~Modified Training/Staying Positive
Loki and I are making the best of things during these unusual times. Modified training moves forward, and this summer Loki got to try out the ATV’S. Apparently it’s not so different from the snowmobile– a couple of treats, and we were off! The goggles (RexSpecs) are not his favorite, but they were helpful in the dust.
One of the biggest things we worked on this summer was obedience. I’ve learned a lot in my time with Loki, and we’re getting close to where we want to be, which is strong off-leash reliability. One of the most important things we have to do is a remote down, which we use as an emergency stop. I use a voice command and a hand signal that he can see at a distance, and no matter what he is doing he must immediately drop into a down. We really struggled with this until I figured out to use his ball as motivation, and we made it into a game with fetch as his reward. I’ve learned for Loki that his obedience training needs a balance of games, while also firmly enforcing the commands when needed.
We had a nice little adventure this summer on a backpacking trip. Loki has his own pack so that he can carry his bulky (but light) sleeping bag and pad. The best part is that he can now carry out his own poop bags!
Happy early Thanksgiving 🙂
Erica + Loki
As you might remember, Loki is involved with Search and Rescue; therefore, absolute obedience is a must. While he is in training, nothing could be more accurate than Erica is also growing and learning how to get compliance. Their journey together is different than the average pet person–but every experience is fraught with potential issues. It is nothing short of amazing to see what they have achieved together. We know it has required a lot of dedication and hard work. Erica, thank you for what you and for remembering us with the update.
It has been a little while since I have sent an update on Pushkin. How can I resist this face of anticipation? Push loves to play fetch. As soon as we get up in the morning he has his ball in his mouth, even as he heads out the door to take care of his morning necessities. I can hardly remember what it is like to have a morning cup of coffee without having a ball dropped in my lap and Push waiting, rather impatiently, for me to toss it to him. He loves to catch it in mid-air.
Advanced Obedience Again
I have decided that we are going to take the advanced obedience class a second time, more for my benefit than for Push. When we took it previously I was in an orthopedic boot due to a broken foot. The foot has healed so maybe I can keep up with him this time.
The Ease of it is not lost on me
I also want to let you know that when the local feed store closed down the in December, I decided to try Chewy to get the Diamond Naturals dog food. The food was actually a few dollars less from them. It was delivered as promised and in good condition. I would highly recommend them to anyone.
Push is a high energy, stubborn, independent, and totally lovable boy. Thank you for such a great dog. ~Marie
Hello Marie! Thank you, for the regular updates on you and your OwyheeStar Weims. We love the effort you have put into Pushkin’s training–even when you were challenged to keep up. You are a great Weimlover!
Readers–if you want to revisit the last Pushkin update–click here! If you don’t remember the backdrop to the earning of the certificate, you will want to take the time to read Marie’s story. I think it will put a smile on your face.
First we are the student; then a teacher
The job of a teacher is to instruct in a manner in which the student not only understands the concept, but is inspired to embrace it. This also implies communication takes place; the act of communicating is more than speaking, showing, hearing, or watching. Merriam-Webster defines communication as:
Jan Maguson, Pet Advocate Extraordinaire
Jan Magnuson— Successful dog ownership is like a dance, and is all about respect. I tell my obedience students it is important to work WITH your dog, not against him- be the (calm, kind and firm) leader. When I am contacted about dogs with severe behavior issues, the one common denominator is that the problem(s) has been going on for a while, so the behavior(s) has been repeated over and over; it makes it SO much more difficult to solve than if the dog owner had addressed it immediately, as almost every bad behavior can be “nipped in the bud”. Having a dog’s respect is of ultimate importance, as if your dog does not respect you, you will never have a trained, well-behaved dog, period. Dogs respect calm, kind, firm leaders; folks who are nervous, get angry with their dog and are scattered do best when they learn to settle down, be loving and consistent with their dogs. Remember to be the leader in the dance and you will waltz through life with your canine companion!
Are you a Master Teacher
and/or an Expert Student?
We are not all master teachers. We do not all excel at learning in the same manner.
Despite this fact, we can all achieve success using the right approach. The effective instructor wants to make sure their pupil (or audience) is grasping the concept. Sure, some folks never implement the concept learned. The path to failure is paved with good intentions. Regardless, to fail because you embraced the wrong concept, or you didn’t understand the principle is unthinkable. In the information age, we are more apt to experience the former setback.
Abundant Advice Abounds
Everyone is an expert. Everyone wants to show you how to do it the right way. If it worked for them, then they are positive it will work for you. That is not always true. The effective communicator often employs several visual, and hands-on techniques to help their pupil achieve the desired outcome.
Comparisons are best avoided
When it comes to canine training, there are so many variables. This situation is not a one-size-fit all one. Jan alludes to this fact by referring to dog ownership as a dance. We don’t all have the same skill set. The dog, and the environment will be unique. Isn’t that a part of the thrill? As the two of you find your way, (and dance the dance) it is a very personal experience. Unconditional love, trust, and respect can weave a gorgeously unique one-of-a-kind tapestry. In your life, you may be privileged to have more than one of these experiences; however, each one will have its own twist. There will be the surprising sidestep, or dip that the two of share. Embrace the uniqueness, and forget comparing this experience to any other–previous dogs, or your friend’s experience.
Good Leaders are followed
A good leader can waltz their partner around the room, making them look skilled. This is true even if the dance partner is inept (or inexperienced). Nonetheless, the leader will need a willing participant. An acceptable outcome depends upon having a participant. Even if they are reluctant, a good leader can make something happen. Then, with a positive experience in the back-pocket, there is something to build upon.
Like two humans who hit the waltz floor, our dog will have to want to follow our lead–participate. There must be a relationship, and a desire to dance. This cannot be dictated. It is evoked, as we engage the Weimaraner in a fun, but controlled activity. Respect, and relationship make the dance possible. The dance steps are dictated by the depth of your Weim’s respect as well as your relationship. This doesn’t happen overnight. The dancing Weimaraner is unlike any other relationship (in our biased opinion). No, they are not for everyone, but for some, they are the only worthy dance partner.