And I would like to give this whole list a click, myself. I have also learned a lot here, and a big click to the authors of the positive books I've read. The results I'm having are beyond my wildest dreams, and I'm so thankful I stuck with it. I've faced a lot of adversity, naysayers, doubters and cynics. Well...the proof is in the results. I have an abnormal dog. Yes, it's true.
He's totally abnormal. Still at the height of adolescence, and he's amazingly good. I wish I could figure out what I'm doing right. I know it's not training methods, cause that shouldn't matter either way. It must just be the relationship, the trust, and time spent together. What else is it that makes a dog respond to you, and do something just because you asked, not for a cookie, or a correction, or whatever?
We've been spending a lot of afternoons down at Venice Beach. Great long stretch to run and exercise with a nice, albeit also interesting, view. Luckily, the police have cleared out the riff-raff with out of control macho dogs. (Not gonna point fingers at a particular breed). In fact, I nearly got hassled once. The cop stopped us, and I said "yes?" and told Borias to down, which he did immediately. The cop said, "oh...um is he a service dog or something?" I said yep, he was, and we were on our way.
Today, I went down to run him, and have happy hour at a beachside bistro. When we went into the patio, a bunch of people sitting at an end table had a lab that went absolutely ballistic. Snarling, barking, freaking out. Borias completely ignored him! I laid him down under a table, and blocked the other dog's vision to him, and all was well. Afterwards, I figured I oughta work off some of those calories from the nachos, so as we went along the bike path, I let his leash off. We "ran" together for 2 miles! Granted, I'm not even able to keep up with his gallop. He would frequently stop, and look back, only going maybe 10 feet ahead at any time. We passed maybe 20 or so dogs, not one of which he paid any heed to. At one point, I thought I'd test him, and as he was running ahead, told him to "down", and by george, he went down in possibly a half second. He didn't even pay attention to seagulls.
I think this boy may be completely trustworthy off-leash! I still would never risk it where there were cars, I'm far too paranoid. But it's just very cool to have so much focus, and responsiveness from a dog. He's so aware of me, that he'll be 10 feet ahead, and if I slow down, he slows down. We're so in tune with each other. That's a good way to put it, being in tune. There's where a good relationship can come from, along with training. Being in tune with each other.
I doubt I could get this trust with using force to try to attain my goals. Force is met with resistance. I get the opposite. I've learned so much from this dog. I believe he's truly come into my life for a reason. Training from the gut can be very important. In reading Lads Before the Wind, there was a definite split between the scientific, data oriented trainers, and the ones who were cognizant of that, yet also listened to their instincts. They were the ones who were successful, they established a rapport with their subjects, a relationship. There was trust, an awareness of each other. It is a two way game.
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