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Found 2 results

  1. I have posted quite a few times throughout my pups early months. I received so much guidance from people here. Somewhere after about 6 months of age, I began to sit back and admire my mostly well behaved, well socialized and generally adorable BC pup. In looking back I realized how much work I had done with her, how many early mornings and late evenings I committed to her. People would even praise me on how happy, well behaved and wonderful she is. I suppose that means my job is done, right? Time to sit back and reap the rewards. Wrong. I will say that my puppy continues to be a well behaved, socialized and generally adorable little dog with one caveat...she is changing. She is 8 months old now and while I enjoy every minute with her, her behavior has begun to evolve. Around 6 months she discovered that the ball is the only thing worth living for and I discovered that the ball was an almost automatic means of having a wonderful experience with my dog. With the ball I taught her to lay down reliably, then to lay down immediately when she is 50-100yard away from me. I taught her to wait reliably untill my "ok" before sprinting off to retrieve the ball. I joyfully observed her speed and grace in a huge open field. I was completely in love. But, recently things have been getting a bit more difficult. In a bit, I will rant about how thankful I am for a few specific resources that manage to highlight these times and give me guidance on how to work with them. The pup has discovered that she loves the ball so much that she's now not as willing to wait in the car while I gather her things and instead feels the need to push against me trying to get out. On leash, as I walk her through the city streets en route to the field she tugs relentlessly. Even though I try the "red light, green light" method, she manages to just tug and tug. This leads me to get frustrated and even lose my temper. Not good. I pride myself on being sensitive to my dog, so I can immediately see how my mood change affects her. Today was the final straw, a highly frustrating walk to and from the ball session in which she seemed to only want to go where I didn't want her to go. Tug, tug, tug despite all my stop and go until I was literally pissed off. I failed her. Luckily I have these few resources that I refer to and in coming home to find them after feel very bad about how I worked with the pup today I realized how long it had been since I referred to them: First, The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell Ph.D. This book was my invaluable education into the mindset of dogs before getting my pup. What a savior as I had always subscribed to the dominate and control method of raising dogs simply because it was all I ever saw around me. This book changed EVERYTHING about what I knew and taught me 1. that dogs are always seeking and growing into positivity and 2. that I as a human with all my non-canine behaviors was a veritable liability to her well being. This book taught me to think like a dog and alway use positive reinforcement even if it is the more difficult option. Second, After You Get Your Puppy by Dr. Ian Dunbar. This book is an invaluable insight into dog training by a true master. When you read what Dr. Dunbar says, it all becomes so painfully obvious that you wonder why you didn't figure that out yourself. His insight into bringing up a well behaved dog is amazing. Third, and this is a bit unrelated, I feel really grateful to have watched the movie Buck about the horseman Buck Brannaman prior to owning my pup. While this movie is about horses, it highlights some of the exact struggles I am going through with the pup, namely my own human element. Watching this movie gives me inspiration and hope in working with my dog. So, the lesson learned today is that I got lazy, but luckily I realized in time to keep up working with my dog so that I can actually maybe sit back when she's...oh...6-7 years old and enjoy her. Puppyhood was difficult, but the time invested has paid back in spades. I intend to navigate adolescence with the same determination. Thanks for listening!
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