Update on My Dog’s Training

IMG_1581

I while ago, I made a post in which I was telling you that I was planning on starting to train my dog. The biggest obstacle, however, was that he has a lot of energy, and so calming him down was the first thing on my mind. Let me tell you how we’re doing so far.

1) Starting with a Calm Energy is More Difficult than it Looks

Most of the times, it wasn’t all that hard for me to remember that if I wanted a calm dog, I had to start with a calm me. However, it wasn’t always so easy. Sometimes, I had only a short window of time in which I could train him, so I had to rush. Other times, I was impatient to begin with. Finally, other times, I was concentrating so much on the fact that it was him I was training, that I forgot to check my own energy.

2) “Sit” and “Wait” Were Pretty Straight Forward

That is not to say I didn’t have any problems with these two commands, because I did. Sometimes, I would ask him to sit, and he would not pay attention to me. Other times, he would just look at me, as if he had no idea what I was telling him. I realized with this occasion that it is indeed better to simply hold the treat above his nose and move it backwards in order to remind him what on Earth I was talking about. My previous method, of gently pushing down on his back proved to be fruitless.

With wait I had a way easier time, though it did require a lot of patience, which I’ll speak about in my next point.

3) Patience, Patience, Patience!

This was one of the secret ingredients for success in training him. Especially with wait, I had to repeat the same steps over and over. It began with me telling him to sit, congratulating him, giving him the treat, then telling him “wait”. Then, I would start moving backwards. When he got up, I told him “No”, then repeated the previous steps. If he managed to sit still while I was moving a little bit, I congratulated him and gave him the treat. I repeated this steps over and over, until the distance I moved away from him was larger and larger.

4) Still Learning to “Leave it”

I began only a few days ago to teach him this new command, and the experience was pretty funny. I first showed him the treat, let him smell and lick it, then I said “Not allowed”, and moved my hand away. At first, he just stared at the treat for the longest time, with a very confused face. After a while of repeating this, I threw the treat down, and told him he was not allowed. Again, a long moment of staring followed, after which he lay down, and started crawling towards it. I reminded him he was not allowed to have it, then took it away. As I said, we’re still learning this command, but so far so good (and sooo funny 🙂 )

5) Moving Beyond the Basics

I have already started teaching him a new command, which is “lie down”. Today was the second day we’ve ever done it, and he’s already showing signs of comprehension. However, we still have to practice it a bit more before he’ll know it for certain. I will be making another plan for things to teach him after that, and how to do it. One of the commands that he should know is “go to your place”, but that might come a lot later, depending on how he’ll react.

This is about it for now!

/Larisa

Get in touch with me! 🙂

Facebook

I Need More Power Outages, Please!

via Wikipedia

Today was one of those days when I woke up, turned on my laptop, and waited for the internet to come, only to realize that it won’t. There was a power outage, thing which I should have realized when my plugged-in laptop was telling me it’s not plugged-in. However, thanks to my morning brain, this realization came much later than it should have.

So there I was, staring at my laptop’s screen, hoping for a miracle. After some time of waiting in vain, I decided to get up and start my day. I had a few brief moments of an existential crisis, since beginning my day meant checking my email. Now, when that was gone, how could I start my day? What do people do in such circumstances?

After finally figuring it out, I decided the best way of going about my day was to start reading. I’m behind on that as it is, so it was perfect. I did this for the following hour, hour and a half, and then I decided it was time to change activities. However, with so many of my options revolving around technology, I was once again at a loss.

As I was looking around my apartment, I saw my dog’s leash, which gave me a wonderful idea! Why not spend the remaining time I was stuck in that power outage by spending time with him? I did just that, and let me tell you, this day ended up being one of the best days in a long time.

I love spending time with my dogs, but when technology is readily available, I always find my day revolving around it. There’s always an email I have to write, a fact I have to check, or just some other thing I have to do. But  when all that’s taken away, I find myself having all this free time that I can spend doing other things.

Today, I noticed for the millionth time how gorgeous the blue of the sky is. Truly, the glass of my window takes a lot of its beauty away.

I also noticed today, once again, how beautiful the songs of the birds are. I have many songs on my Ipod, yet none of them manage to achieve the level of splendor their songs have.

And of course, then there was my dog. I can easily say he spent the first few months of his life in my arms, which means I know him very well. But it wasn’t until today that I noticed how curious he is. Spending so many hours with him, I saw that he absolutely had to inspect anything that came his way. Whether that was a plastic bag, a leaf, or an ant, it didn’t matter to him!

The world around us is filled with things we fail to notice from behind the wall of technology we’ve created. Perhaps these things are little edges of your dog’s personality. Perhaps they’re more important things than that, such as the problems of a friend.

This power outage made me realize just how good it is to step away from technology from time to time, and immerse ourselves in the world around us. Who knows what we’ll notice?

/Larisa

Get in touch with me! 🙂

Facebook