Thursday, May 5, 2011

What A Walk!

I took both dogs out for a walk while Snackers got his pre-night job nap and it was really something special!  I put both of their leashes in my right hand and worked them out so that I could give tugs to Piper with my index finger without tugging on Vladdy, and visa versa with my thumb for Vladdy.  The walk began on a bit of a rocky start with Piper wanting to sniff everything instead of walking ... she's actually really good at walking but her sniff obsession is classic Piper.  Vladdy's big problem was that he was more interested in chewing on Piper while we were walking than he was in actually paying attention to where he was walking so I would give him light taps on his flank with my foot to get him to stop.  It was funny because the taps were so light that I didn't actually think they would do anything but because I was using my foot he seemed to be startled by them and they actually worked!  He would stop and look up at me like "hey, how did you do that without bending down?"

I also did a technique that Tia taught me for making sure that they're both paying attention to me more than everything else.  I would be just walking along and then I would suddenly turn and walk in the opposite direction.  With two dogs walking side-by-side this would cause some major mayhem at first but by the end of the first block they'd started to improve their response time and not get tangled up.  When we passed yards with dogs in them I would also do a quick turn because they would be paying more attention to the other dogs than me.  Then when I got them far enough away from the other dogs I would make them both sit, facing forward, side-by-side, next to me until they were both looking up at me for the next cue.  For the first couple of yards this had to be repeated several times and one woman came out of her house to find out what was driving her dog so insane.  I apologized for bothering her and explained what I was doing and she was really cool about it.  She said that her dog is a lot less likely to bark and go nuts when passing dogs ignore him so she appreciated my effort.  I thought that was pretty cool of her.

Once we'd passed the neighborhoods and were on a stretch of road the walk became super fun!  I felt like Cesar Milan!  I was the pack leader!  They were trotting along side-by-side, neck-and-neck, not pulling, not walking in front of my legs, not sniffing everything.  It felt great!

Vladdy started to pull on the way home, totally unusual for him to pull at all, so we did a lot more turning around and I ended up making him walk a block past our apartment complex and then brought him home a totally different way than we've ever come before just to teach him not to anticipate where he thinks we're headed.  I even had an opportunity to teach them to sit and be calm-submissive while a baby approached to pet them.  The baby's mom could tell I was training them and was very patient about letting me get them under control, approaching slowly, and backing off if they wigged out.  I wish more people, when they can tell that someone is trying to train their dog, would be like that.  I mean, for the most part we teach our dogs not to jump on babies for the benefit of the baby so the least a baby-momma can do is help us out by being cooperative during the training phase right? 

I gotta say ... walking a Min-Pin and a Doberman under low-stress was great.  I even had them to where they were sitting every time I stopped at an intersection, driveway, or just because I felt like stopping.  This is benefiting both of them but I have to give the gold to Piper for picking it up a lot faster.  She's learning some new rules of walking and she did amazing with them!

8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 serving leftover meatloaf
1 serving leftover mac n' cheese (hungry girl recipe)
1 shrimp ceviche salad
1 pomegranate lemonade
Daily Caloric Intake: 823

  • 9 flights of stairs
  • 5 min literally chasing the puppy around outside because he thought it was effing hilarious!  (I didn't think it was so charming!)

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