What a surprise! Hey, thanks for all the nice welcomes!
Really, I am NOT an expert. I do have a pretty solid background on basic training and living with dogs of various sorts. My attention is on - the dogs!
What a surprise, yes? No, hardly!
You can get an idea about me from here:
That starts with a bunch of my typical nonsense (I'm wildly self-indulgent about this stuff) - yet there are grains of truth in there, as well as grains and tablespoons of salt - but what if it's sugar?
You can get an idea of my background here:
And about dogs, I have a links page where I put stuff I think is particularly helpful when we want to understand our dogs.
So, that should be more than a sufficient introduction to me. Now, what I find especially interesting and fun is - the dogs themselves.
Learning REALLY to listen to them, on their own terms, is quite a time-consuming activity - but what a JOYFUL one!
And THAT is what I'm finding on this delightful forum - so many of you have such exquisite observations about your dogs. And its good to have so many photos, and some videos as well.
The trick, of course, is that business about working with the DOG'S terms. Personally, I always learn by hindsight. And I can be slow to learn, too; suddenly, one day, some kind of realization dawns on me, after I've done a lot of observing, with the effect:
Oh! So THAT'S it!
Turid Rugaas really is inspiring; anybody who can should go see one of her seminars.
Then I think also, some crucial works are the book by the Coppingers, mentioned on my links page, and Alexandra Semyonova's work - which is somewhat controversial, and I don't necessarily agree with every word she wrote therel ON THE OTHER HAND, anyone who reads that book in good faith can get a tremendous sense of what our dogs are telling us.
So, using Turid's teachings to learn to see the calming signals dogs use, Semyonova to help with entry into dog-thinking and behavior - and - Coppingers to comprehend development in dogs and its significance and effect - seems to me to give anyone a pretty decent background in dog-behavior. Enough so we have a fair chance of understanding our dogs better than we used to.
Dave - there are some excellent articles on dominance on the web, too, and I'll try to look them up later, and post them. I get fairly tired these days, as I'm Rather Olde now, and always, Camellia gets my first attention and care, simply, because she is a dog who has needs that need to be met; ha!
I'll say, though, that Kwali was my first true trainer in learning how to live with a dog without even saying "No.' One NO to Kwali, when she became my dog, would have pushed her right over the brink into total breakdown. Camellia can thank Kwali for my learnings that made it possible for me to take Camellia! Who was planted in the sun, when she should have been planted in the shade!
As for Camellia, though she's now thoroughly house-trained, she WANTS me to go out with her when she does her business in the yard - especially, after dark. So we've just been out together, luckily, between showers, and we didn't get wet.
Back later - going for some sleep now. Camellia is looking at me, from Her Sofa, saying, Mummy, it's bedtime - when are you going to bed? And when I do, and get the light turned out - it's fifty-fifty whether she'll call me back out again, or settle without calling me! She prefers sleeping on the sofa to sleeping on Our Bed, as, likely, I shake the bed when I toss and turn!
She's a lovely, sensitive soul! And a sweet one, despite her atrocious behavior toward other dogs.
P.S. A lot of people here are experts of sorts and don't realize it. When you know your dogs well, you are experts on them. That's useful knowledge to have - especially when working with vets or trainers.
Fri, 17 Feb 2012 22:31:50 (PST)