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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lessons taught, learned, forgotten

Okay -- so I got this great online coupon from Herrschner's for free shipping ... I practically LIVE for these coupons - no tax, no shipping ... hey I hit their sale pages like nothing you could ever believe (well maybe you can), only two things I had to do to collect (1)use the click in the email and (2)order at least $35 in stuff. If you knew me, and you can probably tell from my stash assortment on the sidebar, I can come up with $35 worth of yarn w/o an issue....

Accept today. I have noticed that whenever this coupon comes out its either I've (a)already placed a big order, (b)when something is coming up and we can't afford me to splerge, or (c)there isn't anything I really like.

Now I can add (d)there isn't $35 worth of stuff I want to get.

They did have Kroy for socks on sale - but I would have to buy a 6 pack of a single color for $30 ... when I buy sock yarn I like to buy for a single pair of socks, not a fleet of them ... although the coal was tempting for making work socks for hubby, I passed it by.

So I got the cart to like $23 (all in scrapbook stuff) and realized - there wasn't a dang thing more that I liked. Oh the inhumanity of it all. I scrounged thru their regular priced stuff and decided that spending $40 on a ball winder (the usage of which I never considered worthwhile until I started buying hanked yarns, now I can see where it and a swift would be a necessary tool)

Anyhow, I filled out the order and got it in ... not a single bit of needlework in it == all scrapbook and stencil.

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Well since I learned a lesson I thought perhaps I better get going on some basic re-training of Addy.

We had Addy really well trained, to the point where we thought the kids should take over. New lesson learned - kids can undo whatever you have taught a dog in less than 2 months ... completely.

Well I was going to work on some off lead heeling. and use her new balls we got her as a reward between training. I got the chicken breasts (left over from last night and only lightly spiced so she could easily have some) chopped into small bits that would still be satisfying for her without being so much as to spoil her or make a meal out of it or make her fat.

It took a couple of times to get her to understand that she had to actually work for her treat.

She was doing great at sitting when I stopped ... going when I started ... staying on the proper side. Wonderful! So we took a break to play ball, it was going to be a short break ... maybe 5 minutes so I could try to break her of her biggest bad habit of all -- jumping on my oldest daughter.

My timing was a bit late ... the kids came home during our play session so Addy wasn't in the best state of mind for listening. Sure enough as I thought the dog did just what I thought she would and when she saw my daughter get within the boundries of her electronic collar she ran to jump on her.

Now we told the kids when she does this they need to do two things - turn their back to her, and tell her 'off'. Well daughter did turn, but it was in a very timid way. Arms pulled up, hands clasped under chin, body bent, top turning before the bottom ... everything that would make a dog feel they were superior.

So I gave her a bit of chicken and told her NOT to give it to the dog until I said so. I asked her to take a couple of steps ... that was all it took for Addy to get excited and jump again. Made the dog sit, had daughter praise her and give a peice of chicken. had her do the same thing a few more times and the dog seemed to get the idea.

Well dog wanted to only hang out with the daughter, so I thought it would be a great time to have my daughter try the offlead work too. My mistake. I hadn't been watching her when she worked the dog onlead so I hadn't noticed all the errors she was making ....

Starting off without saying a word to the dog ... halting too quickly ... walking too slow (Addy's a big dog, she needs to move faster) ... and allowing the dog to walk on the wrong side (left side only please).

So in all of two minutes she undid most of the work I had gotten into Addy's head this afternoon ... sigh .... its a good thing Addy is a smart dog. I will work more with her tomorrow and she will soon learn.

20 minutes a day is all she will really need for her basic training.

My kids want me to hurry and get into the 'fetch' stage of things -- see Addy is very much like a husky in that she will run after the toy/ball and get it, but if you want it back she's going to make you work for it.

She's a good dog. And now that she's 16months I would have expected better from her, but then I have to admit that's partially my fault for not making sure she was getting the proper training.

Now if only I can get my daughter to stop wrestling with her -- she'd save so much of her wardrobe if she would. We go thru more sweaters and pants because the dog thinks she's another puppy .

Well Addy had her time so she was rewarded with extra playtime -- with my oldest who also came home during training (and who, with his little brother, was doing a wonderful job at distracting Addy during training by playing with the volley ball).

Actually I'm glad to see him playing with her. He seemed to have a really tough time bonding with her after our husky had to be put down a couple of months before we got her.

I think, while it wasn't too soon for the rest of the family, it may have been for him. They were really good buds.

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