Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My cats

Haha! Kidding. I don't have any. I was going to title the post "My dogs and stuff" but then I thought, ok, really, what else do I write about here? So I thought I'd go for the joke.

Well, Dexter got adopted a couple weekends ago and life is back to normal. I've been very happy with all three dogs lately, except for Lok's "destroying stuff" streak that lasted a week, but seems to have subsided for now. He gets frustrated once in awhile. I don't blame him. I probably would too if I used to be able to see and now couldn't. I've been largely NOT training him lately. Trying to figure out who he is, what he wants in life. He's actually been pretty happy lately. Lots of tail wagging . . . well, lots for Lok. He's not much of a wagger.

Jun has been doing mostly disc work. Set-up moves, still working the RLV, which is coming along VERY nicely. Happy with that. We'll see how it translates to a field. I'm not sure if I'm gonna try it at Pet Expo. I'm not sure if I'm gonna try any vaults at Pet Expo. We shall see. Excited for this nice weather to melt all the snow so we can get out and really play! Last night I taught Jun to close the dish washer by pushing it up with her nose. She caught on really quickly and loved it. I think I'm going to get some plastic dishes for her so I can teach her to "load" the dish washer too. That would be a cute trick and she has all the foundation for it. Oh . . . just had a thought . . . I should probably start with cups and bowls. Plates are probably a little too frisbee-like.

Elo has been a good boy lately. I was just thinking last night about how far he's come since he came to live with me. Playing with all three in the yard used to be frustrating because Elo would spend the entire time alternately stealing the other dogs' toys and barking at EVERYTHING. Well, he no longer steals the other dogs' toys. Instead, he spends his time outside playing fetch or chewing on his OWN toy. He also has gotten SOOOO much better with the barking. If he's involved in a game he generally ignores everything else around him. But now, even when he's tired of playing fetch and is just doing his own thing, I can call him off of almost anything he decides to bark at, even cars driving by the yard--previously an exercise in futility.

I'm not quite sure what happened, and I don't think I can credit my excellent dog training skills for the improvement, cause I didn't really "work on it" at all. There was a point when I decided I wasn't going to tolerate barking anymore and as soon as he went off barking I called him. If he didn't come, I walked him down and then I put him inside in his crate. I only remember doing that a few times though. Maybe that was all it took? Or maybe our relationship has developed to a point where I've become more important than barking at things. When people tell me they're having recall problems with their dog (especially border collies, since I know other breeds aren't as easy), one of the first things I wonder about is what is their relationship with their dog like? Does the dog find being around them to be a good thing? More importantly is the owner seen by the dog as "the source of all good things." I know it's not the only necessary component for a solid recall, but I do think it IS one of the more important ones. Often I hear "practice, practice, practice" as a remedy for a shaky recall. But no matter how much practice you do with a recall, when it counts, your dog is only going to come to you if they have a good reason.

I don't know, but either way, I'm glad he's stopped. Now I don't have to threaten to cut off his other leg with a saw anymore!

1 comment:

  1. yay about Dexter! And it sounds like all dogs are going great. I like the dishwasher trick idea, can't wait to see it!!!

    And i agree with you on the recall. Different breeds do have different distractions or obsessions that can make recalls in certain situations very difficult, and in those cases I think it is a matter of practice, practice, practice, and management. But most of the time I think a shaky recall does boil down to the relationship one has with their dog. I mean if the dog won't even come to the owner inside their own house then that says a lot about what level of connection they have.