How adorable are these two? I love watching Jamie play with the dogs so much. Unfortunately, Magda jumped up and nipped him in the nose right after this shot! But not to worry, no blood was drawn, and she was just playing with him like she does her other friends at the dog park.
Magda has had a pretty good week. We are slightly concerned that with the cooling weather, her energy level appears to be increasing (!!!), and we did weigh her this week and she’s up to 48 lbs, so I’d say we’re pretty close to reaching adult-sized Vizsla. Right now we’re just visiting the dog parks and walking her like crazy, however I have no idea how we’ll keep up when winter arrives. But let’s not dwell on that… I have something new to tell you.
I am thinking of adding a bonus to Mondays with Magda. My mom is trying very hard to train her new beagle puppy at home these days, and so I thought I would add a dog training tip each week — mainly for my mom, but also for anybody else out there working with training their dog. This week is super basic — we’ll do a refresher on how to get your dog to sit. Please note that I am by no means a professional dog trainer, but that after training three dogs in the past 10 years (and working with many in the studio) I am only trying to help. There are a bazillion ways to get dogs to do these things, I’m just sharing what worked best for me and my crazies. And if you have other ideas and suggestions, please share!
1. Only have one person working with the dog at a time. It is super confusing to have two people telling the dog what to do. Oh! And only TRAIN one dog at a time. Super hard to work with two at a time (I say from experience).
2. Hold a treat in your hand above the dog’s nose. Move the treat backward slowly, but be careful not to lower the treat at all. Also, avoid the temptation to raise the treat further, as this gets the dog to stand on its hind legs instead of sitting.
3. As the dog looks up and back at the treat, he/she should automatically fall into a sit position.
4. As soon as his/her butt hits the floor, open your hand (giving the dog the treat) and say “yes!”
5. Do this 5-6 times, and then as you are guiding the dog back with the treat start saying the command “sit.”
6. After the dog “sits” 5-6 times with you verbally marking the behavior you want, try just saying “sit” and see if he/she will do it. If the verbal command won’t work its own, try just holding your hand above the dog’s nose (even without a treat) and say “sit” again. Dogs comprehend body language more than verbal commands.
Remember, the key to good dog training is consistency and persistence. You have to work with the dog for at least 10 minutes every single day. We still practice with Merlin and he is 10 years old. But you know what? He loves it. You know why? Treats.
OK, OK, enough of that lesson for the day. How about an Internet share of the day, eh? I’m going to be honest and tell you I’ve been reading this article off and on all day, but I haven’t finished it yet. It’s about the heirs to the Duke fortune — yes the ones from Duke University! I am FASCINATED. Here is an excerpt:
Raised by two drug addicts with virtually unlimited wealth, Georgia and Patterson survived a gilded childhood that was also a horror story of Dickensian neglect and abuse. They were globe-trotting trust-fund babies who snorkeled in Fiji, owned a pet lion cub and considered it normal to bring loose diamonds to elementary school for show and tell. And yet they also spent their childhoods inhaling freebase fumes, locked in cellars and deadbolted into their bedrooms at night in the secluded Wyoming mountains and on their ancestral South Carolina plantation. While their father spent millions on drug binges and extravagances, the children lived like terrified prisoners, kept at bay by a revolving door of some four dozen nannies and caregivers, underfed, undereducated, scarcely noticed except as objects of wrath.
You can read the rest over here, and we can discuss later this week.