Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I've blogged before about how I think Rockwell is a "sensitive soul". I have been observing him of late with that in mind and I believe that he is certainly sensitive about his own feelings but I am not sure he understands that we humans have feelings too. Instead of the temper tantrum, lately he has been simply lying down in the road if he doesn't want to walk in the direction you want to walk. That's amusing for perhaps the first five times but then it gets old. When you're walking and this happens and some other person comes along, you have to pretend you agree with them when they say "isn't that funny" when all along, you are annoyed because the dog will not listen to you when you say "come." But if you get all stern and say "come" in a way that says "I mean business" he doesn't understand. Punishment simply doesn't work on this guy or even the threat of it. Every bit of attention he can get from you is play to him, even if you are trying to pick his limp form up to get him on his feet so you can continue your walk home. So this is still part of the learning process for me - how do I get him to understand that I want him to do something, knowing that he does not respond to "bad dog". For now, I get him up and walking again by running either toward him or away from him, depending, and making a game of it. Then he jumps up and leaps around me in fun. Then I keep on running all the way to the front door so that we are home again. But this is one dog you cannot bend to your will and not out of dominance or even willfulness on his part. No, I fear if you bend him too much, he would break. So it's a delicate balancing act.


At 9:25 a.m., July 09, 2006, Blogger Joly said...

"if you bend him too much, he would break. So it's a delicate balancing act. So it's a delicate balancing act."

Couldn't agree more!

Your blog is really fun to read, by the way. ^_^'

At 9:52 a.m., July 09, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Thanks Joly! Yes, dogs are funny things and they are such individuals that you cannot generalise except just a little.

At 1:40 p.m., July 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep thinking about Rockwell and Jessie's granddaughter. They are so much alike. Now that Kaya is taller (not heavier yet) she is quite the pretend Alpha dog, but Jessie knows instinctively how to make her mind.

Jessie takes my wrist when she want to go outside, but never has she ever hurt me. I don't think she has ever been hurt either, except her feelings. She hates loud voices and will immediately go under the table if you speak the least bit sternly.

I don't know how she was trained, but she sure is a good doggy. She walks along without pulling on the leash, periodically looking up hopefully, wondering if you will maybe go a little faster, or even run! She keeps exact pace and always on the left. That must be her show dog training.

Perhaps another, older trained dog will be used in his next step of training? He is still a puppy, like Kaya.

At 9:05 p.m., July 23, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Hey Betty, that's a good idea - to put him with an older dog to teach him stuff. That's why I would like to get away myself for a week and have him stay with someone who has dogs. That'll happen some time. Maybe September.


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