Day 6

Willy is very ball driven. He loves the pink handball we have. The only problem is, he doesn’t like to give it back. Time for a little in-cell training.

“Willy, come!”
He does. I praise, “God boy Willy.”

“Willy, sit!”
He does. “Good boy!”

I clip the leash on him. Then I go sit in the corner and throw the handball, “Get it Willy!”

The ball bounces all over the cell as it ricochets off the desks, shelves, bunks, and walls. Willy goes crazy as he slips and slides all over the cell trying to get it. As the ball slows down he finally gets it.

“Willy, come!”
He does, with ball in mouth.

“Willy, drop it,” I say as I hold my hand under his mouth.
He ignores me.

I grab the leash and give him a nice firm leash correction as I say, “DROP IT!” in a firm authoritative tone. He immediately drops it.

For the next 20 minutes we do it over and over again. For the first few reps, I have to discipline him via leash correction. By the end of the session Willy is dropping the ball directly in my hand. Not all dogs are this easy. Willy is super intelligent and learns very fast.

3:30 pm
Jesse is back from work. From 3:30-4:25, it’s count time. That means we have to stay in the cell until count clears.

I jump up on my bunk and watch Jesse play and bond with Willy. Within ten minutes Jesse teaches Willy the “down” command. Then he teaches Willy to roll over. Unbelievable! Willy just learned two commands in 40 minutes. And no treats were used. Jesse made it a fun game and rewarded Willy with play and praise.

6 pm
Let’s see what else Willy can learn.

“Willy, mat!” I say as I point to his mat.
He walks over to the mat and his front paws step on it.

“Good boy, Willy,” I say as I give him a tiny piece of a milk bone.

“Willy, crate!” I say as I point to his crate.
He goes in. I praise and reward.

“Willy, mat!”
He goes to his mat, but doesn’t go all the way on it. So I help him. Then praise and reward.

Within ten minutes, Willy is going to his mat and in his create, on command.

For the rest of the day, Jesse and I play with Willy as we give him a variety of commands and make him obey. By making a game of it, Willy is eager to please.