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Dog Obedience Trainer

Since getting a dog – my lovely German shepherd, Zada – 3 years ago, I find a lot of my dog training explanations start with "My dog trainer..." It's somewhat like having a shrink and all your sentences begin with "My shrink says..."

Without further ado:

My dog trainer, Linda Brodzik, is also a friend. Since I first started taking her obedience classes, I've been harrassing her about getting a new website. Ok, so because it's something I'm passionate about – building and optimizing sites – she took it well and finally took us (ThinkSEM, that is) up on the offer.

Her new site is now up and running, and she even (for some unknown reason) allowed me – and Zada, too! – a place of honor on the home page. It's probably my best self-portrait, and a lot harder than you might think to set up a camera on timer and execute a perfect at-attention-heel at just the right moment. Zada, as always, took it in stride (literally) and was a little star.

But I'm not digressing; I was able to set up my camera and shoot an image of my dog heeling at attention (with only 3 tries, I might add, to get the right look and feel) because I've taken Linda's obedience classes and know how to work with my dog.

So many times dog owners will take their puppies through a cursory obedience program but they fail to continue working with their dogs. It's not that you always have to be enrolled in classes; rather, once you have the core fundamentals it's important to keep working on not only your dog's (as well as your own) abilities, but also your relationship together.

Dogs who trust their owners – and vice versa – are the ones who "obey commands" and are "obedient." Case in point: I walk Zada off-leash every day, in unfenced areas near my home. I also do this up at my parents' place in the country. I'm not afraid she'll run off or get lost. Why? I trust her to not only stay close (she IS a German shepherd and VERY loyal, after all), but to come to me when I ask her to. She in turn trusts that I'll allow her to wander, sniff, explore, run and in general, do fun doggy things and she knows when I call her, nothing bad will happen.

Of course, this isn't just about being able to trust your dog off-leash. On-leash, Zada exhibits good behavior, too – no pulling or lunging and she remains in tune with where I'm going and need her to go – again, because I've worked with her and apply Linda's reinforcement methods.

So there it is. If you want to have that type of relationship with your dog – i.e., be able to enjoy an urban walk with your dog on-leash or a hike through the wilderness and your dog running free – then I'd highly suggest you sign up for Linda's next obedience class. I can only take so much of the credit for my well-behaved, well-mannered German shepherd...the rest goes to Linda, for teaching me HOW to do it!

Forgive Me, Blog, for I Have Sinned...'s been over a month since my last post.

Where does the time go???

A quick look at some things which have happened since I blogged back in 2009:

  • The house got mostly painted - just 2 more walls to go! Aaah, a grown-up look at last :)
  • I bought Bon Jovi tickets for my sister's birthday...we're totally going to out-do our last JBJ concert (in April of '08).
  • I moved into a new office at work. Bigger. With a view of a window. Me likey.
  • Also at said office I moved down to three days a week. Me REALLY likey.
  • I've seen Avatar in 3D. Twice. Once in the normal theater and the other in the IMAX. Both phenomenal.
  • My friend had a baby. While this weirds me out, I'm very happy for her!
  • I have planned two - that's right, TWO - trips to Puerto Vallarta for this winter. Very pumped about that. Of course I'll be staying at the parents' condo both times. I can already see my flip-flop-clad feet slapping up the red tile stairs...
  • I started cooking REAL meals somewhere in the midst of all this. Found out, I'm a pretty good cook. Who knew? I mean, I haven't even poisoned, killed or otherwise maimed The Husband yet.
There's a lot more, I'm sure, but those stick out in my mind. Coming soon: choosing black & white images from my repertoire for our living room.