Hearing Voices

Ray heard voices when he meditated. They sounded like muffled snippets of conversation coming from another room. Not much more than gibberish, really, but twice he’d heard complete sentences, soft and intimate, spoken in the space between his thoughts and they seemed meant for him and him alone.

The first was: “You’re going to die soon.” Continue reading “Hearing Voices”

Goober Sauce

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI walk a German Shepherd client named Angel. It used to be that when she saw other dogs while on her walk, she’d have a barking fit bouncing around at the end of the leash. She was so stressed she wasn’t enjoying her walks, nor was anyone who was walking her. My goal was to help change that.

I first tried offering her Redbarn every time we encountered another dog, but just like with a person, her stress left her with no interest in food, plus, she was on the heavy side so food in general wasn’t a high value item. Continue reading “Goober Sauce”

Fleegle Learns to Heel – Raud Learns to Heal

Fleegle taking a break.
Fleegle taking a break.

My dog Fleegle is learning to heel. I’m using the treat and clicker method off-leash in the backyard. With the treat as a lure held low, he has the stop and goes down, along with the 180 turns and the 360 spins. When he gets excited for a treat, he makes a quiet grunting sound, like he’s clearing his throat before speaking. This method involves a lot of treats, and a lot of grunting. Continue reading “Fleegle Learns to Heel – Raud Learns to Heal”

The Pinch

Raud Kennedy - the pinch
Willie today in 2013.

In 2002, Willie was a year old German shepherd running loose on the streets of Austin, Texas when animal control caught him and put him in the pound. He went unclaimed and unadopted and was scheduled to be euthanized, but on his last day the Austin German Shepherd Rescue picked him up, drove him north thirty miles to the Triple Crown Academy for Dog Trainers and left him there for the students to train.

That was where I met him. He was one of several dogs assigned to me as a student to train. He was an underfed, ragged looking, long haired shepherd that looked more coyote than German. He wasn’t loose on the streets without reason. He liked to have staring contests with other big males that would quickly escalate to outburst of barking and lunging on the leash, and he was also skittish around strangers. Continue reading “The Pinch”

Fleegle Needs a Job

Raud Kennedy - Fleegle Needs a JobFleegle has been with me now for two months and a week and he is turning out to be one of the easiest dogs I’ve ever lived with. Some of this is experience on my part and having learned not to stress the small stuff, to have faith that with persistent shaping and time Fleegle will figure out what trains me to give him the biscuit and what doesn’t, most of it is Fleegle.

As a dog trainer who does private lessons in people’s homes, I usually get called when the owner has reached a tipping point with their dog’s behavior, so a normal dog to me is one that has a half dozen issues that need to be considered before Continue reading “Fleegle Needs a Job”