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I have two gigantic - in my opinion, at least - training successes with Nola. One is major to me and for her, but doesn't seem that huge for most people, and one isn't huge for us but seems major to most people.
Our first and biggest (to me, anyway) involves nail trimming. Yup, you read that right; nail trimming. I used to not be able to so much as pick up Nola's paws with clippers in hand without sending her into a screeching, struggling, freaked out frenzy. She's never been quicked, and the whole scenario was a massive training blunder on my fault. Having had large (Mastiffs and labs growing up) dogs prior to Little Miss, they wore their nails down just walking around. I didn't even consider to work with Nola on accepting handling of her feet and nails when she was younger, even though she's conditioned to accept absolutely every other form of handling. Nola's only 10.5lbs, so even when she was regularly walking on pavement her nails didn't wear down sufficiently. As you can imagine, that lead to quite a mess that I am not proud of.
After months of counter conditioning, we went from me being in tears trying to trim her nails and her writhing around before me, to me being able to clip all her nails in about 5 minutes while she sits there patiently, totally unrestrained, waiting for me to finish. I can even dremel them now, although that's taking a little counter conditioning. Before I could trim her nails:
|Holy crap, she's gotten dark! The above picture was just after her second birthday.|
Our second greatest success, which most people are absolutely floored by, is Nola's recall. Nola has one of the most solid recalls of any dog I've met. In addition to that, she stays within a radius of me (go to my first Positive Training Blog Hop post to read all about her recall and radius training). Most people seem shocked that she has a solid recall simply because of her breed.
When I train, I think of how the breed's tendencies can help me, rather than hinder our work. I didn't go into training Nola setting limits on both her and myself simply because she is a Dachshund. I've house trained her, taught her impulse control, put a solid recall on her, socialized her so she's wonderful with kids and other dogs, taught her to retrieve, and worked so she's polite in public, all of which are things that people would tell (and sometimes still tell) me were impossible because of what she is. Haters gonna hate. ;)
|Recall and retrieval, two things that I was told were impossible with a Dachshund.|
|Not to my SuperGirl!|
As for titles, Nola has her AKC CGC and one leg towards her AKC Rally Novice title. She would have her RN title if the area wasn't so stagnate as far as dog events go. :/ I plan to put the CGCA, RA and RE titles on her, and perhaps dabble in a bit of agility. In the fall I'll be traveling a lot more for dog events, so it should be much easier to trial and title with her then.
My plans for Pike as of right now are therapy work, Rally, and I'm toying the the idea of disc dog or agility. He's only 5 months old, but therapy work looks promising for him. He's a sweet lover.
For Rosa, my plans are of course banking on how she is once I interact with her, but at the moment we're looking at Rally, hunting and possibility agility, dock diving, conformation and tracking.
What about you? Feel free to share!