Pre study done. And on only a quarter of a cup of coffee. Didn’t have the hit I needed this morning.
Hate those mornings that, on waking, you find you’ve been sleeping with your mouth open most of night, and its a desert in there complete with tumbles weeds and coyotes.
I think I actually slept last night. I didn’t move around a lot. same position as I went to sleep in. At least that’s what my cramped upper back is telling me.
Yesterday I started what I’m hoping will be a routine, with the Dogs dinner. Kobash, with being a rescue, we don’t know very much about his back ground, other than that we know he was starved and severely neglected. Left tied to a crate in a field. Because of that history he has issues with food. If food is around, being the type of species that is already an opportunistic feeder, that has been amplified to his grabbing anything that comes in to contact with his mouth. Poor boy. He is so anxious about food, so worried that he will be deprived again. I hadn’t been very routine with his meal times, as I had been told that it wasn’t good to feed Dogs at the same time every day. But with Kobash, that is not the best. On getting more reliable advise from the ever informative and knowledgeable Donna from the Pet Shop, I have started to feed Kobash at the same every day. She explained that his anxiety about food will reduce if he knows that he will get his dinner at the same every day. That way he wont work himself up in to a frenzy when he does get his dinner, thinking he better get it now because he doesn’t know when he will be getting it again. It makes sense. I’m hoping that with this being the regular thing, he wont be as stressed out about it anymore. After this, it now comes to helping him with his scavenging when we’re out and about. To not pick up dropped food. I was horribly misinformed that if you coat dropped food with chilly powder, it will deter a Dog from picking up anymore in the future. This person was unaware that Dogs are unable to feel chilly heat in their mouths so this wont work. Thank goodness I found this out. Not that I would ever have done it anyway. It just was too cruel a thing for me to do. Especially to a Dog that helps me out as much as Kobash. And because I love him as much as I do, I’m endeavouring to do my best by and for him, by researching the best ways to help him.
I go about most of training of Kobash with Cesar Milan’s method (its the difference with trying to snatch his chewed up football out of his mouth, to “claiming” it from him, by putting yourself between him and the ball, without “attitude”. He will relinquish it to me every time over another person having to half lifting him off the ground to get it out of his clamped jaws) I know that quite a few people think he is too rough, and that is understandable when you watch some of his shows, but on consideration of this, he does do most of his work with strong breeds of Dogs. Primarily Pit Bull breeds. Starting off with Rottweilers. If you look at him on his pack walks, all of the Dogs there are happy and relaxed. And they all have their adoring attention fixed on their leader.
Cesar spent most his childhood observing the Dogs on his grandfathers farm, how they interacted with each other, and with humans. The pack mentality. That the leader of the pack wasn’t about being obsessively controlling, domineering, and aggressive. The leader knew how to claim what was rightfully his without any fight. His training, or Dog Psychology, is all about bring Dogs back the their natural state and position in the pack. Dogs want a leader. They want a Balanced leader. They don’t naturally hold on to unpleasant events, and only end up doing so because their owners unwittingly cause them too.Thinking that a Dog needs attention at times of uncertainty is the reason and cause of a lot of unbalanced Dogs. In their natural state, to be uncertain, means, so is your life. If the leader is calm during fearful situations, so will be the rest of the pack. They take their cue from their leader.
When I first got Nova, I started using Cesar’s method on her right away. Within a short period of time, she went from being anxious around other dogs, and on walks and about her environment, to being the one Dog that the pack I walked at the time, followed wherever she went. If she was calm, so were they. And because I put on that persona like I did my Dog walking belt, she took her cue from me. We walked a lot of Dogs that started off being either hyper excited, or had fear aggression with other Dogs, to being great members of our pack. Now of course, to those who know Nova, they know that she still has those few “quirks” that I just couldn’t help her get past on my own. Her fear of wind surfers, kites, flies (that one because she was bitten multiple times by huge march flies that sting horribly, and poor Grey Hounds have such thin skin) number among the few. But all the Dogs I walked loved her.
I use this same method with Kobash. But with him I also need to add some others to really get into his head and help him to see that he doesn’t need to be anxious that I will ever do to him what was done to him before.
He is also a top Dog. He is a leader. He would be a pack leader. This is useful to him in the job he does for me. He needs to have those skills at times that he needs to take over from me when I’m bombarded by sensory overload and cant function. But he also needs to know that he can relax, and that I will provide for him everything he needs.
It took some doing with teaching him to not grab dropped food while in malls and other shopping centres. But he accomplished that. Now I need to pay more attention to dropped food in parks and on the side of the road. In a time when Dog baiting is prevalent, its crucial to any Dogs welfare that they be taught to not eat dropped food. And I strongly encourage Dog owners every where to have their Dogs taught this.