Saturday, November 26, 2005

Day 128

The most important thing that Sanity did today was to work beside me in the front yard. I have a sometimes student who has a six month old Doberman male. This owner just doesn't seem to "get it". She took a total of three lessons back in September and then was too busy to continue with her training. Notice I said "her training". Since I last saw her she has been working overtime on one task. That task is the one of pulling. Yes, she went from longe line to six foot leash without bothering to lay enough of a foundation and in the process exchanged a pleasant walk for a lesson in pulling as hard as physically possible.

I figured the best way to get a crack in the fence that was blocking learning was to train outside the fence, and so we did. Owner with dog on a 15' longe line and ecollar, Sanity wearing nothing but her ecollar. While we were out there the heavy trucks whizzed past the house at about 35mph and one long freight train thundered by. Over and over again, Sanity and I showed the owner how to stop walking, tap, call, praise, start over again. By the end of the session Sanity was beginning to glare at the owner and I think she felt sorry for the dog. Yes, they left having managed to walk from one side of the yard to the other without any pulling and with the dog more or less on the left side and sort of watching. Believe me, that was a major accomplishment and I think it went as well as it did all because of Sanity.

Late afternoon found us at the home of the very same niece who visited us yesterday. So how come there are no pictures? Easy. We did our homework far too well. Neither child nor pup were the least bit interested in each other. There was no fear. There was no curiosity. There was just plain no interest. They sort of acknowledged each other when we first walked into the house and after that it was almost as if each could no longer even see the other. Interesting response.

The other interesting thing was the difficultly I had in convincing those present that Sanity was only 6 months old. Granted, she will be 7 months old in just a couple more days, but I just couldn't stop myself from milking her super behavior for all it was worth. After all, it was her first time going to someone else's home. It was her first indoor human party. It was her first time in the house of another dog. Yes, there was another dog there. A totally ancient Pug, who took one look at Sanity, snorted and walked away. Sanity was very careful to never get in said Pug's way or even make eye contact. Her canine manners were every bit as impeccable as her manners when around humans. Good girl! Good girl, indeed.

So my niece says to me, "how come Smusy doesn't mind your dogs and hate any other dog that come here?" Me: "Most likely the other dogs had bad manners." What else could I say?

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