Monday, October 27, 2008

Averting Disaster

Remember my love for Bambi?
Beautiful, delicious, not-so-smart Bambi? While I miss the thrill of the hunt, I have been spending hours every day, for the past couple of weeks, learning to "come" and understanding my place in the household. Crazy lady suspects that I have been formally trained as a huntress, and cats were the favorite "bait" used to train me. She has no proof, but at least she has some understanding of my distinct hatred for those furry little beasts.

Regardless of my past training and incredible drive, we now...

(1) take walks using a Halti. I can still drink, eat and bite, but the Halti gives crazy lady more control during our walks.
(2) have started to use an electric "shock collar" for moments when I wander the yard, play off leash, or stalk a delicious prey. Crazy lady used the collar on herself, to make sure the shock was not harmful. It was a soft jolt, but the tests for her carpal tunnel syndrome are much more painful.
(3) tether me in the mornings, while crazy lady works on her edits and outlines in the office. Crazy lady tried to take a picture, but I was too busy sulking. I prefer the special collar and the Halti over tethering. I now glare at the wall while she works.

We went for special training with John at Euro-Training Kennels, and crazy lady has been following his instructions. Isis' mom Jen came along, to observe the shock collar training, take pictures, and provide additional insights about my behavior. I have been unusually comfortable with the shock collar, and crazy lady suspects that it's not a new experience for me. She will never know--- that's one secret I am going to keep.

Wild Dingo was right, however-- this is hard (but necessary) work! Crazy lady loved what Wild Dingo wrote in the comments section of the Bambi incident: "...truthfully (and i don't mean this as criticsm because i'm not perfect) but your little Bambi hunter should have halted and stopped the minute you said so, no matter what drive he's in, prey, play, praise or food. prey is a strong drive but your leadership and command should be able to stop him in his tracks. but it takes a LOT of training. hard training. Training you may not be so keen on." Wild Dingo recommends www.leerburg.com, an excellent web site for information and resources.

Well, I'm exhausted.
Training has been hard work, and I suspect crazy lady will remain consistent and diligent. She can't forget the sight of my bloody, smiling face during the Bambi hunt. I loved every moment of the hunt, but crazy lady says that my safety is more important than tasty venison. Bummer.

1 comment:

Wild Dingo said...

Whoo hoo on the training! good for Crazy Lady. Sugar Sweet will live up to the name! Meanwhile, Loki from Formosa himself had his own bambi moment on our trail walk. Unfortuntately for him, he was on his training collar and got some serious "fuey" for that. Because he disturbed the nice lady in the bird watching hat who was peacefully watching bambi enjoy his evening snack.

If you like leerburg, you'll like the "dealing with dominant dogs" dvd. i just finished it. one thing i took away: praise after a correction for obedience (if he doesn't sit on sit command and you correct, then you praise when he does it), but no praise after a pack drive faux-pas corrrection...for example, growling at a neice or continuing to bark and lunge after nice poodle on a walk. that was pretty interesting to me. because pack drive things are understood and gentic and like good manners built in...but obedience is like language they are learning.

Go check out new pix posted yesterday!