Saturday, July 03, 2010
When you have multiple dogs it's important to get them out individually for bonding and some one-on-one time. This hasn't been a problem for me until I got Lexus. While I'm used to working two dogs, it's very different when you are working two for Schutzhund.
The service dog puppies use a different time slot than the Schutzhund dogs. Have some running around to do? Going out for dinner? Bring the puppy with the vest for some instant training and bonding time. When you get home you don't feel guilty putting them up and focusing on the other.
Actively training two Schutzhund dogs is very time consuming. There is only so much time in a day and sometimes it's easier to be lazy and let them run as a pack, to bring them both along when you are going for a long walk. If only the easy way was the best way! (In case you were wondering, it's not. Sigh.)
Bullet is fully bonded to me but I'm noticing cracks in Lexus. Her recall is much better than it ever was, she's ignoring strange dogs on the trails now (yay!) but when Bullet is around he's still more important than I am. She doesn't drive into me the way I'm used to my puppies doing. This is 100% my fault and up to me to fix.
I truly enjoy watching dogs interact. I'm not comfortable denying my dogs the opportunity to play and bond with each other, they connect in ways I can't compete with but don't expect to. There is more to their world than me.
It does take dedication to handle this. You have to be conscious of where their heads are at at all times. Too doggy isn't good, balance is. Right now I'm not doing as well as I should with the time management of training Bullet and Lexus as well as working full time, spending time with family and other life interests. If they were just pets it would be one thing, but to compete they need to be more bonded with me (Lexington, are you listening?). I've been getting Lexus out lately and have noticed a big difference, she needs even more of that.
I imposed a rule upon myself a while ago. Until Bullet gets his SchH3 I'm not allowed to make a decision about my next dog.