Pressure - or Patience?

And I thought everyone would get up in arms over my blog post on my use of pressure.  Nope.

Now it's time to admit that I don't  use much pressure with my own dogs, especially when they are young.  I did the video with Lyra to show a technique, not necessarily to suggest that it is appropriate for Lyra. Indeed, while no real harm was done, strong pressure is not something I'm comfortable with at Lyra's age and stage of training.

That brings up the question, "what am I doing with Lyra now?"    Well, I took Lyra out and about a few days ago, so let me tell you.

I took her to a local dog training club, and I enjoyed her company.    She's very lovable, you know.

I sat on the floor and let her watch the world go by.

After a few minutes I asked her if she wanted to do some work with me (she said "yes" by flipping into heel position), and we did some heeling games.  Then a few 'find front" games.

We also played some dumbbell games - she fetched the dumbbell and I provided her with a much loved toy in exchange.

We played our favorite personal play games.   She did her famous wiggly head play bow - beyond adorable for those of you who haven't seen it.  She did hand touches and leaps.  She chased me and hit me with her feet.  She grabbed my hands, gently, and she came in close for some snuggling time and a nice belly rub.

I should also mention that she left me a few times; maybe three times I had to go fetch her or call her back. I also see that when exciting noises happen (barking, people cheering, etc.), then I tend to lose her for a bit.  That's alright; she's  a baby dog getting her feet under her. I look at her abilities now and I compare it to six months ago - what a world of difference!

If I had to fetch her, I'd put her in her crate for a rest - I likely kept her out too long.  I could have used pressure under those circumstances, but with a fifteen month old female who has the demeanor of an eight month old - I decided it wasn't important.

She was out three or four times; maybe five or ten minutes each time.

I was proud of her.  As one of my on-line students recently said, I'm "shockingly smitten" by this one.  She's not the smartest dog I've ever had.  Nor the strongest, fastest, or most courageous.   But somehow I know in my heart that she's going to blow me away someday, when she's ready.

I can be patient. Lord knows my other dogs have been patient with me.


Helen Jensen

When we are working with our dogs, we are so focused on the goals we are trying to achieve. If we could just stop the intense focus and enjoy interacting with our dogs through games and work it would be ideal.Our dogs live in the moment with us. Maybe the real goal is to be in the moment with them.

Life With Riley & Stella

Love this post! It makes me sad to see people obsessing about where they think their dogs should be instead of just enjoying where they are.

Madeline Gabriel

This was really sweet and made me smile. I love hearing about people enjoying their dogs. I also found it interesting how you’ve had dogs of different personalities/skills and can work with all of them and appreciate them as individuals.


I really love how you treat all your dogs as individuals and aren’t bothered by the varying paces in which they progress. With so many people wanting to gogogo and push through their dog’s personality and development level, it’s so nice to see someone so successful being such a good example.

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