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Friday, July 19, 2013

One on One Pet Bonding

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Time Alone with Fido Strengthens Bond
Just as I'm realizing the need for additional time with Jacque's training, Oliver has taken front stage. In preparation for more travel and public outings, he has been spending more time out and about with me. The result has been a noticeably stronger bond between the two of us that I would not have thought possible.

There's no question that time together has helped us become more familiar with our signals, body language and gestures. I'm beginning to read his messages more clearly, while also realizing that more are there and not yet understood. We're working on that!

The other challenge has been in making sure that Tanner and Jacque get their fair share of my time. I don't want to lose the bond that Tanner and I have worked so hard to build, so I've been taking opportunities to sneak in time with him that involves just the two of us. We've decided that getting back to the pet superstore walks during this unbelievably hot and wet Summer is an ideal way to take a cool walk while meeting other dogs and enjoying some shopping. Tanner's favorite aisle is the toy aisle, and believe me, he makes it clear which are his favorite toys--all of them!

Jacque is in leash training now and he's still demonstrating a bit too much assertiveness. The Walk in Sync leash system is working well, however. He responds as he should when I stop and wait for him to quit pulling, by dropping his weight back and waiting on me to continue. I'm practicing the method that involves little vocalizations, as he is definitely encouraged to speed up by any voice commands I offer, including the ones that ask for "slow". 

We'll get there, but it may be a longer process since he has had 4 years of practice at being a puller. The old trick of walking a trainee with a good walker is definitely an excellent technique, but doesn't allow me the one-on-one time I'm seeking right now. For now, we'll alternate that in to give him an example, while spending some of our walks in the silence of our own twosome.

How do you spend your one-on-one time with Fido? Share your thoughts, strategies and ideas. We'd like to try some new ones :)

Happy tails,

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Dawn said...

One on one time is great! Maya loves cuddle time and she loves to play when Pierson is not around trying to steel her toy. And Pierson really enjoys the play time when it is just me and him.

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