I Hope You’ve Been Enjoying The Weather!
This week’s weather has been more favorable than the past couple so my Pack and a few boarders got to enjoy plenty of long 3 – 4 mile walks. We even went on a field trip to Lake Michigan by Burnham Harbor and got a good 4 1/2 mile walk in along the shoreline! Definitely took advantage of the all the photo opportunities!
One of my favorite activities is most definitely the Pack Walk. I get a lot of thinking and planning done, it’s great physical exercise for myself and my dogs, and they get to get out and enjoy the beautiful Chicago weather! Walking is a great time to slow things down and just enjoy life so I definitely try to get as many in while I can.
I definitely miss the days of walking up to 12 dogs at a time up and down the Michigan shore line. I met so many nice people and get stopped quite a bit for photo opportunities for tourists just looking to enjoy the city. Hopefully, I’ll get to do a couple of Pack Walks of that size this Summer!
Until next time.
In this week’s WWAPDT Vlog I diverged from speaking about e-collars, and delved into how true behavior work isn’t pretty by any means. Especially, when going through the rehab phase and you see the dog’s underlying issues start to really come out through anxiety, shaking through stress or even alligator rolling in protest to the pressure.
Here’s a nice introduction video for those who are not too familiar with Prong Collars. I explain the different type sizes and which ones you want to stay away from. Prong Collars are training tools and not torture devices as many people may think because of their appearance. I rarely use prong collars now, but did heavily rely on them earlier on in my career and I do use them from time to time.
Behavior Work Isn’t Pretty
In my years of rehabbing dog behavior issues, I’ve come to learn what to expect and for the most part, it isn’t pretty. It’s a big part of why I always do consultations for my behavior cases and people just wanting Off-Leash obedience. It’s to prep them mentally for what may come because the literature that can be found most commonly, actually doesn’t cover the kind of work that I do. There are more trainers like myself, that are putting more information out there, but it still falls short of all the Positive Reinforcement work that’s easily available.
Unfortunately, when dealing with anxiety, insecurity, fear, nervousness and aggression, in order to teach the dog how to better deal with stress, we need to put them under stress. This allows me to teach the dog how to better handle pressure, but many people have a hard time watching their dog go under such emotional distress that I then have to work with the owner to help them let it go. It’s even more difficult when working with a family because sometimes the family will be split on the training and it’s a constant battle to establish structure in the home.
My most successful cases are of course the ones where I’m allowed to just come in and do what I need to do and everyone is on board. I had a case recently that was severely aggressive and I was thinking she was going to take a while to turn around. By class 5 she was already going up to people into the home and asking them to pet her, including me! So kudos to her family for really doing their homework because I was expecting more along the 8 – 10 week mark before we started to see make that change. The aggression was easy to curb, it was the getting her to trust and approach people that was going to take longer.
That’s it for this week’s newsletter, until next time!