Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fun day and fun videos

Hey all!  Hope you had a great holiday season and New Years.  I know many of us said it last year, but hopefully this new year will be better than the last!
Lots of good news on the dog-front.  Hoagie and I are looking forward to starting a nose-work class through Gentle Touch Pet Training this week.  We'll keep you updated on how that all goes, but it looks like it should be fun!

Hoagie has been making lots of progress in his training.  We've been working hard on fostering calm behavior at home and out-and-about.  Also, I am learning that calming myself down greatly helps in calming Hoagie.  If I'm annoyed and frustrated with him, he gets annoyed and frustrated.  It sounds silly, but I've had to remind myself that having a dog is supposed to be fun, not frustrating.  No matter what I do, he will still be a dog, still be imperfect, and like all our furry kids, a little weird.

It would however, seem that my new outlook and all the hard work is paying off.  Attention level is up, calm is becoming the norm instead of the exception, and everyone involved is feeling a little bit more sane (myself included).  Today at the SLODOG run-through I could have sworn someone switched my old dog with some new, well behaved doppelganger.

He wasn't snarky to any of the other dogs, even the three puppies taunting him with excited wiggles and puppy whines.  He was focused on me for a great Rally-O run through, and was so relaxed during the 3 minute group sit-stay that he decided to lie down (even though he was supposed to stay sitting) with a puppy not 2 feet from him, doing it's best impression of a 10-year-old hopped up on Mountain Dew.  Hoagie was a trouper today and made me really proud.  We've worked hard, and it's finally showing.  People who have known us for a while compliment us on our improvement, and people just meeting him see an even-tempered dog and a relaxed owner.  I couldn't be happier with his progress!  Even as I write this Hoagie is curled up on his bed like a little angel, enjoying a well deserved nap.

In celebration of a successful practice today I thought I would include some fun videos.  I have found that some of the best and most useful training help can be found on YouTube.  There are a lot of great trainers online doing some amazing stuff with their dogs.  Some of my favorites are the videos by Emily of Kikopup.  Her videos are really clear and well put together.  I also love that she only uses positive reinforcement techniques.  I found the video below to be especially useful in fostering calmness and sanity when I'm not actively working with Hoagie.

Be sure to check out kikopup's other videos if you want great dog training tips or just want to watch some fun dog videos. 

This next video is by Sian on her channel zsian1.  She is another one who does great dog training videos.  This one features some great training and canine freestyle practice footage.  Makes me laugh every time I watch it...


So enjoy some YouTube silliness, and most of all enjoy your dog.  The minute I remembered to do that was the same moment I got back a little bit of my own sanity (and a better behaved dog to boot)!