Monday, February 17, 2014

Animal Care - Obedience Training: Post 3 of DG Series

So, last night, I got obedience trained.  (No, pervs, not like THAT!)

Animal Care's behaviorist came over to do an analysis of my beast; now 4 and a half months old.  Mikey is a good dog, really, for his age, but he is really big and coming up on puppy puberty.  He doesn't quite have a grip on house training and he is "competitive" with Desert Dawg (in other words, he bops her, bites her, and herds her like a little sheep at whim).  At an old and wise bitchy 17, she is nonplussed.

Basically, Gill teaches dog owners how to teach their dogs.  Train the trainer.  I learned a lot just by having her observe my home environment and how the dogs interacted.

And, if you are like me (born before the 90's), if you grew up with dogs, your idea of obedience training meant a rolled-up newspaper to the snout.  Gill is into positive reinforcement/force free training which she says resolves the issue rather than masking it.  I think I'm going to need more training on this because I've just been conditioned to bop, not reward.  (Dayum!  Come to think of it, maybe that is the problem with my relationshits too:  Puppy Training 101.)

So like, for example,  when your puppy (or boyfriend) pees all over the floor (chats with bimbo-ho's on whatever app-de-jour he is on), you don't go apeshit and turn all crazy-lady, but reward him when he does the right thing.  "Good boy!"  Huh.  Fascinating.  Actually, Libra was trying to teach me this technique and I just didn't listen....

I'm going to have to get a clicker and some Scooby snacks.

Gill recommends (back to "real" dog talk now) that I put Mikey on a leash as soon as I wake up (or now, as soon as HE wakes me up - which may be at 1, 2 or 3 am) and walk him out to where I want him to do his business.  Reward him with a little treat when he does the right thing.

She said that the competition thing is going to take more work.  Yeah, Mikey herds DD, but then DD instigates drama and often bites him or growls/barks at him.  Gill said that Mikey will take it to a point, but then the drama may turn on her.  I have to be careful.  She showed me some techniques for getting them both to relax and share.  Lots of repetition.  I also have to get between them or learn to walk away when they're not doing what I want (SNAP!  Again, a useful relationship technique that I haven't been able to master!  Yikes!)

So ok, nuts and bolts:    Gill will come to your house and for a meager hourly fee, she will work with you and your dog(s).  She'll give you LOTS of information (I should have recorded it!) and great advice.Gill has only been in Kuwati for 3 short weeks, bless her!  I'm surprised she got to my house as easily as she did.  It wasn't just work for me - we had a lovely chat over coffee and it was comfortable because it was my house.  I could have been in my PJs and she's the kind of person who wouldn't have even batted an eye.  I like her! I'm sure  you will too:  she's just good people.  Good energy.

Gill wants to do puppy classes, so I am trying to generate interest for that (because I want to be involved). She want so do small classes to teach/socialize dogs AND their owners.

She said it isn't just play, it is serious business, as the development cycle for dog learning is the first 16 weeks.  (I didn't know that!  I guess it is similar to a relationship also, come to think of it... You only have a limited amount of time to set the standard.)  That is when they learn some behaviors that may last the rest of their lives.  It is important to get them accustomed to different situations, sounds, textures, animals and kids during this time.  (Thank God I got Mikey out of that cage Puppy Dude had him in!)

Gill wants to educate people on animal behavior and training.  Please help me spread the word about this great service!

Again, if you want info on Gill and Animal Care, check out their website or their Facebook page.  Gill rocks!  Meet her.  Talk to her.

Again, I can't believe I didn't get involved with Animal Care/PetSpa before!  I love K'S PATH and this group is closely affiliated with them.  Why am I so dumb?!  Yeh.


Anonymous said...

Hey DesertGirl if you don't mind sharing may I ask how much Gill charges per training session?

Lindi Bergh said...

You are so fortunate to have Gill Pirow in Kuwait. My Golden Retriever Roxy, and I trained with Gill for over a year and we both learned such a lot. She is a fantastic trainer and behaviourist and is sorely missed in Cape Town, S.A.

Elayne Taylor said...

This kind of post is always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I'm happy to find many good points here in your post. Writing is simply great! Thank you for the post.

Kind Regards,
Elayne Taylor
Dog Training Collars