Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Two Halves of a Whole?

I think about this often. Heffner and Bess are quite honestly two halves of the whole perfect dog. Things that Heffner takes longer to learn, Bess picks right up on. Aspects of Bess' conformation that I would like to be a bit better, Heffner has. And they each have portions of their personalities and temperaments that would make the perfect dog. Sometimes I just want to squish them together to make that one perfect dog!

I was thinking about this again this morning while I took the dogs out for our morning obedience session. Heffner has no automatic sit. Whatsoever. Bess is probably at about 95%. Bess will sometimes lag while heeling. Heffner is more likely to stay in heel position or forge a bit if something catches his attention. Bess cannot focus on anything else if she sees a squirrel. Heffner gets distracted momentarily, but then comes back to me. Heffner isn't as precise on his turns and maintaining heel position. Bess seems to read my mind and sticks with me about 95% of the time. Heffner can repeat the same exact thing over and over and not get deterred. If I do that with Bess, she starts to act as though she's done something wrong and that's why I'm repeating the exercise. Heffner is reactive, Bess is not. It is like that in pretty much everything with them. They are so different that it constantly amazes me. This is why I've also decided that trialing them together in any sport on the same day really isn't fair to either dog. I need to focus on their individual needs and I just can't do that when I'm running both dogs. Someone is going to lose out and that's not really fair.

And speaking of squirrels, I seriously think that they are Satan's spawn. Seriously. The park near our house that we always walk through on our runs was bloody well CRAWLING with them! They were everywhere! And totally taunting the dogs! Either chittering at them from the trees or waiting until we approached a segment of trail and then purposefully running right in front of the dogs. It was really ridiculous! Heffner got desensitized to their behavior after a while, but Bess just could NOT let it go and wanted to chase after every single one. ARG! Oh well. At least our run tonight was lovely.:o)

That's it. Just a random post about a random musing that I had today. Tomorrow I head over to see Mia after work to help get her trimmed up for the dog show this weekend!


Wild Dingo said...

I feel that way about Loki and Juno. i wish Loki had Juno's confident temperment. She's so confident and happy while Loki is worried and not confident, tho he's gained tons of confidence in the last few years. still, its tons of work. he has huge capabilities to trial and we will be starting to trial soon. I won't trial Juno because of her hips or if i do, i will focus on rally or something she can do w/o jumping required. I never had squirrel problems until i was leash walking them in town and they pop up and set each dog off crazily. ugh. the book control unleashed addresses how to deal with squirrels but i'm not sure i'll ever be able to train it that way in a controled environment because my yard doesn't have squirrels due to being in the mountains...they seem to be mostly in towns rather than in mountains (tho we see them just not often).

but ya, same thing w/me. love Loki's drive to learn and work. wish he had juno's confidence. oh well, no perfect doggie out there, is there?

Schwang said...

I think it's so funny that dogs can pick up habits from eachother, but in our case it's only the bad things. Mr. B is really good and calm, but not as well-trained as Miss M. He has however picked up her annoying habits like shaking, sneezing, licking, and hitting us with his big head. I guess there is no melding into the perfect do.