Wow -- No new picture today. :o( I didn't plan for it, and now she's just zonked out and not looking very photogenic. lol I must be starting to slack on the picture taking front!
I took a step back after that last post and have been doing a lot of thinking. I may have to change the way I do a few things in order to develop the type of relationship I'm seeking to have with Secret. I did order the "Ruff Love" book by Susan Garrett, along with a Patricia McConnell book about playing with your dog. I expect them to arrive today or tomorrow, and look forward to really digging into the subject matter.
Several people have told me that "Ruff Love" will be exactly the answer I'm looking for, but I do have my doubts that I will be able to commit to the program. It seems very intense and completely different from our normal lifestyle -- But then again, our "normal lifestyle" is not giving me the connection I had hoped for. I struggle with the concept of "fair treatment" of the dogs, as I don't plan to put the boys on the Ruff Love program, but I have been assured that dogs have no concept of fair (are you sure?).
I realized the other night that it had been a very long time since I had done any trick training with Secret. I more or less abandoned it when the nice weather hit us. Tuesday evening we were stuck indoors from the rain, so I grabbed the clicker and took Secret into the bedroom (our way to get away from the boys!).
She was so happy. She loves her trick training time with the clicker. It made me realize that I definitely do need to put it back into our schedule. It also gives us some good one-on-one time, so there are multiple benefits.
Last night at the dog center I decided to not even worry about trying to get her to play. I just grabbed the clicker from the start and gave her a click/treat for going between the jump standards. She was having fun, so we just continued to play like this. We also did her bottoms and she freaked me out by going up and over the teeter! Surprisingly, this didn't seem to scare her, so we did it a couple more times. I guess the tippy board work has paid off! She also started up the dog walk on her own while I was talking to Holly, so rather than risk her turning around and falling that high up, I let her go across the big dog walk for the first time (just walking!!). She didn't seem to notice at all and popped into her bottom at the end. Silly girl.
It will be interesting to see what the coming weeks have in store for us and whether or not I'll be able to implement the Ruff Love program.