Well I must say that this week was the best week we have had so far! After posting our week two update, I got some really good advice and tips and they have made the world of difference – mostly having to do with changing MY behaviour.
In the second week, I was really stressing about the three dogs’ relationships to each other. One reader pointed out that maybe the reasons for me being stressed out were on me, and not on the dogs. She was right. I was humanising my dogs’ emotions when really, they were just fine.
We have also changed tactics in regards to training. One reader pointed out that there are holes in the dominance theory and that there is a lot of documentation on the Dominance Myth. It’s actually very interesting and makes sense. One point they argue is that it is unfair to compare our domesticated dogs to wolves because they have been domesticated for so long that it just doesn’t make sense. It would be like asking a monkey for parenting advice.
Having looked into that I started to research into other methods of training and came across the amazing Ian Dunbar. I have featured his videos on the blog before and I ended up spending a whole afternoon watching some of his lectures. They are really captivating and if you have some time, I suggest you check them out. Another great resource is Dog Star Daily, which is a website filled with info by Dr. Dunbar.
Having said that, Dr. Dunbar teaches that we need to really focus on the positive to shape the appropriate behaviour. Thomas and I tried this and saw results immediately. It will be up to us to consciously make an effort to recognize and reward good behaviour constantly. Usually I would think to myself, wow the dogs are being good, and now I want to TELL them they are good. As I mentioned, this is going very well and we are so happy about it.
One thing that I’ve noticed this week is the relationship developing between Corduroy and Wellington. They are really starting to get along very well and I’ve even caught them snoozing together which I find adorable. I will be watching how their relationship grows over the next few weeks.
This past Sunday we went to Global Pet Foods in Hintonburg for a nail trim fundraiser for Bullies in Need. It was the first time Wellie had her nails trimmed with us and we discovered that she doesn’t like it. We suspect her previous owners didn’t touch her paws very much so we will be gently touching her paws over the next few weeks and praising her a lot for letting us do so.
We are still working on the house training, although the accidents are getting fewer and farther between. We have discovered that she LOVES her Kong stuff with a mixture of yogurt, peanut butter, bananas and honey and then frozen. She also loves her treat ball with blueberries in it! This is a ball with a hole in the end and she has to bat it around to get the blueberries to come out. She is very good at it and I recorded a video that you can see below. If you feed kibble, I know some people who feed their dogs their dinner using this. It’s amazing.
Watch a video of Wellie and her new treat ball Continue reading →