Day 12: Tame the Yeti
This weather is so weird right now. It’s 33 degrees outside in spring! We have to put blankets over our flowerbeds so the tulips won’t DIE. In the mornings, Jasmine wears this gray cropped sweater like JLo. I’ve been calling her “Jenny from the Block,” and she’s responding to it well. At least it’s not blistering hot outside so I can work with Jasmine on her obedience in the back yard.
Training this dog…
Well, it’s HARD. Rather, it’s not easy. Or maybe it’s just not easy for me. I’m semi-invalid apparently.
Jasmine doesn’t jump on people anymore (only because I haven’t given her an opportunity to). I supervise her every move right now so I can correct her before she knocks over all the old folk in the neighborhood.
I’ve spoken to nearly all dog trainers in the treasure valley specializing in behavioral issues like jumping and mouthing like a puppy. What frustrates me is that Jasmine shouldn’t have the manners of a neanderthal at this stage in her training. Especially the mouthing. She engulfs people’s hands inside her mouth as a way of saying hi. She seems to think she’s a whale from Sea World and wants everyone to rub her tongue. Yeah, girl that’s not cute. I’m starting to doubt she’s had training at all, and I know that’s cynical of me to say…but proof is in the pudding, lovies, and this pudding is flavorless.
Yes, my goal with Jasmine is for her to be a personal protection dog, and I would like to continue her sport training as well, but let’s not be silly. No dog—I repeat, NO DOG—should ever start any kind of bite work until their obedience is en pointe. Bite work isn’t even all there is to protection, but it’s certainly the most controversial topic. Obedience comes first. Perfection is the goal here. I’m tired of hearing about wreckless people training dogs advanced skills when the dog isn’t ready. This leads to problems, law suits, etc.
Speaking of law suits…
After speaking and visiting nearly all dog trainers in my area, most said they don’t work with sport dogs or train for IPO/Sch competitions because of past law suits. Hmm. They also didn’t list their prices online (which is sleazy in my opinion), so that’s a big fatty red flag.
If you’re interested in protection work like I am, whether that be police/military or sport, if a trainer has been sued because an animal they worked with bit someone “accidentally,” it’s obvious that trainer worked with an animal that wasn’t ready for protection work. Why would I ever want to work with a trainer who taught a dog a skill it wasn’t ready for?
I don’t consider myself an experienced dog trainer whatsoever, which is why this adventure is such a huge learning curve for me, but a protection dog must have the courage to act and temperament to obey before ever beginning any kind of protection work.
With Jasmine coming from a long line of protection dogs in both sport and real world applications, I want to give her the best opportunity to succeed. That means collaborating with people who are transparent, honest, and actually understand dogs. Not trainers who fleece me or hide their prices until I’m forced to visit them in person.
It infuriates me when people mistreat animals or take advantage of dog owners.
…Sigh. That was a good rant. I feel better now.
As you all know, I’m getting Jasmine trained up! First, we’re tackling obedience because she’s a savage yeti right now.
After almost 2 weeks of having her, she’s becoming more proficient in:
- Knowing her name…haha
- Heel on/off leash (not named yet)
- Competition heel (not named yet)
I work with her for about 3-5 hours a day (yeah, it’s a lot), and she’s actually progressing very quickly. The first two sessions of the day are usually pretty rough, but by the end of the day her and I communicate well! She knows some German and some English, so I’m teaching her all the commands in one language first then we’ll see where this language barrier takes us.
Today, we only worked on competition heeling. If you don’t know what that is…
Jasmine can make circles as of today, but I have yet to walk around obstacles with her like this. We also haven’t named the command yet, but we’ll get there soon enough. It’s crazy to think that just a few days ago she was pulling me all over the Boise foothills. And now she’s heeling like a champ on a leash.
On Saturday, I’m visiting a local trainer experienced in military and police work. I’ve been talking to him since before I even got Jasmine, and he’s always been upfront and helpful. So on Saturday morning, Jasmine and I are going to sit in on an obedience class and see what a trained dog looks like (meaning, the opposite of her haha).
I can’t wait to get this jumping habit trained out of her.
Wish us luck.