Laura from C&C asks:
1. Stopping your dog – what do you prefer? On their feet? On their belly? Some combination?
Pat needs to lie his black ass down. No compromise. He needs to hit the ground. Jai self-stops, often too much, so I am working on a Stand with her. I think just a slight pause on her feet would serve us better. It would encourage flow and discourage the laying and staring option, something she often employs; feels more comfortable with in tricky situations that eventually often lead to a thorough Trial Thanking.
2. At what point do you start teaching this?
I like to think that, optimally, you start teaching a skill you need as you need it. But, then, I like to think that this newish fleece pullover I bought is really cute and stylish though my daughter assures me that it actually looks like something that a bear would shit out after eating a movie's worth of muppets. Anyway, as far as training and DOGS go – I haven't trained a dog from SCRATCH, so to speak, and both my dogs understand what Stop means, but it needs to mean something slightly different, depending on the dog and situation. It's like Snow in Eskimo and WTF in my refrigerator.
3. Do you have a favorite dog? I won't tell.
Not really. I love all my dogs, but I think I'm especially drawn to Scout because she's such an odd little thing. She asks for nothing and gives almost nothing in return. I cannot understand her at all; what motivates her, what makes her happy…where all the Scoutrage comes from.
Jai is a joyfilled dog and you can't NOT be happy around her. She loves everyone and everything…except my daughter and Scout's barking. I love the way Jai snuggles up to me in her quiet moments and I love the way Jai vibrates with pent up energy and enthusiasm any other time. She is a 0 to 99 MPH dog.
Pat is a sweet, goofy ole perv with a lot of talent and a heart as big as his floppy feet. He is my soul mate. (Or a hamster is, who can say?)
LIkewise my other dogs have similar endearing qualities…but these are the 3 dogs with whom I am closest. Each one is my favorite, depending on my day and my mood.
4. What is the #1 thing a dog can do to push your buttons?
Bark. Or bite me while I try to move not quite fast enough. Scout likes to rush and bite my ankles during our walks/runs. I have tried EVERY POSSIBLE THING to get this to stop and NOTHING changes this behavior. I hate it and it makes me yell and rush her, or shake her by her collar and say NOGODDAMNITNOFUCKINGNONONONO… and she barks and does it more. LIttle Fucker.
5. Brrrrr… it's winter. What is your favorite soup recipe?
Green Chili Stew. Main ingredients are pork, roasted green chilis of desired spiciness, potatoes, onion…seasonings to taste. Simmer a long time for best flavor.