Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Training Time!

Every once in awhile I'll come across someone with the weird opinion that training an animal to do tricks is unnecessary, or even cruel. Something like "they're not a circus pony" in mentality. Most people are okay with the idea of training basic obedience... that this is somehow necessary and does not deface the dog of his basic dignity, but somehow training him to do "unnecessary" things (tricks) does.

Now, I think watching my dogs work and train speaks volumes in and of itself. I'm not sure how anyone can watch Kili training and think she is being made to do it against her will, or that she doesn't like it, or that she somehow finds it degrading... but I also thought it would be fun to share a slightly different video that shows that joy from a slightly different perspective.

Winter in Canada (and especially in Edmonton) is cold and snowy and dark. It is unpleasant, and often impossible, to train outside, and so we spend a lot of time training in the house. Our upstairs is not particularly spacious and is also entirely hardwood (read: slippery) so it does not make a great training location, and I rarely do anything up there. In the basement we have one larger room that I have turned into my "dog room" (I will have to take photos to post some day) where we do almost all of our training in the winter months. The only time the dogs are in the basement is to train. They don't have access to it otherwise, and there is nothing else down there that concerns them (we have a storage room, laundry, and Jarrett has a music room down there). They do not have to be convinced or bribed to go down there. They rush to get there and I think their (particularly Kili's) enthusiasm and excitement are pretty obvious. They love their training room.

In the video, if you listen carefully, you can hear the clicking of nails on the hardwood upstairs and Kili crying because I am downstairs in her training room (probably training my secret other dog) and she is upstairs. Summit is a little more dignified than she is, but no matter where he is in the house (in this case he was fast asleep on his living room dog bed) he jumps up and comes downstairs the second he sees Kili and I headed towards the stairs.

No comments: