ClickerSolutions Training Treasures

Bro's Success

Hi Folks,

Bro and I both send thanks and wags to all of you nice folks who wished him a happy 10th birthday! We had a great day... bones for everyone!!! And we even happened to have a presentation that day at a local bookstore... which is Bro's favorite thing to do: go and be petted and admired by dozens of strangers!

Now, let me tell you a story that could have had several endings...

In the afternoon yesterday, Bro's 10th birthday, was our book signing/training presentation, which was outdoors at a town "Dog Days" event. Dogs were invited (a dozen or so were there, just regular dogs, mostly, not the trained kind ) centered behind our favorite independent bookstore.

We were there for a couple of hours, many people petting Bro, lots of strange (and rude) dogs running right up and getting in his face, crowds milling around, kids playing, dogs everywhere, food, etc. Very stimulating. As usual, Bro was the perfect "host"... he thinks *all* events are to celebrate him. Great attitude about life! (Wish I had it more like his attitude!)

At the end, it started pouring rain and my friend Joy (also my training assistant) and I flurried around with our dogs still on lead, trying to get all the books under cover and dried off, etc. Then, all of us soaked to the skin, we retreated to my house. Shortly, another friend arrived. Her birthday is the day before mine and we see each other only once or twice a year. She had her 8 year old son with her. They do not have dogs and are somehow almost *completely* unsavvy, which for some reason surprises me every time I see them, though it certainly shouldn't by now. They *love* dogs, they just don't really seem to *get* them.

Okay, so we're all sitting around the kitchen table. The dogs (my 3 and Joy's 1) all are chewing bones in various parts of the house (there are lots of bones and lots of places it's okay to chew them). Comet (Joy's) is by our feet at the table with two bones. Bro marches in and growlie talks while he confiscates Comet's spare bone. It was done without bluster or nasty vibes, just talking, like (grrOkay, grrI'mgonna take this here grrrbone) so I just let it be, as I normally would. Now, I know many would not allow that, but it's part of our "culture" in my home and we don't have fights or violence, so I allow Bro's "talking" (not "yelling", though). If I don't view something as a problem, I don't "correct" it.

Anyway, so Bro starts to lie down next to Comet to chew on this bone. He's holding it in his mouth, and it's a steer femur so it's really huge. It's also a fairly new bone, so it still has substantial real estate value. Suddenly, the 8 year old boy, Ben, leaps out of his chair, flings himself over Bro's neck and bear hugs him as he basically falls the rest of the way to the floor.

Oh my God!!!!!!!

So, what happened next??? Here are the multiple choice endings for this story, you pick the likeliest one...

a) He ate the kid's face
b) He leaped up in pain
c) He merely growled
d) He didn't even acknowledge the offense

Remember: Bro was pretty tired from the book signing. He's a 10 year old male Rottweiler. I have no children for him to be used to the off the wall things they might do.

Answer: d! (PTL!)

He did not even acknowledge the offense!!! Bro has had all-gentle training his whole life. He's what I call "bombproof." He knows through a lifetime of experience that if a person hurts him or does something bizarre, that it must have been *only an accident*, and Bro forgives and does not punish them.

Bro and I share an important philosophy: If we don't view something as a problem, we don't "correct" it. I like to think he learned that from me. I attribute Bro's attitude to his being raised and trained without violence, pain, or insult to his dignity. Violence begets violence; we know this for sure from human studies. Perhaps tolerance begets tolerance. Sure looks like it from how Bro acts! I'll cast all my votes for gentle training and for gentle trainers!

Happy and in love with my sweet old Rottie boy,

September Morn
copyright 1999 September Morn


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