Disappointment, and Reevaluating the Dream

It’s been coming on gradually, but this weekend I finally said it aloud — I’m not sure I’m ever going to title Laev in Schutzhund.

This is really rough for me.  I bought Laev (the first dog I’ve ever purchased, as opposed to adopted from a shelter or rescue group or off the street) specifically for her genetics, developed specifically for this sport.  We started sport-training at 8 weeks old and have never stopped, except for the occasional time off for a minor injury or such.  I’ve worked hard on this, sacrificed other activities to make training time, etc.

But we’re just not beating this gunfire thing, and without that, nothing else matters. Continue reading

Nosework, or, Why Isn’t There More Time In My Week?

tracking

tracking

A year ago, I heard from Steve White of a new sport which could title dogs for identifying odors in scent boxes — very basic detection work.  It sounded too good to be true.

Then this week, Laurie Luck posted about her trip to a seminar on that same sport.  Now I am getting seriously jealous.

Continue reading

Forget Fifth Graders… Is Your Dog Smarter Than A Crab?

I recently had someone tell me, “Clicker training works for your dogs, but my dog is too stupid to learn. She can’t even figure out how to walk down the stairs; there’s no way she could learn to do tricks. She’s just dumb.”

Think your dog isn’t bright enough to train? Keep reading. Continue reading

Clever Dog?

Doberman Shakespeare clicker training book

the honorable Shakespeare To Go

So tonight I sent Shakespeare to fetch a dinner bucket, as I often do.  We feed the dogs in steel pails.  Both Shakespeare and Laev will retrieve buckets when asked; Inky will happily carry her bucket full of food to a more private dining area, but she as yet has no idea that it can also travel empty.  That’s Inky…. Continue reading

Dog Bite Fatalities 2009

This is so important, it needs its own post.

http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/2010/01/2009-dog-bite-fatalities-final-report.html

This is a review of the fatal dog attacks of 2009 and their data — the breeds involved (16 breeds in 32 incidents), the common circumstances, and what we can learn from them for preventing other tragedies.

Dog bites happen, but most can be prevented. And assuming that breed determines behavior, or that banning a breed will make us safe, is foolhardy and even dangerous.

Read it, and see that your legislator reads it, too.