Monday, December 26, 2011

New Milestone for Sally the Dog

This morning after breakfast, I took Sally on a walk, as has been my custom these days.
I intended to make this a longer walk than previous excursions and it was so.
We traveled almost a mile.
1/2 mile out and a 1/2 mile back.
We walked to the church in our neighborhood which is right at 1/2 mile from my house.

I could tell she was getting weary in last tenth of a mile or so.
She doing a lot of tugging toward the end, nearly running ahead of me.
What she does not know is that I am a runner (still, in spite of my advancing age...), so I ran with her for a few hundred feet.
When we got back to our yard, she plowed her nose into the leaf piles I have staged, ready for bagging (the last of the season).
Then it was into the back yard, and HOME.
She hit the water bowl first thing.

I am about to challenge Cesar Milan on another dog training principle he espouses.
He, and his disciples, say that petting a dog when it is scared or disturbed by something - a car, another animal, the house heater fan, whatever - is interpreted by the animal as validating the fear they feel.
But my experience has been just the opposite.
If my dog is scared by something and I pick her up and hold her, she calms down.
If I touch/pet my dog when she is distressed by something, she usually relaxes.
Yes, Cesar has the "energy" concept correct, I believe.
Thus, one could interpret the calming effect of my actions as the dog "reading" my calming "energy" and relaxing.
That may be so, but that contradicts the first concept of petting while distressed encouraging the fear.

Sally did pretty good today.
There was a lot of stopping and sniffing that I would prefer not take place, but we were covering some new territory and I want her to get used to it and to feel comfortable in the environment.
We will work out the sniffing issues as we go along, I hope.

I was doing some calculations this morning regarding dog aging verses human aging.
The general rule of thumb is every year of dog age is equal to seven years of human age.
Thus, one year for a dog equals seven people years.
One month for a dog equals seven months of people age.
One week for a dog equals seven weeks of people time (almost two months)
And, one day for a dog equals a week of people time.
This is helping me keep Sally's learning and development in context.

As I write this, she is sleeping on the floor next to my chair.

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