Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Think I'm Loving This Dog

Yesterday Hubby and I stole off to the 33rd annual Miami Valley Labrador Retriever Club Specialty without kids!!! This show is about an hour from our house, so it's nice and close. A specialty show means that no other dogs but Labradors are allowed to enter. Folks come from all over to attend specialty shows. It's an honor to win over so many other great dogs. This year there were 312 entries. The particular dog in the video is a dog from Florida that we are looking at maybe breeding our Bumpers, and her fine pedigree of Westminster winners, with in the future. He is a bit more moderate than some, but we like him. He is a specialty show winner and won the breed at Westminster in 2008 I believe, following in his fathers foot steps as he won Westminster breed in 2006. This dog also was awarded a judges award of merit the following year at Westminster. He attended Westminster again this year as he was the #4 ranked Labrador in 2009, but he was left out of the winnings this year, such a shame. Anyway hubby and I spent a great deal of time with his awesome breeder. She was super nice and helpful. We are still weighing our options, but I'm thinking I love this dog alot!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where have you been?

I must apologize to you all for being a bit quiet here lately. I fear it will probably continue for another week or two so bear with me. It has been all I can do to keep up with my facebook and read your blog posts. I am currently in the process of transitioning to a new job. That's a big deal for me since I've been at the same job for the past 11 years. My new job is going to teach me a whole bunch of new exciting things. I'm a little scared, but all in all I'm very excited and eager to learn. Currently I am kind of working both jobs, kind of tying up loose ends at my old one and getting my feet wet at my new one. So I'm super busy, but hopefully it will calm down a bit soon and I'll get back to you guys. I may do some relief type work for my old office if they need me so we'll see where that leads. Mean time know I'm thinking of you all and trying to read all your posts even though things are quiet on my page.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dog Whisperer: Calm Down!

Ok I guess I'm picking on the dog whisperer this week. His training philosophies include flooding and correction, where I believe corrections are somewhat a necessary evil, I am not a fan of physical corrections and use mostly verbal and body blocking in my training. I do think he has some good theories, don't get me wrong. I agree with his use of calmness. I prefer the word confident instead of leader or assertive. Those words bring dominance to mind. I don't want to dominate my dog but work together as a team. So I need to be confident in my skills as a trainer and in my dog. I agree with his philosophy that dogs today don't get enough exercise or stimulation, however I don't think many folks can devote the 4 hour a day hikes that he devotes, it's his job, the rest of us have other jobs. Anyway I think a lot of what he has to say is good, but alot of how he gets there could be improved on. This video shows him flooding the dog. Again I would start far away, just beyond the distance that gets a reaction and counter condition another behavior with positive reinforcement and move forward from there. Even when they returned and the reaction was better the dog still started with a forward agressive movement (tail up, ears back, weight shifted foward, mouth puckered, all signs of I'm ready to bite), but when corrected he seemed to slink down and turn away from eye contact, it looked a bit fearful at that point to me. I want my dog to focus on me for what he should do next, not turn away. Not a comfortable or safe situation in my opinion. My concern with this episode is that some one might try this at home. I could see a bite happening very easily, by picking up and flooding an agitated canine. In the wrong hands this is a nightmare waiting to happen, even with this disclosure not to try it at home.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blog Award

Okay I just won a blog award, and I have no idea how to link to it or anything, so bear with me. It was Awarded by my blogging friend Yankee Girl. Thank you very much :) Anyway from what I can tell I am to tell you 10 random things about myself and then pass the award alnog to 10 others so here it goes....

1. I have a hard time making conversation with people I don't know extremely well.

2. I have a huge earthworm phobia.

3. I could never wear contacts, cause I can't stand anything close to my eye.

4. All my favorite movies are stupid comedies.

5. I never read the newspaper.

6. Everything in my life has to be scheduled, including our weekly menu and my household chore list.

7. I dislike cleaning my kitchen.

8. I've never had surgery.

9. I'm terrible at all sports.

10. I hate to talk on the phone, because I don't hear so well sometimes.

Now for my ten friends......

1. Mumblings from Troy, I know Missy already tagged you, but now you gotta do it!

2. Toby the dog with a blog

3. Down home at the hennery

4. katdocs world

5. Between you me and the fence post

6. gizzards and calf fries

7. chicken tracks

8. north view dairy

9. cotton shedd

10. amour agility

I hope I did this right?...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dog Whisperer -- Corrections

What did he just teach this dog, to ignore the chicken? One day in fact it probably will ignore the chicken, because it just learned that when it sees a chicken it gets a smack to the face, That would probably make me avoid it too. It would also make me fearful of the person delivering the pop to my face. So what would I do to help solve the problem of chasing chickens, which was this dog's issue. I would start at a very far distance and every time the dog looked away from where the bird was I would use a target phrase like yes or good or a clicker and reward the dog with a high value reward, be that a treat or toy or a game of chase (something other than the chicken). This way the dog learns that ignoring the bird equals good things. I would gradually increase to proximity to the chicken. This would be a very hard behavior to train out of a dog, especially a dog bred to hunt and retrieve birds, so the value of the reward would need to be super high! Sad thing is I do believe I saw this episode and I believe this dog is owned by John Grogan who wrote the book Marley And Me. I shudder to think of the behavior problems this new dog of theirs might have, as if Marley didn't have enough. By the way those tongue flicks the dog makes are all signs on nervousness, I figure editing has taken out the initial smacks that have now gotten the dog to the point where it is laying quietly next to the bird instead of up bouncing trying to get at it. It looks like the dog is saying oh dear they made me down stay here but I know he's going to hit me for being here, but that is just my speculation.