Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tell me Thursday

It's once again time for

Brought to us by Crooks and Crazies

1. How do you teach recalls to your dogs?

Start out with a long line and keep them on it for a while... But then I use chase games and treats. And after they are pretty solid they get walked down if they blow me off.

2. What is your favorite Restaurant or type of food? Clearly I have food on the brain much of the time.

Chinese food - or at least the American version of Chinese.

3. What is your favorite interest outside of dogs/livestock/sports?

Knitting - especially socks!! My mom taught me when I was about 5 y/o and I did a few things in the next several years but it kind of stayed on the back burner. After I got sheep and started spinning yarn in my mid teens, I got back into knitting and a few years ago I decided that I love to knit socks. I've probably knit 60+ pairs in the last 8-10 years (8 pairs so far this year...)and started designing sock knitting patterns earlier this year.

4. Describe your path from where you started out to where you are now! (For example, how did you get from Novice to Open? How long did it take? Train dogs? Buy dogs? I'll take answers for any sort of discipline, or even how did you go from wild dog that didn't listen to well behaved dog - interpret this however you like.)

I'll tell you about Kipp :-) I got Kipp with the intention of training him for a farm/trial dog but switched gears a few months after I got him and got into SAR instead.

Kipp was 1.5 y/o, highly driven, and didn't think he needed me when we started out - he was fond of people, but didn't *need* them. And had a serious cat obsession. Like he learned that "Pepper" meant "cat" in about three repeats and for the next 6 month the mention of "cat" or "Pepper" he'd break off from whatever and go into cat hunting mode. VERY annoying. We did lots of NILIF, lots of drive building (schutzhund style), focus work and corrections because, nipping and chasing cats is not allowed.....

I had moments where I thought "what in the world was I thinking getting another dog?!?"

The SAR group I joined had very talented trainers that mentored me through the long process of training a search dog. And for all the frustrations I'd had with Kipp, he was a driven little dog with lots of try. So we kept plugging away and making progress. I knew it was working the day I set up a search at home, a cat followed my "victim" out to the woods and Kipp ignored the cat and alerted like he'd been trained too!

Just over 2 years after I joined the group and started training, Kipp and I passed the final leg of our wilderness SAR certification.

I still refer to him as "brat" sometimes, but we've become partners and buddies and I can't imagine my little dude not being in my life. Now as I train with Kenzi I love getting Kipp out and working him on a mock search because he's just a solid, dependable worker. It's hard to believe that he was so ADD at one point.

5. Is there a dog that you raised that, if you knew then what you know now, you would have raised them differently?

I've had started Kenzi out a bit differently. Because she was pretty well balanced and seemed ready to go I expected too much too quick from her. If I went back I'd go slower and stick with foundation work a bit longer.

1 comment:

  1. OMG, I so totally want to learn how to knit socks!!! But the whole circular or four needle thing skeers me. Hm. Wish you were closer... maybe it wouldn't be so scary if someone would sit down and show me.

    Oh man, now that you mention chinese I can already see what is going to happen for me at dinner tonight. lol