Early this morning I saw Laurie’s fuzzy Valentine post about her husband and their dogs. It immediately made me want to write one of my own, but I was traveling by car all day and didn’t get a chance until late tonight.
Before I go any further, I need to emphasize that I have the best parents on earth, and my father did — is doing — a great job.
That said, this post is about a parenting event. 😉 Sorry, Dad!
A thoughtful person gave my friend Melissa a package of candy for her daughter Emma, and Melissa kept them for Sunday morning. Emma is just 3, and sometimes the morning church service gets a bit long, so Emma enjoys earning (silent) reinforcement with games during the sermon. She might repeat a key phrase the pastor used, cite a sermon point, or remain sitting quietly rather than kicking in the pew — her target behaviors vary according to her juvenile abilities and the need of the moment. Continue reading
Have you ever tried to train against a taboo?
There are some who oppose all forms of trained protection sport and protection work, citing variously that the training is inherently abusive (it’s not), or that the dogs dislike it (obviously untrue!). Occasionally a protester will suggest that biting a person in a sleeve or suit must of course reduce a dog’s bite inhibition, making it more likely that the dog will mouth or bite a person not in protective gear.
I’ve argued logically against this before, but now I have empirical proof — I can’t even pay my dogs to bite!
My breed of choice, as most people know, is the Doberman. Like most working breeds, Dobermans are high-energy dogs who like having a job to perform, and bore easily if left with nothing to do.
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
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