Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Don't Shoot the Dog

But first: remember the list from yesterday? Add to that gnawing up one of my flip-flops (don't worry, I fixed it, it's not like they were presentable to wear outside the house before hand)

Also, ripping off the 'illegal to remove' tags from some of those pillows she moved. I'm not sure *how* she ripped the tags off; they're completely intact, but detached. Maybe she grabbed them and shook the pillow? That is one of her favorite ways to play with things, but I would not have thought she would be able to get a good enough grip on the tag. Again, no harm - I probably should have pulled the things off before anyway. We have classy decor here, van you tell? Though it does amuse me the tags said 'it is illegal .... except for by the final consumer' see, Kumi, you were supposed to *eat* the pillows if you take the tags off.

The fence is done, and she enjoys it. No, she is not fast enough to catch a rabbit. It was a little weird not going for a full walk, but between tossing toys for her and just general wandering, she seemed to tire herself out more than she did on the walks even. We'll have to be careful not to let the heeling slip though. It will be good to practice doing things off-leash though.


The title is in reference to the newest dog book that came in. Again, this is an early review - I'm not done with the first chapter, but I likey. We may have to buy this. It's a great mix of conversational, funny, readable language with practical, immediately applicable ideas. It's not just a rote how-to training book though. It's theory, philosophy, principles that are generally applicable. Even in that first partial chapter, I have concrete things I want to change with how I'm doing things. I complained about 'Bones' having too much fluff between the useful bits, this may be the opposite. It isn't hard to read by any stretch, but I could do with a few more examples and explanations to crystallize the ideas. Though, I expect that may be found in later chapters.

I like how she doesn't focus on a clicker being the one true way. I really prefer a verbal signal - you don't have to carry it, it has adjustable volume, it's unique from everyone else... Anyway, points to work on - giving verbal correction before a physical one, so they have a chance to self-correct. All I can say to that is 'duh'. I also need to work on not using the verbal signal outside of enforcing behavior, on separating the 'continue' signal from the 'that's it' signal, and on varrying reward frequency. I love how the language in this is practical, rather than lovey-dovey too, I think my husband will actually be able to learn from it too.

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