They say that ‘you don’t always get the dog you want, you get the dog you need’. I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but ‘they’ have a very good point! I think this is especially true when you have a rescue dog. You fall for them, hear their story and promise that they will have everything their heart desires from this moment on.
Life will never be the same again!
We’re now about 6 months into life with Bear. As the youngest member of our team, he arrived thanks to what can only be described as ‘fate’. We had decided not to have another dog, to concentrate on Reggie & Maude after losing our two older boys, Mulder & Mutley.
That plan was ignored and Bear joined us from Ruff Luck Rescue in late July 2014. Who could say ‘no’ to this face?!
Training has been going well with Bear; he’s incredibly receptive, loves to learn and is so much fun to be around. We’ve certainly had our ups and downs and we’re pretty sure that there’ll be plenty more of them to come. He joined us at a year old, having had no real training whilst fully embracing his adolescent phase. He has already taught us so much and is definitely putting our dog training skills to the test… or so we thought… this week is a whole new ball game!
We have an oversized adolescent with a torn ligament in his knee. Yes, that means restricted walks! Bear enjoys a lot of exercise, CaniX running and we had started on agility too. Whilst playing with a football earlier this week, he fell awkwardly and injured himself… only, he doesn’t seem to have noticed.
It turns out I needed to work on my timing. Effective dog training is all about timing. I have a list of games and tricks that I am working on with Bear and I’m seizing the opportunity to put my money where my mouth is with the ‘brain games’. Some fabulous fellow dog trainers have kindly sent me ideas of new ways to occupy Bear and we are ON IT!
This evening, the task was to begin learning the trick ‘guilty’… a very cute trick that I thought would embrace my Catholic upbringing! It was all going well, until I mistimed a reward… Bear then repeated a slightly odd lift of the paw which looked more like a military salute (something we may work on in the future!) and then took great pleasure in us starting the whole exercise from scratch.
You see… we’re all a work in progress… and this evening Bear has taught me a valuable lesson!