a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Friday, September 9, 2011

Frank Friday :0)

LOL...I read someone's blog that said they have no interest in teaching their dogs "silly tricks and stupid shit."  Mentioned that their year old dog probably didn't even know what 'sit' meant.  Well, then..........
That made me smile.  Different strokes for different folks.

I am never offended by what other people think about my dog training.  I start training my dogs as soon as they are mentally ready.  The first of the 'stupid shit' I teach them is to hold an article and fetch.  This is one the handiest of all the behaviors I teach them.  Given the choice of sitting in a crate for hours or learning new behaviors, I'm banking that they will want to do the latter.

Every interaction I have with my dogs is a training session.  My husband may undo some of my training, but that's okay. They don't forget what I have taught them.  They just might not work as well for my husband as they do for me. :0)  Next, they learn to 'stay.'  This command could save their life.  Many times when I am working stock, my other 2 BCs will be off lead watching, waiting for their turn. 

 They all learn to recall on a verbal "and" a whistle.  I do lots of hiking and spend lots of time at the beach.  When I want my dogs front and center, they best get to me quickly when they hear my recall.  When Jet was lost in the forest fire, he could most likely hear my whistles in the still of the night.  He just couldn't get to me because of the burning embers.  But, I still like to think he knew I was close.  When we were finally on the right trail, first whistle, and out he popped at our feet.

Another command that my BCs learn is "follow."  Follow means fall in behind my legs and stay right with me.  Don't get ahead of my legs.  I dislike dogs that blast in front of their owners through gates, out of the house, etc.

All of my dogs learn left, right, look back, and back up.  Every one of these silly tricks have come in very handy while working stock.  The other day Jet didn't see his sheep set. He scanned the horizon, but still didn't see them.  They were off to his left.  I was a good 20 yds. behind Jet. All I had to say was "Look LEFT."  He did and saw them immediately.  Occasionally, a dog will put too much pressure on their stock especially in close quarters.  All I have to do is ask them to 'back-up.'  Look back comes in handy on stock and off stock.

 My dogs come out of the house and have learned to stand on the porch if we are going to all load up in the truck.  I walk to the truck and call each dog by name.  All of my dogs have to repeat this getting out of any of our vehicles.  No one gets out until they hear their name called.  If they mess up, they are the last to get in the truck. When you have more than a couple of dogs, it is really necessary to have some control.  It minimizes injury to them and to me!

I find our dogs LOVE to work, whether it be sheep, agility, or a game of  'find it.'  Instead of being locked in a crate/kennel or hanging in the backyard doing nothing they thrive on learning something new.  They don't humanize it as 'silly or stupid.'  They are always ecstatic to work with me and learn something new.  They could care less if it's covering their eyes, shaking their head no, or learning to shed goats from a flock of sheep.  It's all about interacting with me.

I wish more people would take the time to teach their dogs 'silly tricks' and 'stupid shit.'  There might be a lot less dogs placed in rescue. I like good manners.  I like to make people smile.  And, if my dogs can toss a few rings on a pole for someone's enjoyment and then go out and win a silver belt buckle on sheep.  Good for them.  That puts a really BIG smile on my face.
What you may think as 'silly' or 'stupid,'  I bet your dog would consider that spending QUALITY time with you!  Really...they don't care what you are doing as long as you are doing it with them.


Karen said...

You make me smile:)
Well said!

Emma Rose said...

Your dogs are AWESOME!

gvmama said...

Thank-you Emma.