Friday, June 15, 2012

Camp Doglando, Day 4

The lessons we learn by watching the way people engage and interact with animals are very valuable in our understanding of how people actually feel and relate. This morning one of our campers did not return, and was replaced by her sister. In the three days of camp, it was evident that her motivation to work with the dog she ended up with was just not there. Maybe, had it been a different dog, her enthusiasm might have been different... She ended up with a dog that she was hesitant about to begin with, undortunately that was a road block in her abillity to develop a loving relationship with the dog from the start. It may seem sad, but infact this is the essence of why the dog-human relationship fails us many times. Getting a family pet sometimes is not a family decision. When it is, the choice of dog separates the familie's interest in getting a dog. We see this commonly amongst pet owners. Never the less, we moved on. Our first challenge for the today was to teach the dog the sit and release using a real world application... the door! Every youth was tested for this, and successfully passed the test, keeping their dogs in a sit while opening a door, walking through it, counting to 5 before the release. We took a break from training, and split the kids into two teams, five in each group for a debate. The debate was on use of E Collars for companion dogs. One team argued the Pro's and the other argued their side giving the Con't. Wait till we share the video. The afternoon challenge was to introduce a tennis ball to all the dogs. We cut slits in them to be able to push in some food and then taught the dogs how to play hide and seek. It was a good start... its great to see so many of our dogs interested in play... many times we have to teach the dogs how to play which is completely unnatural. We overheard some of the kids talking about keeping their dogs separated from the others, because some of them are still intact. The coversation, as you can imagine, was hilarious... they lacked the understanding on how they dogs would become pregnant, but they were very sure that they did not want to even risk the chances. As the discussed amongst themselves what it took, we (the coaches) looked at each other and was now important that we invited a reputable and responsible breeder to help us educate them on the process of breeding. So, we have our friend Mary Lynn Jensen with Woodwyn Dalmatians coming in for a visit next week. During lunch we had a guest visitor, Joel and his Americal Pitbul Terrier named Dino. Joel and his dog train in Shutzhund; he and his team mates spoke to the kids about the "sport" Shutzhund, its purpose. He talked to them about the types of dogs that train in Shutzhund, the importnace of their temperament and what they select in the puppies, and then their training. Unanimously, the kids said "I know I am not going to be a criminal." Well thats great! Lol. We ended our day with a swim session, what improvment in the kids handling as well as the dogs willingness to trust their handlers... every dog showed imporvement in their desire to swim. Some started jumping off the dock! We wrapped up our day discussing the importance of proper nutrition and the differences between Grocery Grade, Commercial Grade and Human/Holistic Grade dogs foods. Why should we care about our dog's diets?

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