Friday, March 13, 2009


I wanted to take a picture of the pups as they sat next to each other. I positioned them and asked them to stay. As I turned around Ryker had turned his head away from Ryddick and when I snapped the photo Ryddick was also avoiding him by looking and lying down. This is typical avoidance behavior. Yes, there are issues between Ryddick and Ryker and yes, I have to manage and train them to be able to live in the same home. No I will not re-home either and no using aversives does not work to fix this problem. It may suppress it, but not fix it.
I have been training using positive methods described in the books, Click To Calm by Emma Parsons, Feisty Fido by Patricia McConnell, Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt. I have learned to better read Ryddick's body language to avoid a full blown tantrum. I am happy with how they respond to the training and proud to say that I did not use aversives to get where we are.


  1. Just want to say that I admire you for your love of your dogs :-)

  2. Ahw, thanks.
    Sometimes I do like them a little bit ;-)

  3. But isn't avoidance the best management you can teach the dogs though?
    I'd rather see each of them try to control the situation by avoidance rather than a staring down contest.
    Some say that's a sign of a wuss dog, I say that's a sign of a smart dog that knows better.
    I'd say that's great self control and my job would be at this point to not put them in precarious and uncomfortable situations.


  4. Management and training. Teach them avoidance alone is not the solution. They also have to learn to except certain situations without reacting. That is why I teach a lot of calming around distractions.
    I don't let them do a staring contest, ever. They are able to sit next to each other without problems.
    This one time they felt a bit uncomfortable and they fixed it by turning away from each other. I was very proud of both of them.