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Showing posts from August, 2014

1 Year: Training - Days 225 - 229


One night I was thumbing through some Youtube videos and spotted one where a dog flipped the dishwasher door up with his nose.  I sat back with my mind blown.  I had, for a while now, been wandering away from my open dishwasher and getting a tool to flip the stupid thing shut and NEVER thought I could have Max help me.  He was, at that time, two years into his career and had patiently watched me load the dishwasher hundreds of times.  This new revelation had me so excited I jumped up and grabbed a clicker and treats and taught Max in a single lesson to flip the door shut for me.

Yep, a single lesson.  Max was a savvy shapper by then and easily figured out I wanted his nose under the door and pressing up on it.  At the 3 minute mark he flipped it and by the 5 minute mark we had put both a hand cue and a verbal cue on the task.  Max, to this day, loves this task!

If only I had known then what I do now.  Max is an extraordinary dog.  Max not only learned to be my service dog in 14…

Public Access: Socializing Bear


It's hard to believe that less than a year ago it was Max who was mentoring Malcolm on is first major forays into socialization.  Now it is Malcolm mentoring Bear.  Malcolm is such a gentle soul.  He's been very patient with Bear, even when Bear discovered his gentiles and tried to bit the dangly parts.  He's tolerated sharp teeth chewing on his tender parts, his lips, his ears, his feet, his tail and a tiny tot climbing on him and even sleeping curled against him.  He's taken the time to teach Bear how to play Keep Away, Tug-O-Dog, Catch Me If You Can, Wrestling, Hide-N-Seek (my yard will never be the same) and more.

When Bear tried to hump his shoulder Malcolm simply stood up and walked off.  He's shared a crate with him, taught him the art of patience and has been a good big brother.  For a one year old, intact Male who is not related to Bear, he's been the perfect adult dog for Bear.  Bear is learning a lot with each interaction and I can see Bear …

1 Year: Training - Days 220 - 224


Poor Malcolm, he woke at 2:20 AM and came to my side of the bed just after I put up the laptop after writing up his weekend adventures.  He made solid eye contact and cried at me and nudged me with his nose.  This was not normal behavior and I knew it meant he wanted out.  I got up and let the boys out (I was finally down to my three boys) and he spent about 10 minutes in the yard before coming back in.

He slept until my alarm went off at 6:00 AM, but couldn't handle my snooze alarm dance, so cried at me again to let him out.  I did.  I knew he had been stressed by the weekend, which was why I planned a two full day rest period for him, and figured I would have some fall out.  I was seeing it.  He didn't feel well and was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.

I fed them their breakfast by 8:00 AM and while Max and Dieter happily chowed down, Malcolm put his nose near his bowl and cried and ran into his crate.  Now I was worried he was sick for another reason. …