Category Archives: Training

I have a great many goals for Zaria’s training, and Vera’s as well, though getting Zaria to a slightly more behaved level is presently taking priority. This list of goals will be updated as they are accomplished. There are many more “bigger picture” and long-term goals, but for now, we’re starting with the basics!
— Get Zar to acknowledge me as boss
— Get Zar through Obedience Foundations successfully
— Get Zar comfortable on a loose leash

On training dogs and learning personal boundaries

I’ve said it a lot. Diving into the world of dog training in general, and in exploring my working relationship with Z in particular, has taught me a lot about personal boundaries.

What I haven’t really elaborated on is what I mean by that.

Training a puppy is a frustrating experience.
Training a SIGHTHOUND puppy is frustratingly exhausting.
Training a sighthound BITCH puppy is maddeningly, frustratingly exhausting.

Especially when you don’t have any prior experience or practice.

I remember so many times when Z’s will would lock horns against my own, and I would grow frustrated by the strength of her will, and, in shadow, how weak mine often felt in comparison. I began to learn to feel that feeling in my body instead of in my brain.

And as I did that, I began to learn the signs that preceded it.

And perhaps the most important thing I learned, was that, while it was important for me to acknowledge and feel my own frustration for what it was, it was destructive to the process to expend it on Z. To do so would be to lock us into an escalation match where no one could win.

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Dog Training Progress: January 2015

At the end of last term training, I realized how I wished I had kept more detailed notes about Vera and Zar’s progress in dog training. Z especially, but Vera too, have made so much progress (and so have I as a handler), and it’s a pity to not recognize our giant strides forward. So I wanted to just take an informal minute and note where the two of them are, and me, too!

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On Broken Arms and Bor(ed)zois

dogs-6Well. A couple weeks ago I shattered my right radius pretty fantastically while snowboarding and have since been in a splint, recently upgraded to hard cast. As a result, Zar and I were not able to attend the Ridgefield Show, both because moving her out on my own was not a safe idea, and Vera managed to pick up kennel cough and I’m not too keen on spreading that stuff around. We’ve also not been to a class since my injury, and between that and Vera being a little more confined than usual and my own inability to properly play with her, and she’s starting to go a little nuts.

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