My new puppy, Zivon, is learning to fetch. He’s doing great, but like all learners there are areas for improvement. Reading The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs by Patricia B. McConnell has being enlightening. McConnell is an animal behaviorist that open my eyes to the obvious facts that my dog is not a human and does not do human things. He does dog things. My projection of human intentions and behaviors is no helpful. For example he doesn’t want praise and petting when playing a ball game, he wants the ball thrown. Things that delay this are not enjoyed. Another example, when I call him to come, he’ll come if he know good things will happen, he won’t if he thinks bad things will happen. But good and bad from puppy’s perspective not mine.
Two things I’ve been doing incorrectly when I play fetch are:
Throw the ball a quickly as possible once the dog releases it. Don’t hold on to the ball unless the game is over.
Move away as the dog approaches to encourage the dog to chase and play. Ignore dog and walk away if he plays hard to get or keep away.
I hope you have an awesome day!
This is a journal entry meant as a reminder to my future self. A reminder to him how to operate in the world with love and compassion and some tips put together in a moment of clarity to help him when he is less clear and caught up in stuff the he can’t control. Continue the conversation anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org.