| Hi Ed,
Hope all is well in your New Year. First of all, I'm happy to see you have quite a few selections out on DVD . Rats, to bad I hadn't checked before XMAS but my birthday is in March, I'll start dropping the hints and if that doesn't work I'll just drop my own credit card. Ah, one of the perks of age, independent spending.
Next, my dog is best described as a pet. A great one at that, very middle of the road. He is neither submissive or dominant, he's not hard or soft, doesn't display sharpness or aggression. Temperment wise, I'd describe him as laid back.
His energy level, though, is high and he is very athletic. I suppose I could describe him as having prey drive but I'm not sure if I would be judging that correctly. He does love toys!!! And will chase and look for anything thrown to him and play tug with anything given to him. He also loves to chase squirrels, rabbits, etc, but finally at almost age 4 he waits until he's given the go ahead. Thanks, in no small part, to trying to follow your advice about the phases of learning. I emphasize trying, since, I'm sure if I had been consistant this would not have taken 3 years to learn.
Since he seems to love his ball, frisbee, kong, squeakies, tug toys, sticks, snowballs and even a blade of grass equally, I'm not sure he's being motivated by prey drive or the interaction with me. Is there a way to tell? He is very focused when we play and runs through his basic obedience with flying colors. We've only ever practiced basic obedience. I definitely feel he is capable of more and since I find I have a little more time on my hands, I'm considering trying tracking or obedience. Thus my interest in finding what
it is he is actually being motivated by.
Is a love of searching for hidden items an example of prey drive? I know for sure this dog will sell his soul to get a chance to find anything I hide for him. And in a woods full of sticks he always only brings back the one I hid, that does amaze me. Because I think the whole tracking experience would be rewarding to him( interpret as easier to teach......wishful thinking), that is the way I would prefer to go, however, I live in the Boston area and cannot find any Tracking clubs....any suggestions? I was waiting for your RCMP Tracking Video to come out on DVD, but couldn't find it in the list. Am I missing something? Do you think I would be able to get the basics down from your current tracking DVDs without someone knowledgeable to practice with? There are of course Obedience clubs in my area, and combined with your DVD, that might work better. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, do you know of anyway to incorporate his love of searching into a training program as a motivator?
By the way, I have written to you over the years and used several of your puppy videos. My dog is Thor, a white shepherd who as a 10 month old pup was attacked by coyotes. Your advice over that time was instrumental in his maintaing his easy going temperment and not suffering any ill effects.
I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your time.