The first thing I did was throw the pinch collar away and I let Cooper see me do it. I don't know if he understood but it made me feel better to do it.
Cooper and I played a lot yesterday, building the trust thing. I have been trying different words and different tones of my voice that get his attention, and "HEY" said in a louder tone than my usual tone and in a firm tone get's his attention. Whenever he stops I get up and go rub him and tell him good boy.
I have a question. How many treats are too many treats? I realize that treats work with training, but how many are too many? Right now, I just have bones from Walmart, he loves them, but I'm sure they're the cheap kind (my Mom brought them with Cooper), so I'm afraid that giving him to many of them to praise them might not be healthy for him. Are there healthy treats that you can give them an unlimited amount of?
Anyway, we played ball a lot yesterday. One thing that happened that was funny was, we bought him one of those small little plastic swimming pools because our neighbor's retriever loves his. Well Cooper doesn't care for it, he mainly uses it as a water bowl
. However, his ball went into the pool. I started to get upt to get it, but I decided to see what he would do. We had just gotten a lot of rain and the little pool was full. I was cracking up watching him. At first he would just keep poking his nose at the water, then he decided to be brave and go for the ball, that because it had a whole in it, went to the bottom of the pool. Several times he stuck his face in it, but for some reason, he was misjuding where the ball was, he'd come up spitting and snorting. It was quite funny to watch, but after a few times I decided to get the ball out for him.
When my husband got home, I let him read what you all had written and he agreed that we were doing things all wrong. I told him "honey, we have just had him a week and we expect him to know what we expect of him and listen to us". I told him how we had to build trust with Cooper and he agreed. So last night, both of us went out and sat on the deck and just played and played with Cooper. I think we wore him out, which he did to us also.
Deja, I think my husband thinks we have the snap leash that you were talking about. It lets him go out about six feet, but you can reign him back in. Now I haven't been able to try walking him with this without the pinch collar so I don't know how that will go just yet. He's sooooo strong and pulls when walking. However, when I took him out to potty last night, I just brought it with me and when he was done, which took quite some time because he thinks I'm taking him out there to hunt frogs and such, I just clipped the leash to his collar, held him close to me, guided him up the stairs and right into his cage. No drama. Then I pet him and said "good boy" and gave him a treat. He has a favorite squeeze bear that I bought him and I threw that in their with him. He was sleeping on it in no time.
I feel so much better. I can't thank you guys enough for the knowledge and support. I know we still have a ways to go, but I see that if you do it in the correct way, it all can and will be accomplished.
Right now, it's storming outside so I doubt that we will have much time to go out. Do you recommend playing with him in the house or should we refrain from that since we want him to be calm in the house?
Thanks so much for your patience with all these questions, I'm sure there will come a time that you'll say "oh no, not her again"...lol.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day today.