Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Don't bother me, I'm training!


For those of you who don't know (or just don't want to go read about it somewhere) the Yellow Dog Project is something I discovered recently. It is when you tie a yellow ribbon to your dog's harness, collar, or leash to show that your dog is a "yellow dog." A yellow dog basically means that your dog needs space and not to pet it. It doesn't mean your dog is aggressive. It could mean your dog is in training, is a working dog, in old or ill, is recovering from something, doesn't like other dogs, etc.

So today I tied a yellow ribbon to Jada's harness to show that she is a "DINOS" (Dog In Need Of Space). I am working on training Jada in general leash manners, but also working with her on her reactivity. I don't want people just coming up and petting her, or sending their dogs to her. If they ask and they don't have a dog, I might say yes. Otherwise, I will explain what the yellow ribbon means- My dog is in training right now and shouldn't be disturbed or distracted.

Here's a picture of Jada on our very hot walk this afternoon (it was a very short walk because of the heat...and no one was out and about!)

Jada with her bandanna

Anyway, it was too hot to take Sasha out (she gets tired easily in the heat) so I just took the little one :)

A typical day with Jada

"Let's have a photo shoot!!!!"

"How about I look off into the distance....."

"Model Status!"
"I liked to pose even as a puppy!"

The Loves of My Life :)

Sasha, at 8 years: off-leash walk
This is my first post, so I'll introduce myself. You can call me Rain. I have two Miniature Schnauzers named Sasha and Jada (pronounced Jay-Duh...people get confused on that for whatever reason). Sasha is almost 9 years, and Jada is 1 year. We've had both of them since they were 8 weeks old.

Sasha is our oldest. She is from a breeder as my family didn't want a shelter dog (I disagree with them greatly). We made sure to do our research until we found a great breeder. We were able to pick her out as a puppy. She had the whitest beard of all of her siblings! She was instantly attached to us. Every time we would leave after a visit, she would cry and whine as she didn't want us to leave. But, after a few weeks, we were able to take her home. Sasha is now 8 years old and will be 9 in July. She loves to cuddle and sleep in my bed, but she's just as happy to go hiking or on a walk with me. She  is extremely smart and knows a lot of tricks. She knows: Sit, stay, roll over, lie down, high five, wave, shake, dance (spin), speak, here (come), and is in the process of learning sit with distance. She also goes on off-leash walks with me and knows "this way" which doesn't mean come, it just means come a little closer to me or don't go over there. She knows a few more tricks, but I can't seem to remember them. Sasha's best trick is stay. She stays so well that she stays when we are not even home. Yes, I said it. It's happened a few times...the front door wasn't shut all the way so the door was open all day. We would run inside thinking our dog was gone, but no. She would just be sitting there, not caring that the door was open. And to think that when she was little, she would bolt out the door whenever she had a chance...she is such a good dog!

Jada as a puppy, taking a nap.

Jada is our 1 year old. She was also from a breeder (a different one, but very reputable) as our family, again, did not want to the shelter as they strictly wanted a mini schnauzer PUPPY..and those are hard to come by in shelters, unfortunately. Her parents were both show dogs, so Jada's fur is much softer (and harder to groom!!) than Sasha's. She's a good dog. She doesn't bark at people while she's inside the house, and she doesn't try to bolt out the door like Sasha did. She does have some problems on walks, however. She is reactive which just means that she barks and lunges when she sees a trigger. Jada's triggers used to be cars, dogs, bikes, and people. Now that I've done training such as LAT work, she now only barks (and only if we are too close) at bikes and dogs. She has certainly come a long way. Jada knows only a few tricks, as most of her training has been based on her reactivity. She does know sit, down, shake, stay (she's not the best at stay, but she does know not to walk out of the door unless we invite her), and we are in the process of critiquing these tricks. Right now she's learning "down" without any hand signals. Once she has this down, she'll learn how to do it on walks, and then we will work on longer stays and more reliable ones. Once she gets that, we'll do down-stay and distance downs. We'll just see how it goes :)

Well, I'm sure you'll be hearing lots of stories from me soon. I hope you enjoyed seeing my beautiful puppies!