Monday, June 7, 2010

Learning To Be Calm And Having Fun

Starting with the progress:

Ok, so I know that looks like very boring progress, but that is the princess-of-the-shrill-bark quietly sitting in her crate after starting to learn that barking at Belgian Malinois puppies just doesn't pay.

Why doesn't it pay? Barking get you covered up. Being quiet gets you uncovered. Simple equation, easy lesson. Unless your 10lb nervous system is in anxiety overdrive and the only thing you know to do is yell about it. But in the end she did lay down and rest peacefully. I was very proud of her.

After our difficult puppy class episode we had a chance in a much less stimulating environment to let Maizey hone her social skills a little more. We went with Dare and Layla to their on the road agility practice. Also there, were the two Malinois she had so disliked at the puppy class, and their mom.

This time I'm glad to say, I did not make all the same mistakes again and I did protect her better. If nothing else it was a good start to calm her little reactive self down.

But onto some fun stuff from our country getaway. Our favorite time was just lounging in the yard "tree dreaming" at the blue sky.

And of course hiking and jumping on every rock to be the perfect pose for crazymomlady and her camera is great fun.
"How 'bout this crazymomlady? Wanna take my picture?"

I just couldn't stop laughing at Maizey, every rock and boulder that she could get on she would plop into a sit and flash me her picture grin.
"I'm ready! Snap away and I'll sit here looking pretty!" 

Even when I didn't have the camera out she would run ahead of us, find a rock, hop up, turn around looking, and wait to see if I would cue her to 'wait' for her picture. It was adorable and a far cry from the last time we hiked here and her wait was about 2 seconds long. Now I think she's trying to compete with Dare, who has the best picture posing abilities of any of our 4 legged friends.

And in the end we all ended up tired, satisfied, and looking it.

Can you hear the snores?


soggibottom said...

You know Amie Soto Blossom and I watch your blog with great interest........ not sure if we both agree (amie and I) about training.
I do know that Amie knows when to sit, stay, come, NO, here. All with hand signals. Cavelier's are Spaniels, eventually they have ear problems with age.... think that maybe, however the good the intention that cover up wasn't really needed.... But that is only my thouggt... no better behaved mutt (Ames has been to Crufts) will you find this side of the Atlantic :-) x x x
She had a first, but doesn't like to brag !
I never brag either, but it comes up sometimes. X X X

soggibottom said...

Sorry I meant thought, slip of the paw x x x

Cynthia Blue said...

Looks like lots of fun! She is very photogenic. :)

katie said...

hey michele, Amie must be a very smart girl to know so much! And to have gone to crufts is cool indeed. Thanks for following our journey, hope you enjoy!

katie said...

hi cynthia, well she no Dare, but I think she takes a cute picture! As evidenced by the thousands that are on my comp!LOL

Love My Cavaliers said...

Now here's something that struck a chord with us....Jasper must then be Prince of the Shrill bark. Although he is a very quiet little by most of the time, as soon as I take his leash out of the bag ready to walk him he starts this shrill bark of excitement that doesn't stop until we are about 10 houses down the street. Very annoying when I want to walk them both to pick up kids from school, very embarassing too...Marley joins in with him when they're both together and it's like "HEY neighbourhood HERE WE COME!!!"

Also, when taking photos. I started blogging in a very rainy month - it rained all month and so most of our photos were indoors = needing the flash on my camera. So now both dogs run for cover whenever I get the camera out - no cute posing like you're dogs. I avoid using the flash now when I can, but it's like I've hardwired their brains with " comes Mummy with that thing that makes our eyes hurt!!!"

Any suggestions for me please?

katie said...

Jasper and marley, just close your eyes like maizey does!LOL Really I don't know about the camera issue, do you mean that they just don't like the camera? cause you could do a lot of counter-conditioning w/ it where you "pretend" to take their picture and then get a treat. Or just wear the camera around your neck, or in a convenient spot and then periodically click a pic, no flash of course,and give a treat. Sounds like they just need to learn a positive association w/ the camera. You could try jackpotting treats every time they do a good pose.

Sorry not alot of help but just some random ideas.:)

I swear maizey just like it cause I'm a picture freak and she knows if she "waits' on cue she will get a treat. LOL Plus she is huge on offering behaviors that pay, so that helps a lot!

Lisa Rusczyk said...

The pictures are so pretty!

Love My Cavaliers said...

Thanks Katie, I'm going to try the treat idea and also hanging the camera around my neck too. I work from home so I can easily do that for part of the day and have some treats on hand. Great advice, thanks. I've started taking photos with my new mobile phone this week and that's been easier because they have no association with it and I haven't used the flash on it.

Any ideas about the walking issue???

katie said...

Thanks lIsa! I love to take pics, but never claim to be good at it! Thank goodness for digital is all I can say!LOL Thanks for joining us!

katie said...

hey marley and jasper-quit making a ruckus while you go down your own street! Don't you and maizey know its humiliating to us 2legged members of the team? Can't you just walk like princes and princesses your supposed to be? I mean Come On!"

Don't know if that will help with the talking issue but we're still figuring that out ourselves!LOL

Love My Cavaliers said...

LOL!...very cute thanks. I will tell them what you said and hope it works. Daddy has been exerting his authority and they seem to respond to him...he is the alpha male around here...I'm just too soft and they know it...gotta get tough on them.

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Lessons From and For 4 Legs has moved to a new address: Where we will continue to learn life's lessons from my little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's, Maizey and Magnus. Don't miss Meeka's lessons too, by checking the archives of my big girl rescue Rottie. They all teach me so much!