Training Hoop-la

June 5, 2008

On Tuesday this week, we had our second official session with our dog trainer. And the goal of the day was to work on the “stay” command. So this is what happened…

[Everyone, on the count of three… 1…2…3… “awwwwwwwwwwww”]

Doesn’t Brody look a bit forlorn here? And things were just getting underway at this point. You see, to work on “stay,” our trainer first set a hoola hoop on the sidewalk. This was to establish a boundary for the dog. Then we would walk Brody in to the hoop area, tell him SIT and STAY with our hand in front of his face. Now, he was attached to a regular lead (maybe 15 feet) and then an additional line of about 20-30 feet was added to that. So we would tell him STAY and then walk away from him gradually, repeating STAY periodically, and pulling on the leash firmly but gently the whole time. Yes, you read that right…. tell him to “stay” and simultaneously pulling on the lead. Seems odd but it does work, somehow. This is just one of those things where you trust the trainer’s years of experience.

Brody actually did very well. Our goal was to get him to stay while we went all the way to the end of the lead and then waited a good while. If he broke out of the STAY we would say STOP and the trainer would correct him and put him back in position. It got to be quite hilarious at one point, when the trainer decided to throw in some extra distractions as tests… so we tied 3 or 4 white plastic Wal-Mart bags in various places on the leash. Now Brody was sitting there in a hoola hoop, with people saying STAY and pulling on his collar, all with white plastic bags dancing in front of his face! It was quite the event for the neighbors to witness, let me tell you. When we were done, our next door neighbor said that for our next session, she would like to pull out her hoola hoop and use it to train her little boy on the sidewalk next to Brody. THAT will be a Kodak moment if it ever happens.

Incidentally, while I was watching and taking some photos, I happened to look up into the birch tree branches that were right above my head… and I spotted this dove sitting on its nest. (Click for a closer view)

She had been sitting there silently the whole time while I was maybe a foot beneath her. And she never budged even when I took this photo. I guess there must be some eggs in there… I’ll be watching to see if there are any new birds in the near future!



  1. Good dog, Brody! (I wonder if the hoola hoop is the secret to success?)

    Hey, I like the new picture of you waving from the tree house!

  2. Hmmmm….yeah….maybe the hula hoop thing works for traning small people too, ya think??

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