Dog thoughts

1) The score for the night stands at:

Concrete: 0

Me: 0

I tried to install my tie offs. I did! I gouged a chunk of concrete out of the wall, so the wall didn’t win. But I was trying to get a nail in…so I didn’t win either. If anyone knows a good way to pound nails into a concrete wall, I’m all ears!

(This is dog related. It happened at Companions. So there.)

2) I am tentatively very excited about this class! Three people, they asked more questions than anyone ever has at one of these first classes (no dogs, just talking about positive training philosophy, clicker training, what to bring, doing paperwork). Which was awesome. Except for the person who had been told by another trainer to not use a head collar

because it makes the dog feel embarassed, and to instead use a prong collar.

Look at those. Which would you rather wear? She questioned me when I recommended the head collar to another student who asked about it, then was visibly doubtful when I explained why I disagreed with the other trainer, and that I thought if used properly a head collar was a very powerful tool. Evidently her dog has failed out of obedience class once…so she has experience with another training style. Yaaay… Really, I don’t mind people questioning me, just after my lovely student I kind of don’t want to deal with someone super resistant to positive training again. Hopefully when she sees results she’ll buy in. But that aside, a group of interested, questioning people are awesome! And as long as she’ll meet me half-way, I’m used to working with people at varying degrees of positive training. I’m happy to not use a clicker, or adapt any other way, as long as it’s positive-based. My favorite student last class actually hated the clicker. I’m flexible!

3)  I need help naming this trick:

Here it is from above:

When his hair is short, he looks up at you with his big eyes. It’s totally grown out right now, he’s due for a haircut!

What should we call it?

One of my students calls this “chillaxing.” She tells her dog to chillax, and her dog drops her chin over one paw on the ground. It’s perfect for her dog! But it’s not quite right for mine. So…what does Toby’s position make you think of? The book I got the idea from calls it “Say sorry,” but that seems a bit negative. I’ve thought of something along the lines of, “Show me the puppy dog eyes,” but again, not quite right. Thoughts?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Dog thoughts

  1. 1) I asked the hubby about the tie-offs and he said that (from an older picture you posted) the walls look like hollow tile bricks and that you CAN anchor the tie-offs to it, but you’re likely run into the problem of dogs strong enough to break them off since the hollow tile bricks are only about 1/4 inch thick. He said if you have somewhere else to anchor them it would be best. Otherwise, he says to ask a construction person LOL.

    2) I’m so glad your class went so well. Having people that WANT to learn and teach their dogs is going to be so wonderful!

    3) That trick is just too cute! What to call it….I like “Gimme the eyes” and your “Show me the puppy dog eyes” pretty much get its. Toby is so stinking cute!

    • Yes, I do think that that is what I have, which is why I’m a bit nervous..but I still want to try. Even if only for small dogs, it would be nice to have. Plus I got like 3/16″ gouged out of the concrete and I still wasn’t through the whole block, so who knows how thick it is! lol. Thanks for the name input!

  2. the trainer at petco that we’re going to recommends those “gentle leaders” too.

    i think it looks like a “pout”! :) hehe. so cute!

    • Gentle Leaders are incredible. I worked with a Great Dane a woman flat-out could not walk, because the dog could pull her over with no effort. We put on a Gentle Leader, and 5 minutes later she was walking the dog one-handed, totally relaxed. They really are power steering for dogs!

      Hehe, thanks for the idea! I like it!

  3. Question for you…since you mentioned teaching clicker training.

    My Eva’s first introduction to a clicker was in agility class about a year ago…of course, everyone got the clickers in their hands and started click-treat-click-treating. I don’t know if it was all the clickers at once or what, but she became so frightened…cowering down, tail tucked, pulling for the door. You have to know Eva, she’s not afraid of ANYTHING so this reaction was totally a surprise to me. She just ran and hid, was not interested in agility or even taking treats from me, it was a waste of everyone’s time.

    I worked with her over the next couple weeks at home with a quieter kind of clicker, with muffling it in my pocket…and she just got in such a state of anxiety, she won’t take treats, acts like I’m doing something just awful to her…finally I just gave up and we joined a different class where no one was using clickers.

    Have you ever had a dog with a reaction like this? It’s weird, isn’t it?

    • Well that’s no good.

      I have had (a very few) dogs respond negatively to the clicker. When that happens I stop after a single click, take the dog somewhere quiet, and do what you did and introduce it slowly with the sound very muffled. Usually the dog gets used to that sound quieter, and learns to anticipate the treat, and you can increase the noise level. However, it sounds like your dog had a very bad first experience with the sound (or possibly it reminded her of something else she was scared of). You could probably teach her to get over it, but then you get to the question of why? It’s not worth it at that point. You still can use clicker philosophy with a different sound or visual cue (dolphins are trained with whistles, goldfish with light beams), but obviously she wouldn’t want to be in that class! And there are ways to train other than using a clicker that are also great.

      I’m glad you found something that worked for you and your dog!

  4. can you name it a question? could you say ‘sad dog?’ with a question in your voice, or is that not how these things work…

    I LOVE that your overall tone has become so buoyant lately! I liked your voice before, but having the end of your road with ‘that job’ be so close seems to have really uplifted you in general. YAY, YOU!

    • Oh absolutely! They don’t speak English, so you can make your words/tone whatever you want. I like that, “Is something wrong?” Hmm, so many options…

      This reminds me of the time I heard someone ask if, when training their German Shepherd, they would have to learn German. (Not that your question was at all dumb. Theirs, on the other hand…)

      Yay, thank you!!! I love hearing that :-) Because, you know, I live in myself, so I don’t always notice these changes so much. When someone points it out I do, but it is validating to hear it that it really is happening :-) Especially as people at my job tell me I’m crazy :-

  5. Hey Darl,

    He looks SOO cute! And a bit like he’s pondering something deep and meaningful so how about ‘The Thinker’ after the bronze and marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin.

    By the way, I agree with Rachel Honey, lately you have been sounding wonderful. So much more relaxed and happy. It’s terrific to see!

    Mwah x x x

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