Also called the See-saw, this is one of the more difficult obstacles for dogs to become confident on. To them it looks like a dogwalk plank, except they should (if the teeter is built right) be able to see a part of the base extending on each side in the center. This helps the dog (in addition to you telling the dog it is a “Teeter”) to remember to slow down on this obstacle. To introduce your dog to this obstacle, it is best if you can lower the plank, and slowly raise it. But if you don’t have an adjustable teeter, you really need to have a friend on the other side, to help steady and guide your dog over the plank. Hold the leash tightly close to the neck, and guide his nose low to the plank with a treat. Stop in the middle, and have your friend use their free hand to keep the plank from falling too fast. Edge your dog inch by inch, telling your dog to wait, while the plank slowly moves down. It will be a bit awkward at first, and if it helps, a third person can control the plank. As your dog gets more confident, allow your dog to control the pivot, and not you. But still guide the board down so it doesn’t “bang”. Soon you should be able to let the board hit harder. It is also important that your dog pauses and waits at the top of the plank, after controlling the pivot. This prevent losing points on future “fly-offs”, a common problem, in which dogs jump to the bottom and off the plank before the plank hits the ground.
Crate training is a method of house training your puppy or dog. The crate is used to keep your dog confined when you are not able to supervise him. Since most dogs will not go to the bathroom in the same place they sleep, your dog will most likely try to hold it when he is confined to his crate. This prevents him from getting in the bad habit of having accidents in your home.
You’ll want to vary at what point in your “getting ready to leave” routine you put your dog in the crate. Although you shouldn’t crate them for a long time before you leave, anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving is fine.
Dogs chosen for the Agency training course are hand selected by CIA trainers primarily from Susquehanna Service Dogs and Puppies Behind Bars, a program that pairs inmates with puppies to teach the dogs basic commands. Most of the Agency K-9s are Labradors, known for their intelligence and—most importantly—their unwavering good temperament. The dogs go through a six-week “imprinting” class, where they learn to identify thousands of explosive scents, and are then carefully matched with a CIA SPS K-9 handler. The dog and handler undergo an additional 10 weeks of intense one-on-one training, learning to work together as a team to find explosives in things such as cars, trucks and luggage. Once they pass the final test, the teams are deployed to sites throughout the world, working as the first line of defense against explosive threats to Agency personnel and buildings.
Oh – the reason I have to open the crate door a little bit is because it’s a zipper door (nylon camper style crate). She doesn’t chew it anymore (during her really active chewing days we used a wire crate).
Consequences must be immediate Dogs live in the present. Unlike us, they can’t make connections between events and experiences that are separated in time. For your dog to connect something she does with the consequences of that behavior, the consequences must be immediate. If you want to discourage your dog from doing something, you have to catch her with her paw in the proverbial cookie jar. For example, if your dog gets too rough during play and mouths your arm, try saying “OUCH!” right at the moment you feel her teeth touch your skin. Then abruptly end playtime. The message is immediate and clear: Mouthing on people results in no more fun. Rewards for good behavior must come right after that behavior has happened, too. Say a child in a classroom answers a teacher’s question correctly, gets up from his desk, sharpens his pencil and then punches another kid in the arm on the way back to his seat. Then the teacher says, “Good job, Billy!” and offers him a piece of candy. What did Billy get the candy for? Timing is crucial. So be prepared to reward your dog with treats, praise, petting and play the instant she does something you like.
By taking the time to go through small incremental steps, from slowly introducing your puppy to the crate, to spending small but increasing amounts of time in there, they will learn to love it and you can both enjoy the enormous benefits it offers.
The first time your puppy jumps on you, it may be cute. After a number of times, you may try to push her off. To your puppy, a push can mean rough play. So she does what any normal puppy would do – she jumps with greater intensity to interact with you.
As explained in a video released by the CIA, K-9 Corps puppies start life in civilian training programs like Puppies Behind Bars and seeing eye dog programs. Once they reach one year of age, they’re ready to begin learning how to sniff out explosives. Dogs entering the K-9 corps are matched with a handler and go through an intensive 10-week training program, where they learn to identify over 9,000 different explosive scents.
If your dog is having trouble, start small. Have him stay for a count of one, and then offer a treat. Gradually increase the amount of time you have him stay. Once he is able to stay for 5 seconds or more, practice with lots of distractions, just as he will experience at an agility trial.
Start again. Begin to walk in such a way that the dog is at an angle beside you or is behind you. As the dog catches up, drop the food behind you (or next to your pant leg). Once the dog has eaten the food and is coming back toward you, start walking away from him again. Try for more steps before dropping. Timing is everything! Don’t let the dog get in front of you. If he does, pivot away, wait till he catches up BUT is next to you or slightly behind you (or his nose is at your pant seam), and drop the food.