Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Being Silly...

One of the hardest things I encounter with teaching people is to get them to let go and just play with their dogs.

People get uptight, they clam up or they just don't put the effort into actually playing with their dogs.

Normally it is due to confidence...what if everyone is watching...what if people make fun of me?

Well...I guess my question IS...who's opinions do you care about. I think my dog thinks very highly of me, and won't judge I am going with the dog.

So I decided I would video a play session with Mia. Yes I play with her like another dog would...and YES, she totally is biting my arm :) And I am OK with it...ok I have bruises...BUT...again...need something to control before you control it. 

Once I have her CRAZY with playing...THEN I will start inserting rules...NOT ONE RULE WILL HAPPEN BEFORE THAT!

She NEEDS to feel she can trust me...she can play with me and that I won't try to put rules on things...

As you watch the video...I start having the toy in my hand...and I am using it to block her from eating my arm :) She eventually actually starts grabbing the toy and tugging (no food on or in toy) GOOD GIRL MIA! :)

We are just having fun...she is getting more comfortable with me :-) I've been doing this for 2 days now...and at this point when I go outside with just her...she is seeing that as "Play with Loretta" time...and she is getting excited to have fun with me :)

So yes...I am fully aware I look like a complete idiot...but if me looking like an idiot makes someone really get silly with their's SOOOOO worth it!!!!!
NOW...please don't go out and play with your dog like this if they don't like it! LOL Mia thinks this kind of play is fun because she plays with other dogs very rough...I have just transferred it to playing with her and I. You have to read your dog...notice there are times I am less intense with her...and then more intense. I also spend sometime just petting her....expecting her to relax. BALANCE. It's all about BALANCE.

If she was ripping up my arm or something...then I would stop play. HOWEVER...if me ignoring her caused her to worry....I would be putting an old coat...or a towel on my have to start with what the dog WANTS first...luckily..she isn't and I can pretty much stay away from her teeth...and she is now starting to redirect to the toy :) 

If your dog isn't into heavy play...then start off with a little pet...or grab their toes (like you see me do with Mia)...and let them direct the play...if they like to be chased...CHASE THEM!! No hard and fast rules...just PLAY :)

If you have questions, please ask :) There are no dumb questions!!!


Karissa said...

Love the video! Great message, too. So many people are afraid of looking stupid in front of others, especially in class situations. Many dogs need us to let go and act silly. Your video is a great example. And it's a good reminder that I should wrestle with my own dogs more, especially since we can roll around in the grass again! :o)

Amis said...

LOVE IT! When I wrestle with Tazer, I always lose. But I can get him to make the craziest noises I've ever heard.

Monique said...

love it

charlene and Storm said...

wicked post, i love to play silly with my stormy and we dont care what anyone thinks xxx

Mara said...

Great reminder and video!! I tend to be too self conscious when out and about with my dogs. Really working on getting over that because training should be FUN and you'll both get so much more out of it when it is!

Kim said...

Love the video :) I would KILL to have my dog love to play with me and to give me the opportunity to act stupid, but she hates body contact. Any an all bodily contact, even gently stroking her fur only earns me stress yawns. She's a hands off dog and this is a new one for me. My other dogs LOVED wrestling games...but not this one...not even with other dogs. She's been a tough one for me! Suggestions for the "hands off" dog?

Loretta Mueller said...

Kim--so your dog literally hates ALL physical contact? So laying next to you and getting petted is not her idea of fun?

What breed or mix is your dog?
At what age did you acquire her?
Is there anything she gets excited about on a daily basis?
Do you have other dogs?

It's tough to tell you EXACTLY what to do if I haven't seen the dog personally...but try to give me more info and I will try to help!