People quote Cesar Millan to me all the time, what he says, what he does, how he does it. Nothing wrong with that – its good to learn from experts. Personally, I like Victoria Stillwell – I adore her thigh high black boots! I need a pair of those!
But one of the reasons what they do with the dogs works so well, is confidence. They expect the dog to do what they want them to do. The dogs realize that.
I was thinking of this yesterday when I let my dogs out front to play with me while I worked. My older dog was just happy to be with me – my younger dog got VERY excited. He hardly ever goes out front without a leash! New smells -new places to run! oh MY!!!
Now, when we are out back, where I know he’s safe, in a contained arena, he comes when he’s called about 99 per cent of the time. He always does eventually, but first time called, – I’d go with that 99 percent number.
But he was out front. Over there is the road, over here is a big empty lot, out that way is the neighborhood. He charges around as only a Crested can – prancing and looking and sniffing – and heads over to sniff the neighboring lot then heads to the Road!!! No….!!! and I call. And internally, I freak out Just a Little – will he DO it??? What if he doesn’t?? Look at this big wide world he can go play in! All the things more fun and interesting than me! Ack!
But just like I do out back -I called, and then waited for him. And he came. I expected him to do it and he did. If I’d panicked (outwardly) and freaked out – he would have too. Dogs don’t generalize well and screeching “GET BACK HERE!” which I wanted to do, is not my usual calm “Dogs, COME” that I yell out back and in the house. That is the command he knows and that I expect him to obey.
And honestly, no one was more surprised that he did it, than I was.
Am I going to let him have free reign in the front yard now? Nah, he’s still not trustworthy. But. he’s going to be going out a little more with me. One day, it will be a non issue, just like with my other dog. I hope.