An excellent example of Brut's tension with food.
Notice Silver slightly leaning to the right.
Giving treats to the Back Dogs with Brut around can be tricky. Brut with food can be dangerous. His entire demeanor changes when he knows I have treats. It gives him an adrenaline rush, like he is shot up on steroids.
When I brush the dogs, I incorporate treats with them. Brut hogs all the attention and makes it difficult for me to brush the other dogs, especially Zappa and Fiona. I have tried several different techniques to correct Brut and lighten Zappa anxiety while still using the treats with little success.
I always keep a brush outside next to me on our outdoor table. One day I notice the dogs are in desperate need of brushing, I have no treats but do it anyways. It was a miracle. No tension, no anxiety, no lunging, no possessing. It had never occurred to me to brush them without treats. That was how I taught them and I believed they should be rewarded. I've been doing this for the last month and they still let me brush them. I am utterly amazed. I brushed them again tonight and I couldn't believe how calm and happy Brut's eyes were, how relaxed his body was and how easy going his manner was. This helped the other dogs relax and I had no problem brushing them either. It was such a joy. I couldn't believe how easy it had worked. Why hadn't I ever thought of this before???
I find many of my answers in happy accidents. Sometimes the harder I try to change something or control it, I find myself with more problems than solutions. These tend to be some of my best training moments. When an answer just comes to me or when I do something by accident and find that it works. This opens up several avenues for my training with Brut and the Back Dogs. Many times I have had to train Brut and the Back Dogs separately, like using food for agility training but the idea of not using treats so that they can work together opens several possibilities. There will be some adjustments, but I'm liking the idea especially for Brut and Zappa. They have bonded significantly over the last two years and I would like to work them as a team for pulling sled together. They are both strong and would make excellent wheel dogs. This really opens so many doors and I am so excited at the prospects. I love finding the answers that work for us.
A rare moment of Brut and Zappa laying together, touching and not fighting.
Have you ever found your answers for your pets by accident?
My mommmy is still learning since I haven't been with her long so no ah-ha moments yet but then I try to not give her tooo much trouble. But give me time :)
What a great pic of Brut and Zappa- besties!
I've been brushing Eva since she was a tiny pup but she is still not happy with my brushing. Whenever she seems me with a brush, she'll walk away from me as for as possible. I'm glad they all let you brush them without any fuss now and the best thing is you don't have to give them any treats all. : )
Fred will attack over treats and his whole body changes too. I only give treats when one dog is confined to prevent him from regressing with his resource guarding. Treats in my house are really only given at meal time when they are in their crates. They have learned to live without them sort of. They each were trained without treats - it just took a little longer :)
I do that sometimes to, something that makes me say why the heck didn't I try that before!!!
I hope that you can eventually get them to be sled dogs, that would be great!!
My mom has lots of ah-ha moments!!! I'm always surprising her with my awesome mannors (sometimes!).
Oh I love to be pampered!!!
Hugs & smoochies!!XOXO
We try to tell them, but after a while our humans seem surprised too!
We think that was an Aha moment, very cool.
I have not let Dad have an Aha moment when it comes to brushing because I hate it so much, with or without treats.
I find the same thing - that my "mistakes" in training can teach me whole new avenues for teaching my dogs.
One thing that I'm always forgetting is how different dogs are from each other. Just because a certain technique worked with one dog doesn't mean that it will work with another. However, it sounds as if you know this axiom very well!
Gotta Love Mistakes especially when they work in your favor! Love the Picture of brut and Zappa hanging out together.
Great post! We do try to control to much you are absolutely right.
Also good picture of Silver's body language, very illustrative.
I have to say that my general rule, when possible is that if something is causing a problem, first see if you can take it out of the equation.
Has worked for me whenever it could have been done. Of course sometimes it's just not possible.
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