Faith Brown

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Hi all! I am a manager at a dog daycare+boarding+training facility in Montana. I like to watch movies, play video games, train&hangout with my dog and partner. :)

How can we encourage requesting?

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We've been working w outside for a while, it's been going great and we have a routine where if he is nonverbally requesting to go outside, we bring him to the button and ask "do you want outside" and he'll press it
But he won't approach the button and press it unless we ask and stand near it
Is there a way to encourage him to "ask us" for what he wants without us having to ask him first? Tonight he was hardcore telling us he needed to go out, I think he heard a noise or something but for like 20 minutes we waited him out (just to see what he would do) and eventually he gave up and laid down somewhere. So we got up and asked about wanting outside and then he walked over to the button and he pressed it. We let him out at least every 2-3 hours so rarely does he ever have an "absolute need" to go outside I guess. Any suggestions are welcome!Β 

Another note: we did introduce "play" today and he did spend some time smacking the play button over and over and did seem to figure out there's a new word and it's different.Β 

Some progress!

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Today while I was at work, Philip was working with Esco on his outside button. We are at day 4 and have been prompting him to use his outside button by saying "outside" when he is already nonverbally signaling he wants to go outside, and then walking over to his button and say "outside" again and then direct his attention and eyes down to the button, we point to button while saying "outside" and repeat "use your buttons" and he presses it.

The progress today was, Philip asked Esco if he wanted to go outside (after Esco nonverbally signaled he did by standing at the front door) and then he said "outside" and said "uyourseyour buttons", but did not point or guide his eyes to the button. Esco looked down and pressed it on his own without us guiding him to it! Yay! We still need to ask about whether he wants outside and then say use your buttons, but we don't need to actually point at it and show him. Woohooooo!! πŸŽ‰
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Faith and Esco

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Hi guys! My name is Faith, and my dog's name is Esco!
Some information about us!
I'm 24. I'm currently an overnight boarding manager at a dog daycare+boarding+training facility and have been at SkyHi for almost two years. I love working with dogs, learning about dog behavior, hiking, video games, movies, jigsaw puzzles and music!Β 
We (me and my partner Philip) got Esco when he was a year and a half old. We did a DNA test and he is about 30% border collie, 12% boxer, 12% Australian cattle dog, 12% Australian shep, and a bunch of "breed groups". He was rescued by his previous owners at 4weeks old from a reservation in MT, along with his sister. He's almost 5 now (in July) and we have been through a long journey with him! Teaching him how to walk on a leash, dealing with leash reactivity to dogs/cars/people, anxiety. After almost 4 years, we have had great success with him! He goes to work (daycare) with me about 2-3 times a week, we off leash hike him and does fantastic with other dogs, still a little leash reactive to dogs but nowhere near where he used to be. He does great with people and cars on leash now! πŸ₯° I am beyond proud of him.Β 

I decided to try to teach him buttons after a long discussion with Philip about how he may respond to them, already almost being 5. He knows a bunch of different words and already associates them with things. Outside, work, walk, mom, dad, go find, get it, where's ___, friends, play. He knows several commands: sit, shake (both paws), sit pretty (we use the word cuteness), lay down, roll over, high five, get it (usually a toy), kiss, and he does balance treats on his nose. Very praise and food/toy motivated. I really hope that he can pick up on this and we can be even closer with him and his amazing personality. He and I have bonded moreso than him and Philip. He is attached to my hip at home usually, and at work, but does board at work overnight occasionally and has no separation anxiety which is great! He has helped with my depressionl/anxiety/CVS greatly and comforts me when I'm in an episode (seeks me out, lays directly on my lap, encourages me to pet him). Very attentive and curious boy.Β 

I received our tester Kit from FluentPet in the mail today and have started modeling "outside". Within 5 minutes, he booped the outside button twice! Very proud. We will be hopefully making great strides and I'd love any tips! I think my biggest concern is actually getting him to press the buttons/look down at them. His toy basket is near the buttons, should I move that somewhere else so he doesn't get fixated on his toys instead of the buttons? I'm going to be doing a bunch of reading on this website and will hopefully pick up some awesome tips! Thanks everyone! ☺️☺️
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