• Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
    Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
    by David Allen
  • Preparing Instructional Objectives: A Critical Tool in the Development of Effective Instruction
    Preparing Instructional Objectives: A Critical Tool in the Development of Effective Instruction
    by Robert F. Mager
  • The Perfect Puppy: How to Choose Your Dog by Its Behavior
    The Perfect Puppy: How to Choose Your Dog by Its Behavior
    by Benjamin L. Hart, Lynette A. Hart

    This book includes super helpful graphs describing 56 common dog breeds in terms of 13 traits, including playfulness.

  • Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog
    Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog
    by Carol Lea Benjamin

    My favorite book on dog training.

Thoughts on instructional design, my dog, and life

Entries in obedience (2)

Thursday
Jan032019

Training Cientos for Conformation

Not long after I started training Cientos in obedience, I asked my breeder if I could show him in conformation. He was so gorgeous when he ran I thought he deserved a Ch. before his name, as well as a UD after it.

Cientos winning his Championship

 Being a training person, though, I wanted to “train” Cientos for the conformation ring, despite the conventional wisdom that training a dog in any way, and especially for obedience, ruined him for the conformation ring. “Obedience dogs don’t do well in the show ring, they sit when you stop!” went the complaint.

If you’re familiar with obedience competition, you know your dog stays on your left, and, among other things, sits automatically when you stop moving. And the best obedience dogs keep their eyes on you, the handler. In the conformation ring, the dog is sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right, never sits, and looks ahead.

No problem, I thought, I’ll just develop a separate set of commands. Instead of HEEL, I used STRUT in the conformation ring. I used STAND for both rings, because I liked the idea of Cientos standing like he owned the ring in either ring.

I also used commands when grooming him, rather than doing the work myself of shifting him from one side to the other, or getting him on and off the grooming table.

Cientos got his championship, and though nobody admitted they could be wrong about mixing obedience and conformation, the handlers and groomers commented on how wonderful Cientos was to work with, easy and responsive.

Don’t be afraid to buck the system, but buck thoughtfully.

Friday
Dec282012

Initial Observations

Charley and Lina

Charley has started licking Lina’s face. That usually shows submissiveness. It was Lina who licked Cientos’s face. On the other hand, Charley puts Lina down roughly if she gets close to a toy he’s playing with. She snarls back, freezes, then, once Charley turns away, she does her wiggle butt dance. He wags his tail and rubs up against me for pets. It’s like Lina is being submissive to Charley & Charley is being submissive to me. I would expect Charley, being male, to be dominant over Lina, second to me, the alpha pack leader, but the licking Lina’s face doesn’t seem to fit.

When we come home after leaving the pooches in the garage, with access to the yard, they’re both outside. Before, we’d come home and find Lina and Cientos curled up in the garage cubby seemingly exactly where we left them. I suspect Charley goes out to explore and Lina follows, or it could be Lina entices him out (she is quite a temptress). This makes me think Charley has enough confidence in his new surroundings to be curious.

On the one hand, Charley seems to have beautiful manners. No getting in to the trash, jumping up on counters. He will fetch a toy endlessly, intensely running after it and bringing it back to me. He doesn’t try to steal the toy or make me chase him to get it. He seems to really enjoy chasing it down and bringing it back to me.

Yet, when I try to use fetching a toy as a reward for doing something he doesn’t particularly like to do or seems to have a bad association with, like responding to the COME or DOWN command, he acts confused.

Similarly, food treats seem like more of a distraction to him, at least at this point, than a reward. (Of course, Carol Benjamin writes, in Mother Knows Best, that food treats are always a distraction….)

I guess at this point, I’m just not sure what to make of Charley.