Thursday, 5 April 2012

Back to Basics

Recently, I think I have dropped the ball with my greyhounds.  Not that they aren't getting lots of love and attention, good food, treats and exercise (as I wrote that I noticed that probably the order of those things might be some of the problem) but I have been remise in the "training" part of their activities.  So now, it's back to basics. I used to always make them sit and wait for their food to be put down and wait until I said OK before they touched it.  This week, I started again and surprisingly, they seemed to remember it well and had no problem doing it again.  Why I thought I didn't have time to wait that 2 minutes to do it, I don't know.  No more slipping the collar over Beckett's head while he is spinning in circles trying to make sure he is the one going out the it's sit and be calm or he doesn't go.  He didn't take long to realize that the spinning and jumping wasn't getting him anywhere. 

Now to tell you the reason that I came to the shocking realization that I might not be doing what I needed to for them.  Last weekend I had taken Maddy for a walk back to my in-laws, like we do every weekend, and we met a man walking his husky near the end of my in-laws driveway.  Maddy started barking and jumping around.  I couldn't get her attention back on me at all. Later that weekend, when my husband and I went to visit his parents, they mentioned that they had seen us at the end of the driveway and "didn't realize Maddy was so vicious".  I was shocked and it really made me think about what her antics must have looked like.  So now I will be carrying chicken or liver or something equally enticing in my pocket and work on the "pass-by" again.  I wish I could get someone to video tape it if it happens again, so I can watch it.  I know when you are in the middle of the action, it often feels different than what it looks like from the outside.  I couldn't tell at the time, if she was being aggressive or not.  If I could watch her body language on video, I think I would have a better understanding of it.  I know that I never want anyone to think my greyhounds are ill-mannered or vicious and I take full responsibility for their actions. So it's back to basic training for all of us!