didn’t know anything about training dogs, so we started dog training with Marlene Larkin for a few months. It has been a while, but we have started training with Marlene again. I would like to share with you what we’ve been learning and the kind of homework LeeLoo and I have been working on. Honestly, it’s really human training that we do. The better I adjust and adapt to LeeLoo’s behavior, the better she reacts and learns.

The video I am posting today shows how I start training sessions with LeeLoo. All I do is hold out my hand and say touch. When LeeLoo touches my hand with her nose, I click the behavior and give her a treat. We do this a few times. It is rewarding and fun to start off training with something she’s really good at. Marlene suggested that we do this at the beginning of every training session.


Marlene taught LeeLoo to respond to the touch command a couple of years ago. It was a simple exercise. Marlene would put her hand out without saying anything. LeeLoo, being curious, would instinctively touch Marlene’s hand with her nose. Once that happened, Marlene clicked the behavior and gave her a treat. This is called capturing a behavior. It didn’t take long before Marlene was able to add the touch command to the behavior.

*Video Music – Song: I dunno Artist: grapes Album: ccMixter

About misslittleowl

A teacher writing about local happenings, school adventures, intriguing books, desert gardening, and whatever else she stumbles upon that needs sharing.
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