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Old 12-21-2010, 06:50 PM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is offline
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Default Huh. Training works!

While I do a lot of training with Meg, most of it isn't "real world" training. We do agility, we play games, we practice some silly stuff. She's just such an easy dog to live with, I haven't had to really work on something serious in a long time. I was amazed to see two different things get fixed lately with relatively little work on my part.

#1 - After I got pulled over for speeding on the way to an agility trial this fall (seriously, who expects it to be 45 mph on an interstate? Not me, apparently), Meg developed a serious anxiety about interstate driving. The officer was a jerk, but didn't bother her at all. My guess is my panic and upset after the fact is what set things off. Every drive on the interstate was a nightmare of stress panting and an inability to settle down; quite a change from my perfect "jump in the backseat and pass out" dog. It made the 17 hour drive each way to Kentucky a bit rough to say the least. I tried every "quick fix" I could during that drive - I tried her crated, uncrated, with a ThunderShirt I picked up, etc. Part of me just hoped the sheer length of the drive would fix it (because flooding is always successful ).

For the month after I got home, I tried at least 3 times a week to take a short bit of interstate between the barn and home, where I normally would just take local roads. Feeding the whole time. Then it sort of fell by the wayside, and I stopped thinking about it.

Until we went to our first trial since Kentucky a couple of weeks ago; it struck me about 40 minutes into the drive that Meg was curled up asleep. Never got a moment of concern from her.

#2 - Just came up today, and prompted this. I posted last year about an incident where I had taken my car in to be inspected, and when the man went to go put the sticker in, I had already put Meg back in the car. She apparently started growling at him when he went to get in the car. Now, I know a lot of people would be glad that their dog wouldn't let a stranger in the car, but it isn't a behavior I am comfortable with, and certainly not one I expected from her.

I worked fairly hard with her for a few weeks, having people toss treats in the window, or open the door and feed her. Like the driving issue, other things came up, it seemed better, and I just sort of forgot about it. Well, when I went to get my car inspected a couple of weeks ago, I had forgotten my registration at home. I drove back to the garage today to have the new sticker put in, and didn't realize the guy was out putting it in while I was inside getting the paperwork. When he came in, I asked if the dog had been okay. His response was "What dog?". Meg had been so quiet in the back seat he hadn't even realized she was in the car!

It's nice to know all the techniques I use when playing with fun training with Meg really do apply to real world work as well!

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Old 12-21-2010, 07:16 PM
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corgipower corgipower is offline
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That's so wonderful.

Give yourself a cookie.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:26 PM
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Kayla Kayla is offline
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Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
Give yourself a cookie.
Ditto! That's wonderful news! It's super rewarding when all of your hard work pays off Meg's lucky to have such a dedicated owner.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:47 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Super! It's amazing...sometimes you do these things and for a while you don't notice anything changing much. And then one day, after perceverance, there's some kind of tipping point I call it...where things come together. Well done!
"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776

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Old 12-25-2010, 02:40 PM
mypetiswoody mypetiswoody is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Great post!

#1 - It demonstrates the bonding between the dog and the owner and how one bad experience with the owner can affect the dog. This is why dos is such a wonderful pet! I also have cats at home; sometimes (most of the time) they couldn't care less what happens to me. Don't get me wrong, cats are great to have around, just in different ways.

#2 - Patience and persistence pay off in training dogs. Unfortunately, many dog owners don't realize how important these characteristics are.
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