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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Competition Among the Animals

Today in our dog training class, we learned about how to get a dog jealous in order for her to behave. Problem is, we don’t have another dog to make her jealous, so I guess we’ll just have to use Dakota! The teacher showed us how it works:  First, ask your dog to do something challenging, like come when she is distracted. Another teacher with lots of goodies in her hand let a standard white poodle, Rosie, get a big sniff, and then she also used a squeaky toy to really get her attention. Rose did not come when her owner called. So her owner came up to Rosie, showed her the treats she had in her hand, and while Rosie watched, she announced that she was giving Topper and Winston the treats because Rosie did not come. “Too bad!” she shouted behind her shoulder and we all laughed as Rosie looked on, clearly disappointed. It was quite a show.

When it was Singer's turn, she obeyed me immediately. She tends to be afraid of strangers, and I think she didn't want to pay any attention to the teacher, despite the delectable goodies and toy in her hand. But if she were a squirrel, there'd be a different outcome, I'm sure!

I’ve noticed that there is a distinct competition going on between Singer and Dakota for my affections. It seems stronger than the one between Saylor and Dakota ever was. I will be petting Dakota and kissing him and Singer will rush over to get some, too. Dakota doesn’t like it when I give Singer too much attention, he can get nasty and is not afraid to show it. I’m not sure how I might use Dakota to get Singer jealous, but I do give Dakota treats that Singer doesn’t get. She doesn’t seem to mind.

We took Singer in the backyard after class and worked on her recall. She’s been so mesmerized with the animals in the backyard lately, she will spend extra minutes not coming and she hardly comes at all for Jeff. Today, she was coming pretty consistently for him with treats at short distances. I’m hoping he has time this week to work with her on recall. I too want to reinforce it.

Singer’s head smells like a baby’s head when she’s been on her walk, all warm and soft. I love kissing her head. The scent is like a comforting memory that stays with me throughout the day.

Today was another beautiful day, sunny with just patches of snow left. Singer enjoyed two walks, one from me and one from Jeff. We loved the fresh air. My camera’s batteries gave out as I tried to get some shots of Singer on her walk with Jeff. I hope to get some today and upload more pictures soon.

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