Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dog gone happy

Last time I wrote some major changes were happening in our lives. Within a 3 year time span, my old pack, Lana, Lola, and Bruno all left with their paw prints forever engraved in my heart, to join each other over the rainbow bridge where they would be cancer free, and jump high without the pain of arthritis, and eat as many bones and treats imaginable. That's the great thing about pain, you never envision getting through it but we do.
 In the Dog world "A new pup will lick your tears away." At least I was so busy tending and training to my new family members, Kumo and Val, my tears were mostly of joy and happiness of how simply amazing my brood was becoming. I think Dog owners, including myself tend to take a lot on when adopting. It's like a relationship, you are taking in past baggage, and the good, the bad, and the ugly. My baggage came in 89 lbs of a long haired Shepherd and 2 previous homes. My 65 lb Boxer  had one previous home as far as we knew and then later abandoned in the street after being used for her litter. He had aggression issues, she had submission issues. In the dog world I learned that a lot like humans, the Big bad wolf will prey on little red riding hood if she lets him get away with it.  With much support from my friends, I sought the professional training and advice of Eran Shine, Anyone with a Breed as high level and energetic as a German Shepherd, I urge you to seek him out. Positive reinforcement and providing a secure environment, along with the proper tools for your pet to flourish and learn is what Eran is all about.
 Most of my past dog training with my late Pit bulls and Shepherd Bruno, came from a few group sessions and a few individual with various trainers even Tia Torres the infamous pit bull rescuer, none had ever really left as big an impact on me, or my dogs. This time change came from a new way of  thinking. and knowledge I gained from training with Eran. With out realizing it I was creating conflict between myself and my dog by letting  Kumo get away with things, for example without even realizing it what I envisioned a lick toward Valentina during certain times at walk or play was not a loving kiss but bullying her on the walk. This had to be absolved between themselves and myself as the moderator.  If not corrected quickly in Cesar Millan conversation this would be red flag territory.
Valentina is no longer a target and prey for Kumo. He is no longer running after her like prey and her running away for her life. that behavior has forever changed in my presence. It all begins with recall, not just come, sit, stay, heal, down. Seeing behavior change for the better. with something of value that gets your dogs attention for Kumo it comes in the form of a green tennis ball.
I don't participate in group off leash play with my dogs not because I am antisocial, but because unless both dogs come when I call, then I am asking for trouble. Kumo is almost there, Valentina, my brazen Boxer, not yet. I rejoice in seeing the changes that repetitive training and recycled tennis balls have done to our lives. Valentina is back, feeling secure and in charge at least until I throw the next ball. With much gratitude to all the positive Dog trainers and Authors that make a huge difference in my life training.
I also thank my Westside German Shepherd Rescue peeps for the wonderful hikes with the dogs that makes me a better mom and hopefully brings them to a forever home where they are cherished as much as I do, my beautiful Beasts, Kumo And Valentina.
And I am forever thankful to my beloved Pasadena Humane Society, Where I went in looking for a Shepherd and I came out with a Boxer. Until the next hike!

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