After my four years of postgraduate study of animal behaviour, you might expect that I’d be expert at training our pets.  Well, I hate to disappoint you, but I’m hopeless.  Not quick enough.  Not sharp enough.  And way too soft.  I grasp the theory, but fail the practical.

I do TRY however and have recently started taking our Labrador Lila to a second round of obedience training.  The first round occurred when she was only five months’ old, which gave me the convenient excuse of her being too young.  Now that she’s approaching her first birthday, I can claim that her bad habits are hard to break because she’s too old…  [read more below]

[wpvideo UhaDWsCw w=484]

The biggest challenge with Lila is the recall.  Our instructor teaches handlers to first call their dogs on lead.  And then off.  The tricky part is that initially the lead is not all the way off.   Just dropped on the ground and dangling from her collar.  Tempting Lila to grab it and run.  If there’s any distance between us when this occurs, I don’t stand a chance at correcting it.  And she celebrates with a triumphant dance.

[If you have received this post by email, please click “dog downunder” or “her hopeless handler” in order to view accompanying video in a web page.]