By Hexen –
Well it has been months since my last blog (Or at least it feels like it) and after a full day yesterday of cleaning my car (I started at 10.00A.M with oil change finished detailing the inside at 3 P.M.) I can take a small break.
The last month has been very busy with Year end membership meetings at 2 clubs (Of course the mixed club meeting was heated and the Boxer club membership meeting was lots of fun) .and 2 weeks of trying to keep a 4 year old busy and occuipied in a house with no toys only ferrets to play with (all i can say is poor Inky took the brunt of it and kurbis tried let sam (the 4 year old) know he was boss over him. Kurbis had poor sam terrified at eating times and would climb onto the table to steal food from his plate, and basically any time kurbis woke from sleeping kurbis would “hunt” sam and try to take dominence over him by bitting soft kiddy fingers. Sam learned very quickly DO NOT PICK UP THE LIGHTER COLORED FERRET!
On the dog training front.
I screwed up and it was almost bad. I did not heed my own warnings nor the warnings and sugguestions of Carla and Adam about only using the mixed club for getting the dogs use to working at another club (the mixed breed dog club). During the weekend of the yearly meeting I decided to give training with them 1 more try. BAD IDEA! and unfortunately for hella set me back a tiny bit with her training.
I was working at Hella and her bring and she still does not hold her head high to look at me when she is sitting infront of me with the barbell but she was sitting infront of me at least NOT mouthing and turning the barbell. The master trainer 1 says “SHE MUST LOOK UP AT YOU”! I tried to explain to him that Master trainer 2 says “most important is she is consistant in holding the barbell quiet, she will learn later to be comfortable in holding the barbell while looking up in your eyes”.
Master trainer 1 sees Hella isnot holding the barbell and looking up at me, so he comes over and takes Hella’s leash from me and “Shows me how to do this”. You must praise your dog! I tried to tell him the verbal praise makes her mouth the wood more that treats for her after holding the wood quiet worked better. Look I show you, she brings the barbell to him he grabs her by the collar yanks her close to him , he is telling her good girl, she is chewing like a mad dog on the barbell and he starts smacking her on top of th head! I was horrified! We then try to work at revier (blind search) this was the clincher that helped me once and for all make up my mind that they do not have the best interrest for my dog at heart. I send hella revier she of course is confused, I place her in a sit and stand inbetween her and the blind, I send hela once more, this functions and she goes into the blind and comes back to me for the reward of bitting the toy. master trainer 1 starts to yell at me “This is not how we train this here” I said to him” but if it works then why not?” “Because I am the head trainer here and I said so”. I made up my mind right then and there that no more would I ask them for guidence and or instruction. If I go to that club I will just work at heeling, and focuse exercise. When the time came to work at the protection exercise he of course told me to get my dogs, I greatfully declined and said no thanks, I was going to take the rest of the evening off. Actually also a clincher was when I mentioned Uly was having trouble with the long flight to go and bite the hellper, Master trainer 1’s answer was “you have a boxer what do you expect”. With an answer like this there is NO WAY IN HELL I am going to let them put an arm on and heat my dog.
Back at the boxer club that Wednesday, I get ready to work Hella at her bringing exercises,I throw the barbell give the command, and Hella refused to run out to pick it up. Instead she sat by my side looking up at me. I throw the wood again this time point in the directions, Nope no movment from her, I even gave her a little push forward trying to sound as excited as I could, Nope. I was almost in tears, Master trainer 2 comes to me says what is wrong? Does hella feel O.k? Why was I looking so upset? I then exploded(not at him of course) telling him what had happened at the mixed club. He then exploded, Saying “Their methods might be quicker in training and getting the desired results with the dog but at what cost to the mentality or to the dog wanting to truely be happy to want to work for the owner”! I have never seen him so heated. It took Hella 1 full week to get comfortable and back to almost where she was with her bring, She still is not exactly where she was for that matter on the flat ground, anyway. Over the hurdles, the wall and A -frame she did not back slide thankfully, she brings and will sit quietly infront of me holding the barbell.
So I thought and thought, I need a way to get her confortable, sitting close and looking up? I keep a tab leash attached to her prong, and as she approaches me I take hold of the tab quickly loop it under the barbell and help her to hold the barbell and her head up. As she sits infront of me, if she chews the barbell I give gental tugs on the prong telling her no. As she gets quiet I then pet her head softly on the snout and under the chin slowly releasing the tab leash so she holds her head up by herself. Out her as I take the barbell, then give her a treat to reinforce that she did a good job.
On the training front of my customers boxer puppy Bella, Yes it appears that we are an experiment for the boxer club. She is comming along nicely with heeling and focus and last week another potential member showed up with a white puupy about 16 weeks old. The Master trainer had the owners enter the field with the pup and start working her lightly at heeling and getting her pray drive up through the use of play.
Bella has now graduated at 5 months old from only heeling and focus to now adding a down for a second with Karen the owner taking 1 step infront while bella is in the down (However I stepped a little to far forward and as I thought about it we should have worked at sit and stay with the step infront added first (We will add this on Saturday). The fishing pole and brulap rag has been put away and Bella has graduated to a puppy bite pillow (This was after I had asked when do we know if she is ready to bite on a pillow He said “Let’s try it tonight”. Bella did great has a solid and quiet bite and will carry the pillow all the way to the front gate.
I also asked when do we know if she is ready not to have to watch the owner laying a track for her? Again the Master trainer said we will try next week. However my feeling is as we are moving to a new place for tracking it might be best to have her watch at least for the first time at the new place and try leaving Bella in the car on the second tracking day.
I have also some videos that were taken of all of us working,but I am a little nervous in trying to get them on to my computer as I have no clue how to do this.