Thursday, December 3, 2009
On the first night of every dog training class I've taken, all of us students took turns introducing ourselves, our dogs, and shared our goals for taking the class. Since this is a dog training blog, it only seems right that this, my first post, is an introduction. So, here goes:
Hi, my name is Crystal, and this is my dog Maisy.
I am a 30-something social worker by day, and an amateur dog trainer by night. All of my co-workers will tell you that pretty much all I talk about is dogs, though.
Maisy is a 3 year old wonder-mutt. When I got her, I was told she is a "corgi-poo." All I have to say is that if that's true, I got ripped off in the "guaranteed not to shed" department.
When I got Maisy, I was a cat person. I didn't even like dogs. Somehow, though, I fell in love with this funny little dog, and impulsively brought her home. I knew I needed help training her, so we enrolled in a class. And then another. And then another. Before I knew it, I was dreaming of obedience titles.
I am not a professional, and I cannot give advice. What I can do, though, is share what I've learned with you. I am constantly reading about dog training, and have amassed a small library on the subject. I have studied everything from learning theory to body language, have read general training manuals to highly technical research, and as a result, fancy myself to be fairly knowledgeable on the subject.
Technically, Maisy's full name is Maisy, RL1X, AOE-L1, CGC, which is just a fancy way of saying "totally awesome." And Maisy is, indeed, totally awesome. To say I love her is an understatement. Maisy is an absolutely amazing dog. She's cute, she's funny, and she's super smart. Maisy loves to work, and training her is a joy.
While wonderful, Maisy is not an easy dog. She has a lot of allergies, OCD-tendencies, and a bad back. She's also fearful and anxious, with a tendency to "tell off" the scary thing. This is also called reactivity, which brings me to my goals.
I called this blog "Reactive Champion" because I intend to use it to chronicle our progress from a bit crazy to obedience champions! Along the way, I plan to make educational posts that are useful to a broader audience. I'll be writing about what reactivity is and how to work with a reactive dog. I'll share information on the latest research on dogs, and how it relates to me and Maisy. I'll chronicle our struggles and our triumphs. I've made mistakes, and I'll tell you about them. I've also had great success, and I'll tell you about that, too.
And someday, I will share the best thing of all: the story of how we became obedience champions.