Anytime I take Blue out, it's training. It's always training when we are together. I don't put a leash on him and let him do what he wants. If he and I are together, we are working. There's nothing leisurely about it.
Every moment is a moment he can learn.
We went to Petco today to get some supplies for our hiking and a new collar for him. He starts more classes tomorrow and the trainer told me the best one to get. We wandered around, looking for what I needed and of course, he wanted to sniff everything, go over there, say hello to everyone and basically just have a good time.
Well, Blue doesn't get to do that. He stays by my side and anytime he wants to wander away, he gets a quick correct and made to sit. It's the repetition that teaches him.
When I stop, he sits. When I walk, he walks.
He did quite well. Several people came up to him and petted him. His ears went back, he lowered his head and let them. Fortunately, no one walked straight up to him and started petting him. He would have been fine, but it's not the proper way to greet a dog.
The proper way is to ignore them, stand tall and let them be. If they want to come up to you, they will. If they don't, then they don't. No harm, no foul.
As we were standing in line, lots of people were going by with their dogs. I had my purse over my shoulder, Blue's leash in one hand and the items I was purchasing in the other. He sat, looked around and was quite calm.
Then a woman came in with her dog. It was a little dog on a long leash that she was allowing to run up to all the other dogs. She had no clue what her dog was doing as she stood there and looked around. It was about 8 pounds of fur, bouncing all over the place.
Blue saw him and I had my eye on Blue. He got up to see the dog. I told him to sit and he did. His ears were up. He wanted to play.
Blue does not know how to play yet. He's rough and is all legs and mouth.
Blue lunges very fast when he wants to play. One moment he's sitting quietly and the next moment a 70 pound pit bull is flying through the air to pounce and smother you with kisses.
This can be quite scary to anyone.
The little dog came running up to Blue. The owner was oblivious. I told Blue sit and he did. The little dog got closer. Blue jumped up. His tail was wagging. This was fun!
I told him to sit again and he did. The little dog ran around and wrapped his leash around the woman's legs.
She paid no attention.
Then he ran back to Blue and began barking at him. Blue shot up and I told him to sit and corrected him.
I asked the woman to reign her dog in.
She looked over at me, blankly, as her dog began barking at Blue and getting in his face.
"Reign your dog in, please," I said.
"Huh?" she said.
She had no clue.
"Get your dog under control now!" I said firmly.
She looked around, down at Blue and then at her dog.
She was serious. She had no idea what I was talking about.
"Would you please get your dog away from my dog?" I said.
"Oh! Does your dog bite?" she asked.
"No, but I do. Plus I have a mean drop-kick," I said and stared back.
"Humph," she said and walked away, dragging her dog who was still talking smack.
If anything had gone wrong, one guess on who would have been blamed.
You got it. The pit bull.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
The morning is too dark, dreary and drizzly to walk, so we are staying in bed until the last minute before getting ready for the day.
I was able to sign Blue and I up for a pit bull hiking group, called "Hike-A-Bull" and I am excited about it. They work with the non-profit pit bull rescue called "Our Pack" and I think this is just what Blue needs.
This is a group for owners that have dogs that are learning and a work in progress to those dogs who are fine. It is well supervised and the dogs do not interact, which is a huge relief to me.
Blue just needs to learn to be a dog with other dogs without any pressure to do anything.
As sweet and goofy as he is, his lack of proper socialization shows.
Walking him is always a challenge because of what we may or may not run into.
Blue wanting to play with every dog he sees shows in his lunging towards other dogs. Tail wagging, nothing but legs and mouth heading towards the unsuspecting dog needs to be corrected.
He is strong but I am stronger, smarter and more aware. Snap goes the leash as I quickly and firmly pull him back, over and over, until he realizes that we don't play that game.
Plus I am also seeing how nervous/scared he gets when he suddenly tries to bolt whenever anything or anyone comes up suddenly behind us.
I maintain my composure and don't react and continue to walk tall and pull him along. I ignore it, even when he looks up at me to see if I'm scared.
We only pay attention to positive things and ignore the negative.
Just as I do in life. I will grant life and love to all the positive and refuse to be baited into the negative. I hold my head high, stand tall and continue to walk forward.
If I flinch, I hope no one sees it.
My connection with animals has always been there and grows stronger as I grow older. I have no understanding of those that do not have this. I dismiss them as unimportant and stupid and keep walking.
I hear animals and I understand them. One needs to be quiet in one's heart and mind to hear them and listen. Just like humans, they just want to be heard and understood. Their simplicity is something I admire greatly and at times, envy.
I works towards a simpler life and Blue teaches me that it's the little things that matter.
A warm and soft place to sleep.
Enough food to not be hungry.
Acceptance of who one is at face value.
There's always time to play and having fun is the most important thing in the world.
No matter what happens, the moment will pass and another will arrive.
The past has no value and all we need are belly rubs, a kiss on the forehead and a smile.
Anything else is unimportant.