Robin went with her dog friend Jack to a seminar about working with frightened and shy dogs with Kathy Cascade’s Sane Dog Training. They went up to Austin two days in a row and got rained on to boot! Jack is a good training partner and learns faster than Robin does, she said. They learned a few things from Tellington TTouch and how to use a harness with two points of contact for the leash, and a lot of really important ideas too.
Kathy Cascade asked Jack to demonstrate a couple of times. Robin is a bit slower learner than Jack is. She’s learning to hold the leash like reins on a horse. It’s good for her to do this because she has a tendency to hold the leash too tightly. The human leads the dog more with weight shifts and looking in the direction the dog should go with this new style of walking. Jack could tell exactly what Kathy wanted him to do, but Robin confused him. She was getting better by the end of her third day of study (she went to a seminar about working with shelter dogs the day before).
The first seminar was one day at the Austin Animal Center, the largest no-kill shelter in the United States, according to the Friends of the Austin Animal Center. The dogs have indoor-outdoor runs and the cats can also choose to be inside or out, and their enclosures are pretty well catified! Although the seminar was working with shelter dogs only, Robin stopped by to visit the cats.
The second seminar, about shy and frightened dogs, started at The Canine Center in Austin. Robin and Jack both really liked this facility. They had class and ate lunch outside and walked on some of the trails that are made especially for dogs. The only problem was….. it rained. The people and dogs crammed into the little house for the afternoon sessions on Friday. It rained all night and was still raining this morning when we all got up. Robin packed a change of clothes and hoped Jack wouldn’t mind getting wet again, and they headed off to Austin. About halfway there, they got a phone call telling them today’s class would be in an elementary school gym. Robin was RELIEVED. She and Jack still went outside to walk around and practice with the new harness and leash, but at least they weren’t being rained on all day.
They got a Freedom No-Pull Harness in turquoise. The harness comes with a leash that is 1 inch wide and has hooks at both ends and a handle thing that slides. The hooks are pretty heavy, and Jack found them uncomfortable (but not as uncomfortable as the TAGS Robin forgot to remove from the harness!). They picked up a 5/8 inch European leash with smaller hooks. Jack much preferred the lighter hardware. He responded really well to the change from collar and leash to harness.
Maybe one day Jack will tell all of us how he likes working with our human’s leadership.