Titan’s First Week at Training

Okay I was going to use this photo for my Wordless Wednesday post but I just can’t wait to share.Learning obedience 6-29-12

This is Dave our good friend and trainer from Dusty Rose K-9 Trainer’s He is starting off with obedience work with Titan because that is the foundation to any sport you wish to pursue with your dog even if it is to be a couch potato Winking smile I received a report from Michelle (that’s my good friend and wife of Dave, also a trainer) that Titan did very well especially with his sits. She laughed when she told me about his downs, said they are more of a plop and roll to the side so they will work on that; oh yes this is hereditary, he gets it from dad LOL. He must do a good down because my plans for him are to get his CD in obedience as well as at least a JH in hunting tests. I hope to be able to go farther but we will see after Dave does an evaluation on Titan and his training progresses. I am looking forward to working with this boy he has a strong will to please and catches on quickly, I may even be able to enter him in an upcoming Working Dog Stake in August…but I won’t get my hopes up just yet he has a way to go for that.

AKC Definitions:

CD

Companion Dog:
The letters CD may be added after a dog’s name when it has been certified by 2 different judges to have received qualifying scores in Novice classes at 3 licensed or member obedience trials. You can read more on AKC obedience here

JH

Junior Hunter:
For a title, dog must receive qualifying scores at 4 licensed or member tests. Below is an excerpt from the Regulations and Guidelines for AKC Hunting Tests for Retrievers that explains in detail junior hunting requirements:

8. CHAPTER 5, SECTION 5.  Junior Hunting Tests.
Dogs shall be tested on a minimum of four single marks,
two on land and two on water. No more than two marks
may be thrown in a series. 
Judges in keeping with simulation of realistic and natural
hunting conditions must remember the use of numerous
decoys, islands, points of land, rolling terrain, cover,
ditch lines, wind direction, etc. are important factors
to consider when designing test scenarios to evaluate
Junior dogs as capable hunting companions.
    (1)  …
    (2)  Dogs shall be steady but may be brought to the
line on leash with a flat buckle collar. The dog is under
judgment when it leaves the holding blind. A Junior
dog that is not under control when brought to the line
(jumping, strongly tugging, etc) even though it is on a
leash shall risk receiving a lower score in trainability
including zero in extreme cases. Dogs may be restrained
gently with a slipcord looped through the flat buckle collar,
or held gently by the flat buckle collar until sent to
retrieve.Notable changes/clarifications made to the description of
the Junior Hunting Test include:  (1) Judges may, at their
discretion, require more than four marks.  (2) No more than
two marks may be thrown in a series. (3) While a Junior
dog is being brought to the line on leash, it is expected that it
be reasonably under control.  If it is not, the dog risks being
scored lower in trainability in accordance to the degree of
its misbehavior.  

So keep watching for updates as the training continues Smile

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Can I Pet Your Dog?

I recently read a post by rumpydog addressing the issue of Breed Specific Laws (BSL), you can read all about it here. It got me to thinking about why dogs bite, so thought I would do a post on the subject of body language and how to approach dogs. Now I know this is way off the topic of which Rumpy wrote about but thought it was worth the time to write about it. I do believe that in most cases dogs warn us long before they actually bite, we just do not listen or observe the signs as the case may be. There are those instances when a dog does bite that is un-provoked, possibly due to how they are raised, breeding, bad temperament, etc. but that is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about the average well adjusted good temperament dog that is using it’s only means of communication to tell us how they are feeling, their body.

It has been my experience that not everyone knows how to approach a dog or even how to teach their children the do’s and don’ts of being around dogs, whether it is the family pet or a strange dog they see on the street. However, for those who do I applaud you and thank you for teaching your children well so I don’t have to be the bad guy and my dog doesn’t have to warn them; and for the adults that listen to me and follow my instructions I thank you too!

There are three very basic rules I teach everyone, young and old, first you ALWAYS ask permission from the owner before touching the dog. They are the best judge of whether or not their dog is friendly towards strangers and wants to be petted. Second do not reach over the dogs head to pet them, most dogs do not like this and will pull away or lower their head to get away from your hand; instead hold your hand out so they can get a good smell of you and then if they are receptive a little scratch under the chin will do. And third  do not stare the dog in the eyes, to them this is a sign of “hey you want to start something with me”. It seems that children are more receptive to these rules when explained to them than some adults; for example…

A couple of years ago at a benched dog show I had a gentleman come over to see my dogs, however when he approached he was staring at Riva and would not break the gaze (breaking rule #3). Then he reached out to pet her on top of the head (breaking rule #1 & #2) she had a low grumble so I quickly told him not to touch her and I moved her away from him. I told him that she did not like him staring her in the eyes and he quickly dismissed what I was telling him and scoffed at me. My point was proven when a lady approached, asked if she could pet her, held her hand out so Riva could smell her first and then rubbed under her chin while talking softly to her (not staring her in the eyes), Riva was very friendly towards the woman. Well I have to tell you this gentleman did not like this and asked me “why does she let her pet and not me” and again I repeated “because you keep staring her in the eye and she does not like it” finally he walked away still quite ignorant of what I had tried to teach him. Ah well you can’t get through to everyone!

I find that you really have to be in tune with your dog and learn their body language so you will know how they are feeling especially when you are in public. Knowing your dogs body language can prevent a bite from happening. I tell people all the time dogs do not think like we do and they certainly do not reason like we do so it is up to the owner to protect them and people from tragic mishaps.

I found this nifty chart that shows canine body language and what it means better than I could have written, hope you enjoy it as much as I did and will share it along so we can educate others on body language.

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