Friday, 16 August 2013

MAA: A Better Day

Thanks to everybody who left me comments both informative and supportive over the past week or so. My biggest struggles are with Anxiety at the moment – every week or two I complicate things in my life and they become so big in my head that I can’t deal with them and then hide away from the world for a few days. That’s when my parents take over care of Cocoa until I emerge vowing to be consistent and do all the things regularly needing to be done for the pets… until the next time anxiety kicks in. But I’m working on it (meds, therapy).
That also explains why I can be slow in replying to your comments – mostly I do receive them on time but it can be a few days before I’m ready to reply them. It doesn’t mean I don’t read and appreciate each and every comment you leave me!

So, onto this girl:

Yes that is a Sit. It is rarely seen and never for longer than a second, but I can make it happen

I was happy with my progress with Katie today. Last week I had, in a very vulnerable mood, gone over just to play with Katie in her yard, because the weather didn’t look promising and I wasn’t really up to a walk. But she was so excited at the prospect of a walk that I gave in, thinking I’d just take her down the street and back. It never happened because I didn’t have the patience to wrestle with her long enough to get her harness on!

But today was miles better, for me and for her. The funny thing that happened at the beginning was her putting on my messenger bag in her attempt to get the treats out of it. It was definitely photo-worthy, but sadly my camera was inside said bag at the time so I couldn’t get a photo!

I’m feeling more confident about walking her and training her because today I discovered that she is more responsive than I thought. She looks at me when she hears her name, which I discovered as I chatter to her while I walk (although her hooman tells me she responds only selectively), and I haven’t had any issue telling getting her on and off the road and stopping when I need to. I bought a real clicker today so I’ll keep it on hand, but at the moment I think I ought to just work on getting accustomed to her for a bit, since the clicker stuff is new to me too.

I’m trying to pay attention to the words I use and keep them consistent – come for getting her to go in a direction, up and down for getting on and off the kerb (there aren’t always footpaths so I switch her between the road and people’s front yards as appropriate). It’s not easy though, for example usually I say hup but I’ve also heard myself saying come on, up and off the road, Katie!

It’s fine to keep reinforcing these commands (the simple ones, consistently) when she does things even before using the clicker right? Because I still need to walk her even before I begin training with the clicker.

Thanks again, all!


  1. Try and enjoy your walks and don't really worry about all the training stuff. Truthfully we found it is the bond that makes things easier and we think it is the most important thing. Happy dog , equals happy human equals happy house. We tried two trainers and they were useless so we gave up and learnt just to be patient and enjoy. Hope you are feeling better today.
    Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

    1. Thanks for your viewpoint Molly. The bond is the most important thing, I've just heard that training can be a way to develop the bond and to be able to do more with your dog.
      Sorry to hear that your experience with trainers was no good, apparently Katie's old trainer didn't do so much either!

      I myself am having a good couple of days, thankyou! I hope your weekend is just as excellent!

  2. Take it easy on your self you're doing a grand job if she is responding to you.Consistancy is the most important thing plus a long walk to get rid of excess energy will make it easier for her to focus on you when you want to train her,its all good!xx Rachel

    1. I'm pretty happy about her responding myself. :)
      Thanks Rachel, I'll remember that! She certainly is excited when I first arrive!

  3. Seems Katie is a very active dog. She does a wonderful "sit", long enough to get this nice photo :-)
    Guinea pigs can also do clicker training, I saw some videos on the internet. And bought a soft clicker. But -haha. It is just chaos so far.
    You are doing a good job with Katie!
    Liebe Grüße,

    1. It's funny you say that, the Sit photo was my clearest photo, even though she honestly only ever sits for a second before getting back up again! I think it was just a lucky shot!
      I too have seen some guineas do some amazing tricks: have you seen this ( Amazing isn't it?
      I'll be honest, I haven't got any motivation to use the clicker on Cocoa at the moment, not too sure why... maybe I'll want to later.
      Thanks so much Pia!

  4. Great job! I think it's great to reinforce certain words that you want her know without using a clicker. Like you mentioned, the key is to be consistent (with word choice and what response you expect). I'm glad you had such fun with Katie!


Thoughts? I'd love to hear them!