Monday, May 14, 2012

Training Again

Standard Poodles are reported to be among the most intelligent of all breeds and Gypsy is a two time drop out. I'm a failure as a poodle father. Looking back I'm not so sure why we were so insistent about having her "formally" trained. We wanted her to walk nice on a leash and come to us when called. I didn't care if she heeled or not or was an expert in obedience. This is around the time when Cesar the dog whisperer guy was all over the television. We watched him go into homes with the most unruly dogs and in a matter of a few hours he would have them trained. His method was to exercise the dog to a point of exhaustion and assume the "alpha" role in the pack. It all goes back to the pack animal thing and how the alpha was in charge and the other pack dogs would obey the alpha. Sounded good to me. Never let the dog go through a door before you do, you eat first and then when you are done the dog can eat. when walking the dog can't be in front, and the list goes on. He even would mix his dogs food by hand so he would get his scent on the food.
Hey I hope your hands are clean!
When a dog went nuts Cesar would put them down and put his fingers on the dogs throat to simulate the alpha dog pinning the other dog down. Desar was always quick to mention this move didn't heurt the dog. So we tried all of the above. Going on a walk, shoulders back, head up, and assume all the confidence I can muster. Cesar said the dog would sense my confidence. The confidence would go down my arm, through the leash, and into the dog. I'm not so sure how that works. Anyway, Gypsy didn't really improve much. And there were a few times I would put her down and do the throat hold thing like Cesar. She would just look at me puzzled.
Hey, I'm just having some fun!
So, I gave up on the Dog Whisperer. His theories are being challenged now. Most say the "pack" mentality has left the dogs many years ago.

Then, Sandi came across a collar that changed our lives, the Gentle Lead. this is a collar that loosely attaches around the dogs nose and the lease attaches to it. From the minute we put it on Gypsy she has walked with us like a pro. Problem solved. Good bye choker chain.

I think this thing makes me look silly!

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