Day 3

Willy didn’t bark at the 6:15 peeping toms. That’s a good thing.

I open his crate and give him the hand cue to “stay.” Jesse is sleeping so I have to be quiet. Well I don’t HAVE to be, but out of respect I am. Shhhh.

The hand cue for “stay” is bringing my palm to Willy’s nose. It’s an underhand motion. I whisper “stay” as I do it. The second I back up, Willy tries to come out. I quickly step in front of him and give the “stay” cue. Again. This time he stays. I only make him stay for a few seconds. My criteria is lenient because he’s so new and he’s just now learning the behavior. As he gets it down, I’ll stricken the criteria.

I whisper, “come” as I give the hand cue. The hand cue is another underhand motion. But this time I bring my right hand up to my heart. Willy has no problem understanding this. He quickly comes to me.

I sit on the floor and give him big ol love as I hold him, pet him, scratch him, and massage him. He tries to lick my face. “Willy, no,” I whisper as I prevent him from licking. He eventually stops trying. Then he plops down in my lap and completely submits to me as I carry on with what’s becoming our morning ritual.

Jesse gets up as I’m still loving on Willy. Willy gets up off me and goes over to Jesse. Jesse ignores Willy as he grabs his towel and leaves the cell. I guess some people aren’t morning people. Oh well. “Willy, come…I’ll give you some love.” He does. And the love fest continues.

9 am
Time to go outside. “Willy, wanna go outside? Wanna go outside?” Willy gets excited. He clearly understands.

“Willy, sit.”
He doesn’t.
I make him.

“Good boy, ” I say as I offer him a treat. He sniffs it but doesn’t take it. He’s still adjusting to his new environment. At this point he’s more praise driven than treat driven.

As we navigate to the outdoors I say, “Willy, heel.” He does.

I deliberately slow down and Willy drifts out of position. I discipline him by giving him a leash correction as I say, “Willy, heel.”

Every time he is on leash this process takes place:

We get to the door.
“Willy, sit.” He doesn’t.
I make him.
“Good boy Willy.”

Being consistent will pay off.

We get outside and go to the potty area. “Willy, break.” I keep saying it until he goes potty. The second he’s done, I throw him a mini party with tons of praise and affection. Then I say, “go play” as I let him lead the way.

Willy explores the fence line, sniffing everything. I just follow him as I hold his leash. His tail is wagging and he’s happy. Every time I say, “Willy, come!” He does, without fail. I lavish him with tons of praise and affection.

Let me see how he responds to a little training session.

“Willy, heel.”
He comes up to my left leg and kinda gets in position. I’m impressed! I know Jesse worked with him a little yesterday, but I didn’t think it was enough to see any results. This dog is smart and learns fast!

I spend the next hour walking laps with Willy. We train and play.

I make him keep his head by my left knee as I constantly say, “Willy heel…good boy!”

When he gets out of position, I discipline him with a leash correction as I say, “No!” in a firm authoritative tone. Then I immediately say, “Willy, heel!” in a fun enthusiastic tone.

I give him approximately 5 seconds to comply before administering another leash correction. Then I pull him into position and make him comply. The second he complies, I lavish him with praise. Within an hour, Willy is heeling like a champ!

The Adventures of Willy
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Days 4 & 5