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project Dobky

by Kyler Laird last modified 2008-09-02 13:28

Dobky is my new project dog at home.

date: 2008-09-02 (3697 days ago)

dogs: Dobky

With the two biggest dogs out of our house my attention has turned to Dobky. When we had four foster dogs at home it was just too much to feed everyone in the kitchen so I let Dobky and Harley eat on their own while I worked the other dogs, especially Dexter. Now that there are only two foster dogs, and Bob is more like part of our family, Dobky really sticks out as needing some training.

From the start, everything about Dobky was a chore. Getting him in and out of the plane, car, crate, house, bedroom...I often had to (and still sometimes do) just lift and place him where I needed him to be. Dragging him would require a cleanup. I decided to take it easy on him and not push his comfort too much. I wanted him to have some time to get comfortable with his new situation without being stressed by too many rules. In fact, I like that he "hunkers down" when he's stressed/unsure about a situation; it's much better than running or snapping.

So Dobky has had about a month of doing things more or less his own way. Our runs are the only time I require him to "toe the line" but that hasn't taken much effort at all. He weaved around me a time or two at the beginning but since then he always runs in the perfect spot just to my right and slightly behind me (a mirror of where Morgan runs). He'll occasionally venture out ahead if we're approaching another dog but I just start running and he falls back in place.

With the other two fosters gone I've been requiring more from Dobky recently. I've returned to waiting for all the dogs to sit before going outside. I've never had such a hard time baiting a dog to sit as with Dobky but now he does it on his own. (I started waiting for him to sit briefly for his food weeks ago.) I'm also feeding him with the other dogs so he has to maintain a down stay from before I start filling bowls to after I've cleaned the bowls. That's been a bit of a struggle but now I just stand over him and he's starting to relax.

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to get Dobky ready for CGC testing and then I look back and think how truly easy he is to train whenever I give him some attention. He's just different from the other dogs. Where others will go nuts offering behaviors for a chunk of meat, Dobky just freezes. He's such a wonderful dog though! I love how he behaves in public. His recent night out with Harley showed me that he has the potential to be fantastic, especially at things I can't train.

Dobky is lying on the couch next to me as a type this. I'm going to stop now so I can give him a big hug and think of ways that I can make it fun for him to do the things I need to do.


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