I hate labeling dogs. But I catch myself doing it. Zero is afraid of children. I’ve said it a thousand times. Except he’s not.

After 2 years at his side job of being the paid entertainment at children’s birthday parties and teaching kids how to train dogs at kids camp, Zero now seeks out children to throw his toys at the beach. He wags his tail when he see’s kids approaching. He is loose and jolly when children are riding bikes or playing near by, even shrieking boisterous loud kids.

Zero is afraid of loud noises. Except he performed flawlessly, joyfully, center court in front of a packed house alongside the marching band, and the cheerleaders and the crazy giant tree mascot at the stanford basketball half time show.

Zero is afraid of strangers. Except he likes to say hi to everyone now and he’ll let anyone run him in agility. And he’ll play tug with you all day.

Zero’s labels are the stick on kind, they peel off with training, a fierce commitment to learning, trust, teamwork, age and experience and one day you can throw the remnants away. Dog training is cool.

zerofeatherJanuary 22, 2015

What I’m going to do I think!

5 things I won’t do again with my next puppy. 

  1.  I won’t teach Sit, …for the first year. If he teaches himself to Sit…then he is welcome to use it in ways he finds interesting.
  2. No puppy socials. These are disease factories, primarily populated by fearful asocial puppies. The puppy play was not helpful for us in any way. I think they can be incredibly useful for people who will want their dogs to spend a lot of ti

    me at dog parks. Also, if, its a well run social with an experienced trainer running it then people who are new to dogs can get some experience in reading social interactions.  Thats the whole point after all. But the actual social interactions at socials I attended was pretty minimal and the whole picture isn’t really something that I need for my life with my dogs. I also want to know is why they put water bowls down at these things? Can’t puppies go an hour without water? Because it would be a solid way to help avoid spreading diseases.

  3. No leashes attached to collars until he’s grown, just harnesses.
  4. No puppy classes-see #’s 1 & 2.
  5. No dog parks, my intentions were to expose him to bad dogs and bad dog owners so he would know how to handle it. But you can find bad dogs and bad dog owners anywhere without having to deal with the horrors of the dog park and its not his job to deal with it anyway. Its mine.

5 things I planned for that went well and I will do again. 

  1. Exploring! Showing him people, and the sight, sound and appearance of noises, weird events, objects and other animals.

    Yay Roy!
  2. Show him how to walk on weird stuff, interact with objects, problem solve, be creative.
  3. Lots of hiking!
  4. Crate train.
  5. Other people don’t offer reinforcement, no cookies from other people, no playing with other people, no running up and sitting for other people. This was a huge huge challenge, I’m sure I offended many people when I told them not to feed my dog cookies and to not to ask my dog to sit.

5 things I wish I had done more of with the current puppy who is now a young adult. 

  • TUG, I should have spent more time making Tug & physical play with me valuable.
  • More shaping less luring.
  • Patience.
  • Grooming-we’ve got nail trimming & baths but brushing is not a favorite.
  • Been more aggressive about keeping unstable dogs and their owners away from my dog. 😦