Dawgs and Toddlers

February 22, 2004

The hound is half trained.

By this I mean that when I have been working with her regularly, she is generally safe to walk on heel and off lead through a crowded situation with pedestrians, traffic squirrels, and the like.

A fully trained dog can be chasing a squirrel when you command "SIT", and the dog then makes skid marks with its butt as it sits down in full stride. A half-trained dog is still pretty impressive to people who do not train their dog.

Why am I pointing this out? Because we have a half-trained dog who is also a fairly submissive dog, we don't need to do dominance exercises with her on a regular basis. She has always been good with people, now that the elder child is a toddler she is getting to be good with toddlers.

Eldest child added a new household chore today - he is almost 18 months old and likes to help. I have the dog sit (always be polite) then hand toddler the food bowl and have him put it down for the hound to eat from. Giving food is a dominance statement, and so we are reinforcing the proper relationship between toddler and hound.

I did not say that we do not play a lot of dominance games - we play a LOT of dominance games with the hound so that we do not HAVE to play dominance games with her.

And the little man does like to help out.

Posted by Red Ted at February 22, 2004 07:27 AM | TrackBack