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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Red Dog

This looks like a cute movie… though I’m partial to Australian dogs.

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My Worst Nightmare: The Deer Chase

Before she’d even seen the deer…

May and I have been wandering around the woods all summer, and she’s chased all manner of things. Squirrels, chipmunks, pheasants, and many things I couldn’t even see. I’ve been dreading the day she encountered something she couldn’t chase up a tree… and it finally happened. I’m just glad it wasn’t a bear. Read the rest of this entry

Training the Tough Stuff: Part 1

Is that a treat?

Maybelle does not like it when she can’t go running up to every dog she meets. When I first got her and we encountered a dog walking down the opposite side of the road she’d want to pull me across the street. Trying to teach her to be calm was fruitless. Instead she just got worse. She started barking at dogs, lunging, and generally acting like a lunatic. It’s hard to explain to strangers that she’s not mean, she just a control freak who is frustrated by not being able to go running up to every dog she sees in order to sniff its butt.

So today we finally headed off to a class designed  to tackle the tougher issues many dog owners face. Basic obedience is great for learning the proper way to use positive reinforcement and get the foundations you need, but unless you’re a super-genius you probably don’t come away from it knowing how to deal with a dog that goes ballistic every time it doesn’t get to go running up to a new dog.  And the real problem is, most people don’t have the patience to help you practice, because it takes a long time to patiently reward good, calm behavior. So I started looking for a program that wasn’t just going to teach me more commands, but was going to let me practice the things we really needed to practice…and we seem to have found it. Read the rest of this entry