A Few Photos and Farewell

Shakespeare balanced on hindquarters, paws way overhead


I mentioned in my last post that I wished I had more good-quality photos of Shakespeare. (Most of his work was in the days before there were decent cameras in phones.) So my mom sent me some more pictures she had, and I pulled a few more from my own collection.

He never did the least possible to get by — he loved training. Once I sent two trainers-in-training out with Shakespeare to train an arbitrary behavior I’d come up with to help them grasp a concept. Two and a half hours later, the two trainers were exhausted and done, but Shakespeare was still offering behaviors and ready to continue!

Shakespeare lying on a mat, attentive and alert

Alert and attentive, ready for the next big thing.

I love this pic, taken at the annual Doberman Club of Indiana picnic. This is what he looked like most of the time, attentive and ready. Note that he’s nine years old here — lean and not a speck of grey! He (and Laev, too) was often mistaken for much younger.

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My friend and brilliant photographer Amanda took some headshots for me and the dogs, for workshop publicity and things. Amanda had told me she was very afraid of dogs, and of Dobermans and Rottweilers in particular. But a day later, she was sitting on the couch with Shakespeare and my other dogs, and three days later she was shaping new behaviors in Shakespeare. Today Amanda even talks about clicker training with her photography customers.

One of the biggest and most amazing things I’ve heard from people this week is how Shakespeare shaped (ha!) their exposure to clicker training — that Shakespeare was instrumental to their training education or even to their adoption of new techniques at all. And that’s simply awesome. I can think of few more wonderful things to say about him. So thank you, all of you. That’s been huge.

He’s on his couch right now, napping after our wandering the property this morning. He’s having a good last day. I really appreciate all the kind words everyone has sent; it helps to know the difference he’s made for others as well.

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About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.

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  1. As I read this post, I was playing tug with my 5 month old puppy, who is a ball of life and energy that cannot be denied. He is my first young puppy, and as we go through all of the beginnings- first behavior, first shaping session, first adult tooth- I can’t help but think about the end of things as well. I can only hope that when that time comes, he has had as long and as rich a life as Shakespeare’s.

    Your writing, and therefor Shakespeare and Laev, had a big impact on me when I was first getting started in dog training. Thank you. I’m holding you all in my thoughts.

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