Monday, June 01, 2009

Aquarama Week, Troy's new home, Questions from readers...

What an amazingly busy week this has all been... Pa was totally busy with Aquarama and he has been rather pissed and angsty the entire time. This year's Aquarama was Dismal, Pa decided not to have a stand because of the economic downturn and the Swine Flu that is spreading all over the world... and it looked like it was a good call. Other from sporadic, influx of people... there were probably more exhibitors than visitors. Not a good thing...

However, the GEX stand had an interesting display of both Freshwater and Marine items in the same tank... Fishes normally sensitive to salinity like the Gourami didn't seem stressed. And probably the most amazing thing is the seahorse in there... this special salt product is called "Magical Water"

Of course, that is if we disregard the suddenly missing neon tetras and the fact the seahorse changed color, some dying clowns, Corals aren't supported... As another client of Pa's said, "The system is not complete." Pa probably would go, "Ha ha ha..."

We aren't too sure about the marketability of such a product, as normally Freshwater Fish and Marine Fish hobbists are normally in different camps. Factor that in with the cost of about $100 for every 60 litres, that doesn't make it the cheapest water change around.
With Auntie Rachel's help, we now have some really nice pictures of Troy... and Bruno... and Me...
Troy is going to his new home today... and the couple of times we have been to his place, he has grown quite affectionate to Pa. And when Pa puts him back into his pen, he gets pretty upset.
Yes yes... why would i need a leash? Troy on the other hand, needs a pretty firm hand. He still isn't sure what he is suppose to do. Hopefully his new owner would love him and train him well. I would love to see him again soon!
I hope you learn your lessons well, and be as well behaved as you look! Troy is a Handsome fellow isn't he?
Woohoo! Pa received a little private message that follows...

Hi there,

I've been following your blog and posts about your dogs for some time. Many times I've noticed how calm and confident they are even when the situation is anything but -- Bruno being bitten a prime example.

I just HAVE to ask: how do you train your dogs? What are the principles/methods you use? Philosophy? Correctives?

I realise how hard it is to answer such a loaded question in one PM. But as much as you can would be brilliant.

Much thanks in advance!
Thank YOU Dranoel, Thank you for your kind words. Pa wrote the following in reply....

I will try to answer your questions the best as I can, and I hope you will understand that like human parenting, everyone has an opinion, and it is up to you to decide what works and what doesn't for you.

I think i will start off with...
-Firm Training / Firm Correction.
-A Thick Skin.
-Evaluation and Change.
Time is Simple. it is the amount of effective you spend with your dogs. Obviously the more time you have, the greater the bond. However, just having your dog just sitting at your legs isn't going to help the situation. Hence you have to be very exciting to your dogs. Play training games. As puppies, a great game to play is Tug and Fetch.
-Tug: have a rope or soft toy to play with your pup. Tug is a natural game to them. However, it is not training to play rough with you... but rather training to LET GO.
-Fetch: nothing is easier than to throw balls and allow your dog to fetch them back to you. Makes exercising them a shit-load easier.

Socialisation is very very important for your dog and YOU. Many dog owners complain to me that they bring their own dogs out very often to dog runs and gatherings. But their dog is born anti-social. However, most of the fault once again falls on themselves. I ask them whether do they talk to other owners or meet other dogs? or do they simply just stand at a corner sulking? Dogs and Puppies are great observers of what is the right or wrong thing to do. Hence when they receive no instructions, then they will either keep to themselves or decide what are the rules themselves.

The Dog Owner is a Trainer. Firm Training by a Firm Trainer. There are many MANY dog trainers out there with in my opinion crazy ideals. Like its currently frowned upon to physically correct a child, this has been passed on to the dog. Some trainers even Growl at their dogs. Some promote the Alpha Roll, others even insist the only way is positive reinforcement training. It can be hilarious. The things i hear trainers do...

Remember. Eye Contact. A low... loud... NO. Physically correct ONCE if dog is not recalled successfully and if you have to walk over. <-This needs to be further explained... Physical Correction can be a useful training tool when used correctly and definitely not in anger. Training aspects is a whole chapter by itself. i'll have to write a book if I wanna address every niche situation.

is the key to a successful trainer. Remember that puppies and young dogs would also consistently test their boundaries. if you let them get away with it once, they learn pretty quick.

Correcting your dog in public needs you to have a thick skin. Waiting till you get back home is simply not an option. The faster you correct, the faster you get your point across.

Food and feeding times are the BEST times for training. They are paying 110% attention to you... and you can make them do ANYTHING. Hence having nice varied diets is a motivation for your dog to come for meals instead of having the same damn thing over and over again. I feed both Bear and Bruno BARF meals i come up on my own. If you are interested, I'm more than happy to share what I do.

Empowering your dog and trusting your dog is a very important relationship that you must have... even with young children. Exposing them to as many sights and smells is so important i cannot begin to emphasize it anymore. Encouraging kids and talking to total strangers are also key features in dog socialisation and public perception.

Every dog has an inbuilt Hierarchy structure in their heads. If you do not step up to alpha position right at the top, He will. Many tell me it is impossible to have two male rotties together all the time. Then i am doing the impossible everyday.

What you want your dog to do and be? Expect more, train more, and enjoy your time with your dog. With proper focus, your dogs are more driven and with greater drive, more can be done. Focus your energies to exercising your dog both body AND mind.

Evolve, Evaluate and Change. If something isn't working, suck it up, admit that you have not foreseen something... and change your tactics. Dogs are living creatures. That makes them at best unpredictable. Always be prepared to admit you have erred and change when need be. Be open and friendly instead of putting your head inbetween your legs and hoping everyone will leave you be.

Its not much that i have written, but to really learn more, getting a trainer is always a good idea. There are many things to consider and theories change. So remember to take what works for you.

If you have anymore specific questions, i will be more than happy to answer them.
Phew! What a MOUTHFUL! Honestly there is really too much to talk about in simply one email. Anyway, thanks to Auntie Rachel for the Beautiful Pictures on Troy... We'll update on both Trip and Troy as soon as we can!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I miss my Troy... *farway smile*