I originally posted this as a comment ON A POST FROM Beth Atalay , decided it was too long, so here I am with a quick post while the pooch is having a nap.
You see a comment I made on Facebok bought a smile to a friends face last evening, it lasted even until she woke. I can only imagine the visual idea Kathleen Daniels has when she thinks of me training Finlay. But it brings a smile to my face thinking of Kathleen enjoying a quick comment. It's nice to know Facebook can be a good place. Many of you know I left FB last Feb. But I got an outcry of "What" from my family so opted back in. Politics almost drove me away again.
But FB is great for connecting!! So I stay. Less business and more play.
Back to Finlay and Why Kathleen Smiled
Finlay is almost 6 months old now, which means he's knocking on the teenager door! OMG, really, I have to go through that again! Apparently so. But at age 4 months we started a training regimen with my new trainer, Mark at The Dog House of Barrington. The man is a dog training genius!! And psychologist.
Why did we hire a trainer? Well dogs are dogs and this one was a little random, aka Jekyll and Hyde. A meeting and advice that he was in need of it. Mark explained his brain as a squiggly mess, now he has a straight line to work from.
After 3 weeks of Mark working with Finlay, it was my turn. I now have to learn language of dog and take over. So the dog trainer is now training the dog owner. Gee, back to school. We converse, I get a diagram of what I must do and GO..........
OMG, it looks so easy when he does it, now I feel like a bluthering idiot, unable to remember a simple sequence. That was last week and after 90 minutes, I just about had the basics to bring home and try with Finlay in the home environment. Ha ha ha ha ha.....well you get the picture.
Clearly this is the picture running through Kathleen Daniels mind.
A week passes and we are not doing too bad. We go off for session number two. Conversation.....Bang! NO, that is not good, not good at all. Talk about slapping me down to earth. Ha, actually Mark is a really nice guy and I like him because he's like me, tells it straight and not afraid of telling me I need to step up my game. Man, that man, he spots the tiniest of things I miss, it's embarrassing!
I have been set a mammoth amount of homework. I am taking the next 11 days off work! I've got 5 days to get this running better before Mark comes to visit the entire family to see how it all works at home. Quaking in my boots, no time for clients, just finished one relocation buyer visit and that's it for a while. I am a part time dog trainer now. I need an A grade this time round, not an epic fail grade!
Fin is asleep now after our morning session. Puppy sleep time is the only time I'll have to see my laptop screen.
So what do I have to achieve. Remember that Finlay knows all this stuff, I just need to learn it with him and make sure he does what I want when he is told. Right now that's not working too well. We have to practice, sit, down, heel, come and place. And the lovely word all kids hate....NO.
There is no "stay" command in his training, he must stay where he is until told he can move. Even if I am hundreds of feet away, which is easily doable in my yard. And for a good long time too. He's passed the 15 minute mark which is pretty darn good, I would say!
So you can imagine me walking around my yard with a 6 month old rambunctious puppy going, sit, heel, sit, down, heel, come, sit, down, heel, sit and so on and so on. Then I can throw a ball but he must not move, nor even twitch until I say OKAY!
OKAY = I am free to Finlay. He can then run. "But dang, darn that Mom, she said come and I have to go back again and do more of that sit, heel, blah, blah, blah. But I'll do it, cos she's my Mom and I love her! And when she says "place" I must go lie on my mat and stay there. But guess what, I get lots of cuddles and I believe MOM'S home made pumpkin and blueberry cookies are today's tasty treat. Want some?"
DISCLAIMER: NO DOGS ARE HARMED IN THE TRAINING, IN FACT THEY BECOME THE OBEDIENT LOVING FURRY SOULS ALL OWNERS WOULD DREAM TO HAVE. THE HUMANS ARE WIPED OUT, IT'S A LOT OF MENTAL WORK AND NAPS ARE ALLOWED.