Dog Trainer's Log

Training Out Loud

The 2012 Pet Blogger Challenge – my answers

The PBC...but on Jan. 11 for the chronically late.

For the second year in a row, the bloggers at Go Pet Friendly and Will My Dog Hate Me? organized a pet blogger challenge for Jan. 10. Of course I’m a day late posting my answers – and yeah, I know, timing in dog training is everything.

But honestly, it took me that look to figure out where I’m going here, and what I want to do.  The questions helped me take a good hard look at Dog Trainer’s Log: where it’s been, where it’s going, and where I WANT it to go in 2012. Even more important, the challenge incorporates the most critical component. It asked me to figure out HOW I was going to get to where I want to go in 2012.

My answers are:

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Can an animal organization that euthanizes animals call itself “Humane”?

English: Galveston Island, TX, September 17, 2...

Image via Wikipedia

I just posted the following as a comment to the post, “Scruffy’s Law: Making Animal Organizations Tell the Truth,” on Christie Keith’s Dec 28 Dogged blog.

For the record, I DO think we need to make animal organizations (and trainers, too!) “tell the truth” about what they do, how they do it, and how they operate. But I don’t think the solution proposed in the blog is headed in the right direction, nor will it prevent the thing that outraged Keith. Read Keith’s blog, read my reply, and then let me know what you think.

Hmm. When I first opened this link, I thought (hoped) it might be a piece about the identity crisis created by the ASPCA of NYC and all of the smaller local SPCAs in the US. Or perhaps it would be a piece about HSUS‘s mis-use of the word “Humane” in its own name.

But no. So…after reading…

[Read the rest of this entry...]

The Splash Diaries: Meeting the public

Splash makes her debut at Sangertown Square Mall

So far, Splash has only met the public at 1) the dog park, 2) on a Greyhound Walking Club walk, 3) at the Wine Country circuit at Sampson State Park, 4) walking around the neighborhood. All of those locations have been outdoors, big spaces, distracting but not visually or aurally overwhelming.

Yesterday, I took her to Sangertown Square Mall in New Hartford for a Kindred Spirits Greyhound Adoption meet and greet. Splash is available for adoption from this group, for whom I’m fostering her, but distance and timing have kept us from participating in most group events. But this one, I could make, and I felt good, and so we set out on the 70 minute drive to New Hartford. [Read the rest of this entry...]

The Splash Diaries: Suddenly, a sit

Photograph of Helen Keller at age 8 with her t...
Image via Wikipedia

Saturday, October 16

She SITS! Splash has crouched into a sit on the stairs now and then, but this morning by the back door, she sat when I rewarded M. for sitting. I clicked her. Then outside, I asked M. to sit while I picked up poop, and Splash sat, too. We ran into Michael and Duncan on the far edge of the property, and she sat to meet him, unasked.

Hmm. Monkey see, monkey do. Mandie worked with her last weekend when she was at the kennel. Maybe Splash is working up to the same kind of “oh, I get it!” realization that happened for her with down, spontaneously connecting something she does with something I’m asking her to do.

When Splash puts something together, I feel like Annie Sullivan must have felt pumping water over Helen Keller’s hand, at that moment in the play when Sullivan suddenly felt Keller finger-spell w-a-t-e-r. Splash seems to learn in “water” moments. Repeat, repeat, repeat – no progress – aHA!

Training by accident, naming behaviors she does spontaneously and putting them on cue – Splash looks trained, and I look like a rockstar. And in reality, it’s nothing more than being in the right place at the right time, with a click and food.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Splash Diaries: Camping

Seneca Lake (New York)
Image via Wikipedia

Friday, October 1

We’re at the Wine Country circuit on the shores of Seneca Lake in Romulus, NY. Camping. Yesterday, Thursday, it rained from 4am to 10pm. Rain came down in sprinkles, in sheets, in continuous downpour all damn day. Lake effect rain is hard to imagine until you spend a day in it. It’s rain that just never quits. It starts, it slows down, it scales up – it’s constant. If it had been snow, we’d still be digging out. [Read the rest of this entry...]