July 29th 2008 6:45 am
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Well, starting Saturday, I have a new teacher. See, I have a habit of walking along mindlessly and calm, and then seeing something chaseable and darting off like a torpedo. There's no early warning system. No pulling or excitement. Just zero to 100 from a standstill. If momma didn't keep the leash wrapped around her wrist in a special knot, well, I'd be to the end of the block and in the street before you can even finish saying my name.
I'm really not bragging here....but the thing is that I'm fast. Very fast. Dangerously fast. And when that happens, I don't listen and I don't watch where I'm going. Momma says if I ever get away from her when I'm on the chase, that I'll get hit by a car. Our neighbors thought Momma was telling tall tales until they saw it happen and were stunned. They said I could accidently break Momma's wrist or dislocate her shoulder. I don't want that to happen!!! Momma's deepest fear is that the leash will break or that I'll shoot off the sidewalk and into traffic. I've dragged Momma to the ground a few times, and it's embarrassing for both of us.
So, I have a visit with a new teacher this weekend. Momma was excited because this is the first trainer I've had that will admit that scent and sight hounds are different. Hello! Every time Momma mentioned this to the other trainers, they poo-pooed her and acted like the breed wasn't relevant. But she knew in her insides that this scent hound brain of mine is programmed to pursue prey and that I require a different training exercises to focus my attention and encourage me to listen.
The teacher explained that we need to work on something called "diversion training", as well as a more stringent obedience routine. She says that simply loose-leash walking -- anywhere I want to be as long as there is no tension on my leash -- might not be as effective for me because I need the structure of walking in a true heel position. Momma might get to try clicker training again, too. The teacher also agrees with Momma that we fox hounds are sensitive and can get our feelings hurt easily. She promises a pawsitive experience for all of us.
Anyway, we both promise to work hard. I hope you know that I'm a good girl. I just like to chase things, and Momma is trying to make sure I stay safe.
Please send your good thoughts our way as we start our new lessons.
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