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Monday, 16 April 2012

Internet is down 8-(

My Internet has been down for days! I'll answer emails as soon as possible.

Sent via my IPhone.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Ian Dunbar & Me!!

For those of you who are dog lovers and have delved into the world of training (not necessarily professional), you probably know who Dr. Ian Dunbar is.  For those of you who don't, Ian Dunbar has been one of my mentors for a very long time.  Probably over 30 years!  I've based my Puppy Kindergarten course on his teachings from 10 years ago.  It still is a "state of the art" program.  Proven consistently better than all the other programs out there.  Ian Dunbar is definitely one of my dog training Heros! 

I was incredibly lucky to be able to sit in on a seminar he was giving in Calgary these past few days.  April 6-7-8 to be exact.  Not one of those events where there are thousands of seats sold, which Dr. Dunbar is quite capable of filling.  No, it was only open to 100 people.  It was a very intimate seminar with lots of one on one time.  It was very surreal for me.  It would be like going to a cocktail party with Angelina Jolie or (fill in the star of your choice!).  I've been listening to him on radio shows and watching him on videos for so many years, it was hard to believe he was there in real life.  Finally those little nagging questions I've had were all answered!  Nothing major.  I've understood his formula for training for many years.  But it was the little things.  "Why did you change the variable ration schedule to the variable interval schedule part way through the puppy push up learning chain?"  Now I know!  It's these small things that make such a difference when you are teaching your dog.  I've been teaching that method for all these years, but now I understand it FULLY!  (Didn't know dog training was so technical, did ya!)  Although it can sound like gobble-dee-gook, it makes total sense if you look at it through the eyes of a dog.  It's been my job to be the "go between".  I translate all the scientific jargon to pet owners so they can have success with training their dog. 

One of the things that Dr. Dunbar is so emphatic about is early learning for puppies. On the first day of the seminar, it was really cool to find out I was already doing all the things he was teaching about.  It was called:

Wasting Puppyhood — Shelter Dog Manufacturing

How to prevent the many behavior, temperament and training problems that are caused primarily in puppyhood yet are seldom manifested until adolescence and adulthood — housesoiling, destructive chewing, excessive barking, separation anxiety, fearfulness, dog-human and dog-dog aggression, hyperactivity, lack of attention and lack of compliance


I have been doing, for years, what he's teaching now.  Of course I can't take credit for the program, it was borrowed from the Service Dog Program.  I will take credit, for seeing these things are needed way ahead of 99.9% of other breeders.  I attribute that to my education in being a trainer AND a breeder.  I have the best of both worlds!  So now that I've patted myself sufficiently well on the the back, I have a picture to show you.  It's still surreal to me...

Dr. Ian Dunbar & Me!
To find out more about Dr. Ian Dunbar, please go to http://www.dogstardaily.com/    He also stressed that breeders download his book "After You Get Your Puppy" and give it to all their puppy owners.  So here it is.  After You Get Your Puppy  Courtesy of Dr. Ian Dunbar and Guardian Angel Shepherds.  Now it's 156 pages long and I haven't read it.  If you find things in there that you don't agree with or are confusing, let me know.    Enjoy!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Here's an email I received from one of my puppy owners:

Hey Mary Ann,
Thank God for the wonderful re-call you imprinted in the puppies!!!!!
Dugan and I went for our first walk around the block tonight. We’ve been going up and down our street – but tonight was our first foray beyond those limits. Everything was going fine until Dugan stopped dead in his tracks and wouldn’t move. I stood there trying to figure out what he was so scared of because there weren’t any cars or people or dogs or anything around except the sidewalk we were on and a house........and a fire hydrant! He was staring straight at the hydrant with complete fear and although I’d never seen that before, I recognized the fear. I quickly started going back over in my mind everything I’d read about what to do when you see that fear response, but while I was trying to remember what to do (because I knew this was critical) Dugan bolted and managed to pull the lead out of my hands and he started running down the sidewalk away from me. My heart stopped and then I took off after him, but he’s really fast and there was no way I was going to catch him. So I kept calling his name and started running the other way, but I could see that wasn’t going to work. Thank God I had the presence of mind to drop to my hands and knees and start playfully calling, “Puppy, Puppy, Puppy” – he stopped, I called puppy puppy puppy again, and he came running to me. I nearly started crying I was so relieved, and I’m soooooo happy that the response is so deeply imprinted in him that he turned around and came back to me even in his state of panic (and mine). We’ve been practicing it, because we took your warning seriously – and it worked exactly at the time we needed it – so thank you.
We did manage to get past the hydrant. I just waited until he had scoped it out and moved forward gently. By the time we passed it he was fine, no fear for him, although my heart was still beating so fast I could feel it. The rest of the walk was fine. We will be going by that hydrant again tomorrow, but this time I will make sure I have the lead wrapped several times around my hand and now I’m ready for other fear responses.
I hope all is well with you, and thanks again,