Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fun with Dogs

I think training other people's dogs is one of my favorite things to do. Most people who have me come do so for what to me (and my trainer friends) are minor training issues that are just issues of how to teach your dog to behave in the house. Sometimes it's pack management, and how to deal with multiple dogs. I don't deal with aggressive dogs, instead deferring to a canine behaviorist. But those basic issues are fun to train because 1) they're super easy but 2) the results are dramatic, and 3) people think you just worked magic on their dog when really all you did is show them a little bit about how their dog thinks.

Last year for Christmas a friend of mine bought training gift certificates from me, and yesterday my first opportunity to work with them. This is an extended family where everyone has a dog, and they frequently all come together, dogs and all, into one house for holidays and other family events. So when I went last night, there were four dogs to work with. It was really more "pack management" that I was dealing, but I did break it down to individual time with each dog to work on their number one problem....THE DOOR!
How many of you have a problem with your dog either going nuts at the door, or charging the door, or, jumping all over the people who just walked in? This pack has all of that going on.
It was a lot of fun to work with these guys. It's always interesting to see the individual differences among the dogs. What worked for 3 did not work for the Senior dog who's had 8 years of doing things one way. But, by the time I left 2 hours later, I was able to have people ring the doorbell without dogs going insane, and to go to the door by myself without all the dogs on my heals trying to come along with me. They have some practicing to do before I go back, and then we'll be addressing the next problems: Barking and sneak attacks on the old dog.

I didn't do anything "magical", it's just a matter of learning how your dog thinks, and WHY they do what they do. If you'd like to read a good training blog, my mentor (And BOSS!) Deb Schneider has finally joined the blogosphere!

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