Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Training The Trainer

I decided the week before camping that we were indeed taking the dog on this camping trip. I was not going to leave her crated for long periods of time and have the neighbors take her out. It was just something I did not want to do. I also did not want to back track on all the progress we had made, so she came with.
I packed her crate, dog food, bones, balls and leash. The crate took up a lot of space in the back of my vehicle but it was well worth it! Arriving at camp, I attatched the lead to a tree. Barking. Whining. Unfimilar territory. I had much to do and I could not have her by my side that whole time, so I brought out her crate and put her in. Her safe zone, but she still wanted to be near me and she could see me walking around. So there was still whining.
I set up the tent and screen room. The kids rode their bikes. Then I had a great idea moment. Our screen room as an annex on it, useful for storing things while camping. This year that little room was for the dog. Her crate fit perfectly inside. Windows added perfect ventilation, yet was enclosed so she felt safe and could not see me, whining ceased! WooHoo.
After camp was set up, we decided to take her for a good walk and perhaps a swim. So we headed out on the trial, conveniently located right behind the screen room. On the leash for a bit then as we traveled more away from camp, I let her run. Run she did! She loved it. She was like a torpedo, zooming up and down the trail. It turns out she is a pointer, paw in the air, she would get a good scent and follow the trail. Amazingly she would NOT go out of my sight. She would look back to make sure she could see me. When I called, she came! I know amazing.
We made our way to the lake and I wanted to see what she would do in a real body of water, so I let her off the leash again and she plunged right in. Eating the water. Leaping. She was in doggie heaven.
As God would have it he had a blessing in store for us this last weekend. One of the campers camping with us in our group was a dog trainer.Throughout the weekend she would give me tips on how to get Kasi to respond. I followed her advise and had great results. We began with a pocket full of treats. And as she responded I would reward her. This method works wonderful with our dog. Throughout the process I learned that first you must train the trainer, then you can train the dog. So I let her train me. Before she left I asked on how to do some specifics and she went through it with me. It was God-Sent.
My husband also learned what not to do. Like, DO NOT TIE THE DOG with her nylon leash. She WILL chew through it. Thankfully the reason she chewed through it was she wanted to be with me, so she came directly to me once she was free. I think I will be picking up a metal leash for some house training I want to do.
So, our dog is becoming a good girl. By the end of our time, she would not bark at other dogs, she went with me nearly everywhere and obeyed. I could let her off leash and she would come back immediately. Good dog, afterall.
As we got ready to leave yesterday, we were loading up the boat. I stood on the dock. The beach was completely empty so I let her run for a bit before putting her in the crate for the ride home. She splashed around the water, then realized it was deep near the dock so she went swimming. Before long she was diving off the dock into the water. Swimming around and jumping off agin. It was so funny. So not only is she a swimmer, she is a diver. Who knew? I knew she loved water but I did not know that she was such a good swimmer. I need to find a good place around here to take her because she really loves it.
So that was camping with the dog. Still more camp stories to come. Hopefully blogger pictures will cooperate so I can post some pictures.

1 comment:

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Just think, not even a month ago you were seriously thinking about giving up on Kasi and getting rid of her.

This really makes me think about my relationship with God. What if He gave up on me when I repeatedly ignored His instructions and rebelled against Him, or refused to be trained? And I do, constantly, but He is patient and longsuffering with me, praise His name. :-)