Dog trains man

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Small Victories

While I work with Viva's "main" issues, like fear of dogs and sudden sounds, I don't give other, smaller issues, a lot of thought. One of those is her dislike of the water hose. I guess I don't have to control everything, so if she dislikes something as trivial as a water hose, that's fine by me. And with the bigger issues pending ... I always have a first things first attitude. And of course, my gender prevents me from multi-tasking.

It is good to know that even when you have plenty of lame excuses like I do, you can still be surprised with progress.

When we return from our daily walks, I play a little with Kenzo and the water hose, and use it to fill up a small pool Viva likes to cool her paws in. She always keeps her distance, wait until I lay down the water hose, and then rushes into the pool.

You can imagine the look on my face, when suddenly Viva showed up very close to the water hose while I was filling up her pool. All I did was stay quiet - and took out the camera:

"Oh my, this is really awfully close"

"Hmmm, it doesn't seem to do me any harm..."

"Let's do it then"

"That was not bad at all"

"I can do this!"

These small unexpected victories are the best. Just like her earlier nice behavior at the groomer's. I like to think it is because of all the work we put in, it improves her so much, that she can take the smaller battles herself. But maybe it is despite my efforts, and Viva can do it a lot better independently, without me prodding. Either way, I love it.


  1. Oh wow Leo!!! The happy smile he gives you says it all doesn't it? I do love the small victories. They can make your whole day seem brighter. :)

  2. Congrats on the victory! You're so right: the small, unexpected victories are the absolute best! Way to go, Viva!

  3. She looks so proud of herself! Nice job, Viva!!

  4. Nice one , I suppose if you don't make it an issue , it isn't one! Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  5. Yay Viva! That's so great, both that she was cool with the hose AND that you got pictures!

    1. one of the advantages of just using your iphone to make snapshots, you almost always have it on you :)

  6. Look at that smile!! I'm just tickled for you guys - I know how good it feels to have your dogs surprise you with good behavior and seeing how happy she looks by the hose had to be awesome for you.

  7. That's awesome! I love that smile. :)

  8. Dogs will surprise you when you least expect it. Viva looks really happy in the fourth picture.

  9. That's brilliant. There's nothing like one of those wow moments to put spring in your step. Our dog used to be scared of traffic, and with a lot of touch/target training/games, he's now a different dog. Only took... 3 years, and he's still petrified of chihuahuas (my dog's 20kg...)


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