Letter to me:
I hope things are warming up for you. Weather down here is a bit chilly, which Zephyr is very happy about! We are in the mid 50's today.
I spent the afternoon interviewing and observing still another dog trainer today. I still have not found a class I am happy about. The classes seem rather unprofessional and/or it seems most trainers and I just don't have any chemistry. You are the exception, Lois! I am spoiled.
The guy today told be that Zephyr was not properly socialized towards other dogs. Oh duh, that was why I was there! As you know, she was very timid at first around barking dogs and so I have let her take her own time. She is much better now so I feel it important to now focus on her getting around other dogs and to socialize her with her canine friends. (She is very well socialized around people and most other experiences).To make a long story short, I am just not comfortable. This guy wants me to leave her for "daycare" so she can be additional trained and also socialized amongst a lot of dogs. Recommends 10 consecutive days. No way. What happens if some dog takes out after her and I am not there to protect her? Plus how do you remain TopDog in a situation like that?
Anyway, I am now determined to get her around more dogs myself. I am now making our visit to the local Spouts store a daily ritual. They have tables where we sit but unfortunately not many dogs often go by. Lots of people, which Zephyr is very accustom to and loves the attention she gets! I will continue to look for a place that more dogs inhabit!
There is where you come in..... I was wondering In May, I have a business trip to Germany. It is a 8-9 day trip. Zephyr could stay here with my daughter and or son but I have an even better idea. What would you say to my bringing (I would drive her) her up to you. Would you be able to board her, socialize her with her "own kind" ha ha. She would love that, I am sure. At the same time could you spend that time giving more specific training, If you felt she was ready for the Companion Dog training requirements? She is very smart, knows sit, down, stay, is good on the leash etc etc. What she needs now is to obey instructions with more and more distractions. What would you think? I would love it if I was able to know that she was with you, her doggy family, and getting your training while I was gone. These trips come up a couple of times a year. I will have another trip at the end of August.
My letter back to her:
I personally do not allow my dogs to associate with strange dogs. My dogs are fine around them, but my dogs do not care for other dogs and that is the way i like it. There is no need for my dog to have any strange doggy friends, what is the purpose of that? As they get older they accept them but no need to push my dogs into a relationship with dumb ass dogs..
My dogs know how to behave around them just fine. Of course it is healthy for dogs to be leary... of other dogs. It is like us meeting a stranger, who knows if that stranger is a child molester? or a killer? or what ever..? I dont really care for those nippy, barky, hyper doggies and neither do my dogs!
Now, if you have a laid back golden or a laid back bulldog, my dogs will get along fine with them, but why subject my dog to a yappy chihuha? My dogs will put up with it, but why? Why not just leave?
My dogs do not want a poodle in thier face and i am not going to subject them to other dogs coming up and sniffing my dogs ass or face.. they have no manners and frankly, i think my dog should tell them to get the heck out of their face... if a dog has manners, fine, but if not, i refuse to have my well mannered dog be subjected to the likes of them.
That is how i feel. i am not a tree hugger, free love and all that. Those hyper ill mannered dogs can get along fine with other hyper ill mannered dogs and they can jump over each other and run and kiss butt, but not my dogs. So if you feel that way like i do, then you are welcome to come over and i will give your dog proper manners. We shall go to the parks and walk around.
You know i go to this one park and there are folks that feel that same way, that thier dogs have the right to come right up to a strange dog and sniff them out. Who tells the owners that this is acceptable and 'PREFERED'?
These are canines and the canines NATURAL instincts are to fight other dogs that do not belong in thier clan, to be leary about other dogs. Dogs are dogs and they do not have rules and laws... like, dont fight. what? Dont protect themselves? Excuse me? My dog can and will protect itself. This breed wont pick a fight, but just try to get in my dogs face and my dog will tell the other dog off. That doesnt mean that our breed is dog aggressive, They are NOT. But they do not have to subject themselves to 'in your face' abuse from ill mannered folks and thier dogs.
I can show your doggy a multitude of other dogs and they can be friends with each other and respect each others space. I will not go to a doggy park though. It would be like taken her to the bronks or the slum side of town where the majority of folks dont have any respect or manners. Nope not my dogs.
Our breed just doesnt care for hyperness and foolishness and frankly neither do I.
Socialization with other dogs/pups
Jan, as always it is so nice to hear from you my sis...
other dogs... do not order her to like other dogs or people. do not order her to go by things she is afraid of...
other dogs are a threat to such a young baby... in the wild the momma dog would NEVER bring her pups anywhere near other dogs/canines except her own pack members. she leaves her pups at the den being babysat by the lower class canines. it is a natural thing for a pup to run and hide or to drop down, she is trying to tell you something and she is afraid for her life... Her acceptance of other dogs comes in time and on her time.. this is NATURE and i do not try to modify nature much. We should listen to nature's calling and read it. the problem with HUMANS is we think we should do something.. hehe...
I would also NOT take my dog to any puppy classes in which the trainer lets the puppies go visit each other. mostly because you can harm your puppies trust in you and/or tramitize a pup from other animals by allowing your young pup to be placed in a situation in which you will not be in control of.. forienstance, would if there were an OLDER pup or an aggressive pup and their mom and dad are trying to get teh pup to stop attacking other animals by using other pups in this class? and would if the trainer doesnt understand or can not fix the situation or will not? it will be up to you to reach down and scoop up your pup BEFORE the other older pup takes a bite out of your pup. I am sure you will have to sign something which will put the organization to not be liable for anything that might happen to your pup.
now, if you going to attend a puppy class in which all owners and puppies are on leashes and everyone sits around in a circle and the trainer is educating you and allowing pups to go to the end of thier leashes and is in full control of the situation, then this is a good thing. This way the trainer is evaluating the situation and each pup. He will be able to say to move each dog /puppy owner to a different place in the circle and or tell a puppy owner that he must leave the class because he doesnt want any other pup to get stressed out. with time the pup will grow to know each of the pups and the situation and be able to handle this type of class, but to throw a pup in an enclosed area with a bunch of puppies and to allow them to climb under the chairs or into your lap in fear, then to tell you that it is alright, may be a wrong thing to do. It all depends on you and how your pup will be able to handle this... i would rather my dogs just learn as they grow, or attend a good class. I do not believe in the training tactics of PetSmart, nor the education of their trainers. i dont call them trainers...
Zephyr continues to delight us all! She is very sweet and wants to please. I am
having such a wonderful time being her Top Dog, hehe. She loves people and I am not seeing any shyness or aloofness. She goes everywhere with me that I can take her. We are buds, thats for sure. Besides the normal commands, she is also very consistent about staying until I release her. Even with a few distractions. She comes on command. We are now working on that with distractions.
One question. I take her out daily for a longer and longer walk. She is doing better and better on the leash, not pulling or lagging hardly at all. With one huge exception. If we come up to a house that has a dog behind a fence (particularly a large dog with a big bark), she goes to the ground and won't move. I have tried everything from treats, to hugs, to picking her up, jerk and release, nothing seems to work very well. Actually dogs in general are the only thing that she seem to concern her. I still have one more shot next week and I will then begin a puppy class that will hopefully help
Just wanted to see what you would do about her "going to the mats so to speak."
Is it really OK to feed her raw meat? I know you say yes in your book, but her poop seems runny sometimes... Also, I am trying to feed her last meal before 6pm cause she has had nighttime distress if I feed her last meal late. I just want to be sure I am doing the right thing as I know she is still just a baby (even if she is now 35 lbs!!!
Thanks Lois. It is so great to know that you are there to answer all my "new Mom" questions. hehe