Hello Snooks! :msngrin:
Sorry it took me so long to respond to your terrific comment. We have a guest staying with us and we're busier than usually...
I meant to say thank you so much for your WONDERFUL and detailed reply! I really appreciate all your kind words and interest. You absolutely ROCK! :dogsmile:
The name "SHAKTI" is a Sanskrit word meaning "divine woman" and also "cosmic energy", "universal energy", "power". A lot of people ask us that question so we even made a movie about that starring Shakti of course. :dogbiggrin:
Here's a link (please turn the speakers on - there's sound in the movie):
SHAKTI - what's in the name...?
- a movie link
Your specialty training sounds FASCINATING
! What a wonderful thing to do! Kudos for you for doing such an amazing thing and for raising dogs to help the humans. Your doggie must be very special and smart
It also seems that we have things in common as Shakti does some of the things you mentioned as well: agility, obedience, she's also learning some freestyle training. She's also CGC dog. We love trick training of course. LOL :msnohyes:
I can't agree with you more about not putting too much pressure on a dog that just simply would be unhappy if they were to do a certain thing. We've tried some therapy work with SHakti and took her as a therapy dog to an assisted living facility and I could tell that it was great for some residents there as they REALLY brightened up and it made their day to see Shakti, but I could tell that Shakti was a little subdued...She'll do anything I'll ask her, however I just thought it wouldn't be fair to put a really sensitive dog that can read human emotions as well as Shakti can through so much sadness and negativity... I can totally relate to what you're saying. Every dog is different and they have special talents and gifts. It's the best to focus on those instead trying to force them to be something they're not.
It's also my responsibility as a pack leader to make my dog balanced, happy and fulfilled and to know what's best for her.
We use clicker in some situations as well.
I've fostered and trained dogs too! I worked with some really shy ones too (including strong thunder phobia and also submissive urination).
You're doing a really difficult thing as far as using both voice and hand cues - even more kudos for you! :msnohyes: You and your dog must be very close and tuned into each other which is just beautiful! Great job!!!
Yeah - to dogs a visual sign is usually the one that they will follow compared to a verbal command. I know what you mean.
When I started doing K9 Freestyle with Shakti I became even more self-aware and strted watching my own body language even more. It's like meditation. :msnohyes:
Yeah - the WAY the commands are said is VERY important. It's not the words and WHAT it's said,...Whatever the command is it has to be used consistently and with the right intonation, etc. You are VERY, VERY right about that!
Gosh - I must tell you that I didn't know about the latest research and I'm not a behaviorist, but that's what I've always done: I was teaching voice and visual commands separately, then was pairing them. LOL
After the dog knows both, I still go back at times and use visual cue only or verbal cue only, then I use both together as well. I just want a dog to react to both cues every time, both when they're used separately and together.
That's wonderful that you know so much about clicker training. I use that in some situations as well.
Thank you so much for your kind words and compliments. I feel very, very flattered and happy to hear that you think I'm doing such a good job. :msnhugegrin: There's alwyas so much more to learn and I enjoy this "constant journey" of learning with and from the dogs. They're wonderful teachers!
I work with Shakti on her focus and she just loves working with me and is always curious to see what her "Mom" will tell her to do next. I swear - sometimes she looks like she' thinks we're doing some really funny and goofy things. Her fae looks as if she was cracking up all the time looking at my new training ideas. I know it's anthropomorphizing a dog and Shakti's a dog, but sometimes there's just so much in those big eyes that you can't help but wonder about things like that. To me, she is a dog with an amazing sense of humor and sense of adventure.
Thank you so , so much for all your wonderful and sweet comments. They relly brought big smile to my face! :msnhugegrin: I will absolutely continue working with SHakti - we're just warming up! LOL :dogbiggrin: We're planning to do the next agility level in January and can't wait!
We're always working on new projects so please stay tunes and please feel free to come and visit Shakti's website frequently. There are a lot of new things there all the time.
Big, Big hugs to you and big THANK YOU!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from our whole pack:
Lexi, Mike (my husband) and Shakti of course who's sending you big sweet kisses :dogtongue2::dogbiggrin: