Great start to the day

So I was ready for work a few minutes earlier than usual this morning so I decided to take Inara for a quick jaunt around my condo development. We make it to the end of the driveway and get bum-rushed by a barking and growling yellow Lab. These people recently moved in so Inara still gets worked up in general when she sees this dog, just because she’s not used to it yet. But to have it come running up growling? Not cool.

I holler at the lady, “Get your dog, mine’s not friendly!” And she’s doing the ineffective, “Truman, come! Truman, come here. Come, come here Truman!” I was straddling Inara to keep her back and Truman was circling us growling and barking. I snarled at him to “git!” and he backed up a bit. Finally he went back to his owner but he didn’t have a collar on (of course) so he immediately came rushing back to us. I’m just turning so I can keep facing him, while Inara is just itching for a piece of him but getting pissed ’cause I’m still straddling her and she can’t go anywhere. Finally Truman decided we weren’t worth it and went back to his owner.

I lit into her about the leash laws and she said, “there’s not normally anybody out at this hour.” I said it didn’t matter, that a law is a law no matter who is around. I was PISSED.

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New collar time!

We got our collar this week from Brad at ST Leathercraft (http://smalltownamericanbulldogs.com/STleather.html). It’s gorgeous!!! The leather is very flexible yet solid. And it’s silly, but I love the keeper that holds the excess down – it’s just nice and thick and looks sharp. So here’s pics!

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1 1/2" Oxblood leather with the d-ring in the back!

Trying different training method, again

Hopefully I won’t lose any fans over this, but I’ve begun using an e-collar on Inara again.  About a year and a half ago I worked with a fantastic trainer who used the e-collar in an extremely gentle way (Roni Hoff at Tri-Star K9).  She likened it to a tap on the shoulder.  She used it at an extremely low level, causing no discomfort to Inara whatsoever.  I’d actually never seen her work so happily.

Unfortunately Roni is in another state so I couldn’t afford to go back and work with her again.  I quit using the e-collar as I wasn’t comfortable doing it without guidance.  So I went back to the prong for several months and then switched to the Halti.  I’m glad I did so as it taught me to help Inara through her dog reactivity.

A couple days ago I broke out her e-collar again after seeing a video called “Just Right Dog Training,” by Robin MacFarlane.  She also uses it at the lowest level possible.  It gave me the confidence to try again.  And so far I’m glad I did.

I took Inara out on her 30′ lead and found her working level on the e-collar (not going to go into details – if you are interested in working with an e-collar find a reputable trainer).  We then began working on recalls, with her flying back to me, tail wagging.  We also worked on loose-leash walking and she pranced next to me, gazing up at my face, tail still wagging.  She ignored the annoying yappy Yorkie’s who were shrieking at her. She ignored the fat Lab she lives to scream at.  And she did it all happily.  It was really great!

The collar we use is a Dogtra 280NCP Platinum.  It has 127 levels of stimulation.  At Inara’s working level, I barely feel it as a pulse against my hand.  It’s not shocking her at all.  If you are interested in learning more about this type of training, I recommend you visit Tri-Star K9 or That’s My Dog.

Dogtra 280NCP - the e-collar we use
Dogtra 280NCP - the e-collar we use

Weaning off head halter

I am officially sick and tired of using the Gentle Leader and/or Halti on Inara. It’s time she (and I) wean ourselves off of it. She is 3 1/2 years old now and fully capable of having manners on a flat collar. Right? Right!

We’ve been working on loose leash walking plus a more formal attention heel, all on flat collar, in the yard and driveway. She’s doing fantastically, though I’m still using a crapload of treats as she’s still learning. The second I step onto the street though, she forgets I’m there. I mean as soon as all four feet are on the street (inches away from the driveway that she pays attention in!) she totally disconnects from me.

I’ve been continuing to do most of our training in the yard/driveway because I know it’s a good idea to get a task solid in one place before moving on, but I do have a question. Should I suck it up and put the GL back on her for some long walks, or are the shorter training sessions with lots of mental stimulation enough? She’s tired after our training sessions, but I feel bad that she’s seeing the exact same scenery every day. However, I don’t want to set back our training by allowing poor leash behavior on the GL just so we get a longer walk. Does that make sense?

The only reason I’m hesitating is because she’s begun acting like an ass even on the GL – pulling like crazy and just annoying the crap out of me. From this point on I don’t ever want her to think she can pull on leash. 

So, cliffs notes version (since I write too much!): short training sessions so she is set up to succeed, or put on the GL and suffer through longer walks so she gets a change of scenery?

P.S. Is it wrong of me to be highly entertained that my neighbors’ Yorkies freak out and shriek and yap the entire time I’m working with Inara outside? Inara ignores them completely. I hear the neighbors getting pissed at the Yorkies.

P.P.S. Check out Brad’s website – he’s getting his leatherwork business up and running.  I ordered a collar from him and will let you know as soon as I get it!

Dirty dog after rolling in, well, I don't want to know what it was!
Dirty dog after rolling in, well, I don't want to know what it was!

Still living!

Yay!  I’m still alive!  Sorry for the long leave of absence – no real excuse other than life got in the way, LOL.

First, I’d like to thank a couple people for awards that were given to this blog:

1.  We got the Neno Award from Dozer:

mangos-award

*As a dedication for those who love blogging activity and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
*To seek the reason why we all love blogging.
*Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
*Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.
*Answer the Award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.

Hmmm…why do I love blogging?  Probably because I love sharing pics of Inara and really love being able to educate people about this fantastic breed.

2.  Quizz gave us the Kreativ Blogger award:

kreativeblogger22

1. Post it to the blog and link to who gave it to you.

2. List seven things you love.

Seven things Inara loves?

  1. Me!
  2. Being a bed hog.
  3. Eating.
  4. Playing with her spring pole.
  5. Lounging in the sun.
  6. Changing people’s minds about pit bulls.
  7. Barking obnoxiously at stray cats.

I know I’m not giving this award to anybody else, but I just am busy!  I love everybody!

I promise I’ll try to do better at updating this.  There are a lot of things I want to talk about but don’t have time this minute.  So I’m going to leave you with one of my new favorite pictures of Inara:

Tired, happy puppy
Tired, happy puppy