Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowzilla and the wag more hump less fest

With the French Toast Alert at high, it was time for some storm prepping.

First I hit the supermarket market last night, and bought the mega gianormous toilet paper. Rest assured that the good junk food is hiding underneath.

This morning I awoke with images of my two new male foster dogs frozen shut in my house, ala blizzard on Little House on the Prairie. If you follow me on twitter (@gooddogz), you may have been following the hump fest 2011. Each night before bed time was the worst. Let's just say that my living room saw a life time worth of action dominant male canine play. I was inches away from trying a squirt bottle, but because both dogs were shelter dogs and I want to earn, not loose their trust, I thought ok, lets see what happens if I wear the heck out of them. The humping starts after the dogs get '"excited." (not that kind) and I wanted to see what would happen if I kept arousal (not that kind) on the down low.

With a  massive leap of faith in not only the dogs, but my ability as well, I let both fosters off leash in the woods this morning for the first time today.  It was a picture perfect walk with my two dogs along with  Beck and Kingsley dragging light leashes -in case I needed help catching them. I have to say I was really proud of the dogs and myself. Over the last year I have developed a system of integrating shelter dogs into the household and it is all about relationship. The next group of fosters, I will try to videotape. Basically I use Dawn Jenks choose to heel/come method combined with a work to earn program. While I walk in my yard, the dogs are rewarded for choosing to hang around with me. I make recalls fun. I often tell my students to practice recalls like fishing. Catch and release! My yard is big enough that I can tell if they are blowing me off and if they do, they don't get off leash in the woods or beach. We did meet up with a few people and dogs on our walk this morning, and both foster dogs were awesome and came right back when I called them. In some ways, I think teaching recalls to once abandoned dogs is easier than dogs that were raised as puppies and have gotten real life self rewards again and again for mis behavior.

Check them out!

Beck and Kingsley are the nicest  dogs, and if anyone wants to sponsor either of them to stay here for life,we will gladly accept. . Both dogs have updated bios found here for Kingsley, formally Buck

 and here for Beck.

Beck jumped my 5 and a half foot gate in a single bound to get to me, and he is going to take a little longer to find just the right placement for him. Dog sports anyone? He is a blast to work with. Beck didn't even know sit when he came and in a few days he learned sit, auto sit, walking decent on a leash, down, target, leave it and my favorite, no humping. All this is a huge improvement from the jump and hump that he arrived with just over a week ago. Interesting to note that the fosters have pretty much done a reversal from the dogs that we met in the shelter. It turns out that Kingsley loves to jump on people he knows!  Both dogs love to be lap dogs.

Part of the fun of fostering  dogs for me, aside from saving them from life behind bars, is figuring out the puzzle of what they already know, and how they can learn what they need to know to be adoptable FAST. It brings out the behavior geek in me. Each dog who has passed through my doors have given me an insight on what my clients live with. I have said this before and I will say it again, I think all trainers should foster at least one dog a year if at all possible. Of course for a multitude of reasons, this is not always possible.
By the way, tiring the dogs out did the trick and it has been a happy evening of wag more hump less.

1 comment:

Diana N' Kallie said...

You are such a talented trainer and inspiration to all dog owners!