Traveling Dog Lady: dog whisperer week in review

Saturday, July 14, 2007

dog whisperer week in review

I spent every single night this week watching Dog Whisperer, riveted to the TV and even rewinding the DVR to watch some parts over and over. The show was run in a marathon format since it's on hiatus, and we fans need our "fix"!

Gil was away at the Cape, and I am back at home, so I had the whole house to myself and was able to watch it without his complaints or comments (he likes DW, but gets annoyed at the "marathons").

I learned SO MUCH even though I have seen the episodes so many times before (except for the two new ones). The show is so inspiring for me. Every night when I finished watching (sometimes I'd let the repeats run while I was sleeping lol)I would be so PSYCHED to take my dogs for a walk, but of course it being 11 pm I couldnt lol.

But the next day I would take what I learned and use it. I can't believe how many new things I learned, even from episodes where I thought it wouldn't apply to me. Like last night was the "Desert Bulldogs" episode. I've seen that 50 times before. But when the Cocker Spaniel ran to the fence and the other two dogs followed and Cesar explained that he had to correct them at thefence, and then let them go away from the fence, something clicked in my brain. That's why the dogs keep charging the fence -- because I'm not correcting them and calming them down at the fence! I have so much trouble at the Cape because we're on a public walking route, and everyone walks their dogs past our house. My dogs have no problem with dogs they KNOW (like at home, it's only dogs we KNOW that walk by). But the UNKNOWN dogs? Fergit it!! My dogs go berserk. I now know exactly what to do,and I can't wait to go back there and try it again. Thanks to Cesar!! That's just ONE example of what I learned.

Another thing was repeating over and over and over until you get the right results. I would try to get Hector to go down the stairs AFTER me, but if he didn't do it after one try, I'd just give in and follow him. I don't know why it took me watching these episodes 100 times beforeI realized that I have to stop on those stairs, bring the dog up again, and make him sit, and do it over and over until he stops trying to go first. What a revelation!! I did it today, and it only took three times and he "got" it!

Today, I walked my dogs in a completely different direction. I threw them for a loop because we always go on the same route every day.Or, lately I've been so frozen in fear that we go nowhere. Today,instead of taking a right at the end of the road and then doing "the safety zone walk", I went LEFT and went across the bridge over the lake. It's only a 5-minute walk, but that's ok because there are no other dogs and it was really hot out anyway. I had both leashes slack by my side and gathered them up holding them like a purse, instead of Hector running WAY out front, and Hobie being at my side. What a great walk we had! Every time Hector pulled, I corrected to the side or up, just like Cesar explains, to surprise the dog and keep him a little off-balance. It worked!!

What I need to do is watch Dog Whisperer every single day. I have not been this inspired in months. I'm going to set small goals each day, and go different routes to keep the dogs paying attention to me as leader.When we go back to the beach next week, I'm going to walk them up and down in the same 50-foot area in the public parking lot until I'm comfortable to go further -- back and forth, back and forth.

My ULTIMATE goal is to be able to walk them both, as a pack, safely on the beach with no problematic encounters and no angry humans. I AM going to do this. It may take years, but with the inspiration of Cesar I know I can do it. I'll just pop the DVD in and watch it,even if it's an episode I've seen 100 times who cares? I can't wait 'til Season 2 comes out on DVD, so I'll have more material to inspire me.

Well, I am so psyched right now. I hope I can continue this positive mindset, and not go back to my anxiety-attack state. BTW, fans of DW: don'tcha just LOVE the episode with A.J. that lady who has the Panic Attacks? That is one of my favorites (and obviously a lot of other people's since it was on fan-favorite night!). And wasn't it cool to see her in the new episode at the nursing "hotel"? I had mixed feelings, that woman inspires me so much, but at the same time I felt the other lady with the two little dogs had a bit of an "in" with Cesar because of the connection. Oh well, whatever works I guess. Good for her!!

And of course they played my favorite, favorite episode which is at the beginning of Katrina Dogs Part 2 -- Major Jones. I LOVE that segment with the older woman and her GSD Major Jones. I cry everytime I see it. That woman is truly an inspiration to us all.

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