Friday, April 22, 2005

Training Pays!

I had a rough afternoon, thinking about Shakespeare's future as a performance dog. (More on that later, when I get my head sorted out.) It was relieved by working Laev on Armin Winkler for the second time in as many days. Today, though, I gave the video camera to someone who actually pushed the record button. ;-)

It was un-crazy-believeable what he did with her. I've always been a believer that both genetics and environment are important, and that you train the dog you have the best you can, but I'd never really seen the advantage that really solid genetics can give you. The video out on my camera is broken (grrr!) but I'll post the video as soon as I can get it.

Then I had a meeting tonight, and while I felt comfortable leaving Shakespeare in the motel room, I knew the folks in the room next door wouldn't want to listen to Laev scream. (She's doing much better, but on days when we attend a seminar and she only comes out once to work, she still has too much energy left and screams.) So I took her and left her crated in the car during the meeting, where at least if she screamed no one would hear.

Afterward we came out, and I brought her out to relieve herself, and a breeder I know brought out two puppies of her own, 3 days older than Laev, to play and exercise and potty. I was thrilled to have a way to burn puppy calories, so....

Laev was startled by the cups on their heads (their ears had just been cropped) but within a moment was making friendly overtures. [This line removed to avoid giving possible offense, since someone seems to think it was written in malice, which of course it was not. The line was to the general effect that Laev was social.] And I've been working really hard on name recognition this week, but it was hard to tell if it was paying off; Laev is never more than a couple feet from me. But tonight, as she ran loose with the puppies in the parking lot, they started to wander as they played, and we called them back.

Laev had a fast recall. Away from the other puppy. Which remained where it was.


Okay, so she's nine weeks and one day. Hardly an established behavior. But it's a darn good foundation. After the third or fourth recall, I finally realized that, and I got some treats out of my car so I could make sure the benefits of a recall were really sinking in. (She had been getting rewarded previously with jumping on me, and petting and praise and general enthusiasm, but I reflected that she could get that from the other puppy, as well, and this just made everything even better.)

Anyway, seeing my fearless puppy zoom about the dark parking lot and spin to come flying toward me when I called her name did a lot to improve my day. :-)


vicky said...

Hi Laura:

As a long time Doberman person, I am surprised that your puppy didn't try to bite the cups on the puppies' heads.


Anonymous said...

what is going on with Shakespeare?? Please share!! Anxiously waiting to hear.

Laura said...

She tried. I asked if she could do serious damage, and I interrupted
once. But she was really more interested in rolling the other puppy who wasn't scared and running with him. :-) We were jokingly calling
"revier!" as they raced around the car and light post.


vicky said...

You said, "It took one of the other pups about five minutes to accept, and the other never did; she preferred to hide beside a human and did not explore at all."

Just my curiosity...was the puppy that stayed hidden red? And the one that came out and played, black?

Laura said...

No, they were both black. I won't identify the breeder, as I don't want to say anything unnice about someone else's dogs publicly and at any rate they weren't bad dogs or poorly bred, but just less than my own Absolutely Perfect Puppy in my unbiased eyes. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Well can you explain just what your unbaiased eyes saw? I have read some of your comments and find your knowledge to be lacking. Before I would go on any public format and make the statements you have made. Certainly I would know what I was talking about.
Especialy your comment that says "What is drive anyway" maybe if you did some more reading and attended more seminars you would begin to understand. It is most likely due to your lack of experience, I know I have been there. Let me recommend a book to read, it's by Helmut Raiser. In this book he explains drives what they are and how important they are to the sucess of your training. He also tells how important it is to train your dog in drives. This book was translated by Armin Winkler. You know the guys who tried to tell you nicely that Shakespear isn't cutting it. The Title is "The Training of Working Dogs in protection Work"

You may not want to say things about other people and their dogs, but let me tell you it gets around and they find out. From what I understand you are pretty new to the dog game. Take a friendly tip, becareful what you post! because the meaning that you intended may not be what it read. I have found it safe to talk about my own dogs and leave the gussip to the young and dumb!

Anonymous said...

I am going to have to agree with "anonymous" I am also fairly new but have attended enough seminars and listened to enough trainers to know to shut up and listen no matter how much I think I may know. I have burnt a few bridges back when I thought I knew what was best, and I shoudl have taken the advice for what it was. I suggest you watch yourself, Laura. It's a small world.

Laura said...

Simple text in today's relatively illiterate world can be difficult to interpret, especially in tone and intent, so I'm choosing to read these comments as friendly advice from, well, friends with no names. :-) I appreciate your concern and urge you to read "A Response" for clarification about my original meaning. You'll find I never did mean to say anything bad about the other pups here. Internet gossip is deadly and it's not something I'm going for!

It's okay if you find my training knowledge to be lacking. If there's one thing I've found in 17 years of training and eavesdropping, it's that the only thing two trainers can agree upon is that the third is doing it wrong. :-) (Original joke courtesy of Steve White.) I always appreciate constructive advice from others, as I owe quite a bit to it! I would be happy to entertain concrete suggestions.