Today I had to keep repeating the phrase "I love my dogs" over and over again to stop myself from strangling them both.
Well, strangling the boys anyway.
This morning I decided it would be a good idea to work on some obedience. A friend sent me a link to some videos about competition heeling. I really haven't worked on them pivoting since I last posted pictures and I thought today would be the perfect day to work on it. Naturally, my dogs do not catch on as quickly as the malinois in the video. *face palm*
The point of this post plainly is that:
- You need to stop before you kill your dogs.
- Know when it's not working.
- Know when your dog is disinterested or has had enough.
- Don't beat them even though you really want to.
I started out with Seppel. He actually understands moving his hind legs fairly well however, unless I was moving with him either into him or away from him he wouldn't move. Further more I know he could read my body language which progressively turned very stiff and unhappy so he started backing off of the box, laying on it, just doing anything and everything because he didn't want to get into trouble. I have not beaten him, I think really the only time I've physically squished and smashed him was when he attacked LiLo in the truck. However, he always squints or jumps away like he's going to get whacked. I'm 99% sure he was born this way because of his other idiosyncrasies. His owner also said that the first time she put a collar on him he screamed and pitched a giant fit. It's in his personality to be soft. I mean, he doesn't even like to be patted on the chest - he will blink every time your hand "hits" him. This is proving to be really hard because he doesn't like being in my space. When we work obedience at home I have him in a flat collar, we only use the prong for bitework and when he's focused on the decoy I can give him a correction and it doesn't much phase him because he is so focused on getting the guy. Anyway, this whole pivoting thing this morning wasn't working out. I couldn't find my clicker [left it at the barn, oops!]. After speaking out loud how displeased I was - I just stopped. I didn't get nasty with him, I gave him some treats and swapped him out for Seth.
Seth, my star dog, surely he would know what to do. It was almost a chore getting him to stand on the box, and then he acted like he couldn't move his hind end at all. *more face palming*
I threw my hands in the air and just decided to be done.
Seriously, it's hard not to want to throw yourself on the ground and kick and scream and curse your dog. But you have to just stop, end on a happy note, and move on with your life.
I am very pleased to report that we tried again tonight and both Seth and Seppel were on their A game. With Sepp it wasn't nearly as defeating, I had him swinging his butt into me, which gives me an inkling of hope that we WILL get through this whole "Ack, I don't want to touch you!" thing. Seth - well, he was able to get his butt moving back and forth and he stayed on the box!
Today was a very important lesson for me in terms of being patient and just walking away when things aren't going how I had intended.
I swear these dogs teach me a lesson everyday!