"Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb
Small Victory - Big Leadership - Reprint of "Broom Kill" Post 1/5/11
(This is my post, reprinted here from another message board for all dog breeds)
I want to share a recent experience with the group that I am particularly excited about. My first bulldog, Mable, was like an Aussie in a wrinkly bulldog suit: she was incredibly obedient. Bea is not like that. Not at all! I've had to look to books, videos and other training materials to find a method to reach this little classic Bullie personality and prey drive that I've got on my hands. In order to get her certified for therapy in a hospital or nursing home setting, she HAS to be obedient and well-mannered around ANY situation. Fortunately, I found Cesar Millan and while I am familiar with some of the controversy surrounding his methods, I can tell you without hesitation that what I am doing works. I'd like to share a recent example with the group.
When my English Bulldog puppy, Bea, came home to live with me, she brought with her an obsession with the broom. I would quickly learn that Bea has an inherent prey drive that certainly speaks to their long-ago history as "gladiators", as Cesar puts it. "Chase the broom" was probably a fun game at the breeder's with a litter of teeny rolly polly puppies, but that little game had turned into an all-out obsession for Bea. She didn't just chase the broom. She wanted to KILL the broom. We're talking zero to red zone obsession on the broom in seconds. I'm not exaggerating a bit about this.
Using Cesar's way, I was able to "cure" (I can't think of a better word) Bea's broom obsession within 15 minutes. After 20 minutes that first time, I could sweep around her, beside her, in front of her (right up to her paws) without her even trying to attack the broom. Over time, I repeated this exercise, using the broom outside, inside and in all rooms of the house. This ownership of the broom has transferred to other "stick" like objects, as well. (Anything that resembled a broom was an object of obsession for Bea) Today, I can rake, use a shovel, even vacuum (that was a biggie) without her trying to go after the object. Now she watches me sweep/shovel/vacuum - but she's watching the activity - not the object. Her ears are back and her gaze is not focused on the object. She is calm/submissive. Often, she'll just go lay down (in the same room) and completely ignore the activity altogether. This is truly a miracle!
This leadership has transferred over to other activities as well. Bea still challenges my leadership - she is a bulldog and a puppy too after all! When we're faced with another new challenge, it's easy to get frustrated and annoyed, but I know this energy undermines my goal. I am an extremely impatient person, to boot. I must stop, breathe, find my inner calm leader --- and start all over again. Cesar says we don't get the dog we want, we get the dog we need. How true this is for me! I am learning patience and peace in a whole new way -- and the pay off is incredible.
Thanks for letting me share my small victory - BIG leadership story. Please know all of this was not without research and introspection. I've devoured piles of books and watched hundreds of hours of video to get here --- and I'm still learning something new every day. Bea and I are both a work in progress!
(Again: this is a reprint from a post I wrote back in January. Maybe my experience might help someone else?)
Re: Small Victory - Big Leadership - Reprint of "Broom Kill" Post 1/5/11
Thats awesome. Roxy is like that too. Broom and anything you have in your hand.