Yes. Find a new gear
That is the latest lesson I learned from dear Sage. She is the one on the left. Rocky is her friend.
So, for the last year we have been playing the 'game' of 'don't jump up on me when I get home'. Bear in mind I live on a little farm and jumping up I don't really mind, but mud I do mind. Oh yes, and apparently it is not respectful for dogs to jump on you.
Sage is a puppy, and exciteable at the least. We have a driveway from hell, so the dogs need to be locked away from it so that we can get in without doing them any harm. So, by the time I get to Sage, she has been expecting to say hello for a good 5 minutes (more if you listen to the people who say dogs anticipate our arrival for much longer - which I get) At this point she is displacing on the other dogs, and some times even urinating with excitement. She wants to say hello.
So this hot shot trainer - that I am meant to be - failed for a long time to have the dog of our dreams behaving. I had many other experts including many friends and family who guided me with loads of judgement - my perspective of course - they were probably trying to help. I tried doing an automatic sit, and even had people tell me to knee her in the chest - which I was not partial to doing. When my son tried it, it seemed to get her even more excited. When Sage fails - as I imagine most animals, she becomes reactive. I needed to keep her thinking,
Eventually I stopped and really looked. I looked at what I could do to help Sage and I succeed together. The solution was so easy I am embarrassed. So, here goes - I will share it with you...
There is a bench just outside the gate. If I ask her to hop onto the bench, she is eye level with me - which is what she wants. She does not have to jump, and I don't get jumped on. I can say hello on my terms and she calms down because she has my immediate attention and an action that she can choose where she gets it right. This solution worked so fast - in fact, took a couple of times of me coming home and asking for this calm response before she started to jump up onto the bench without even being asked - she has something she can succeed at, and our greeting is now courteous and loving
Sorry Sage - that it took me so long to look at the solution from your point of view -
Sorry that I was more interested in getting it 'right' than working with you.
And thank you again - for helping me with your 'sage' wisdom.
Love you poppet.
TO ALL OF YOU WHO TAKE THE TIME TO GLOSS OVER MY RAMBLINGS
I WISH YOU ALL A WONDERFUL AND INSPIRED 2018
May the lessons you learn from your guru animals be filled with humour, love, humility, joy, magic and fun.
Here is to miracles blessing your life.
Thank you for your support in the last year. I look forward to sharing more thoughts with you in the year to come.
Now Play!!!! Let that be your resolution -