Working Together – My Special Training

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picture His Dog 18 016a 300x214 Working Together   My Special Training



Personally I am a dog person, having grown up with mostly labs. My father would train them for hunting and I remember being a part of that training, helping my father. Since those great days of having and training labs and one vizsla, I have observed other trainers and the advice they give. I don’t doubt that their technique works, but something my father taught me was that first and above all else you must get the dog to understand that it is family. This builds trust between the dog and you. Of course this creates another factor and that is the connect between the family and the dog, making the losing of such an important family member hard. The second step comes with patients, your dog will make mistakes, just like a child. Then from this point all other training will run fairly smoothly. Growing up I only heard my father raise his voice twice with a dog and that is only when they had gotten too far out in the field and he was turning back to the truck.

Recently I have found that the technique that my father used with dogs is also used by a close friend, in the training of horses. Furthermore through my research of my mother’s Native American culture, I have found the same training philosophy for both dogs and horses. This is called Working Together. The Native American’s say that we are one family and of the same circle, thus we must earn their respect and trust. How do we do this, easy, look into their eyes and when you can see yourself you are ready. They are already ready, but they need to know that you are ready to accept them as brother or sister. Yeah, I know by now you think I am nuts. So I will give you a personal example.

Nearly three months ago, I was introduced to Tom and Dalene at Rocky Acre’s Horse Rescue and Sanctuary.  I was photographing the horses, that they had, when I noticed a small husky in the pen behind the house, with a couple of other dogs. I approached her but I made eye contact and thought to myself what a beautiful dog. At that point I felt something unexplainable move deep inside me. As I left to go home, I glanced over to the pen and she was the only dog watching me leave. All of a sudden, I felt a strange sadness. The following week, I went back to get some more photos and she watched me pull into the drive. As I stepped out of the car, she started to yip and jump up and down. She was even pushing the other dogs out of the way, so she could watch me. When I was outside, I could feel her watching my every move. Finally I asked my friend about her and he said that if I thought that I could work with her, that I could have her.

The third time I visited Rocky Acre’s, I was posed to get introduced to her and work with her a bit, before I brought her home. As Tom and Dalene are my witness, the pup took to me very easily. Since that time, she hates it when I disappear from her sight but she usually lays on my bed to waits for me.  If she is inside or when outside, if she gets worried, she will howl for me.

Now, onto the training of her and her little quacks. Her training has been unlike working with any other dog.  A husky, by nature, is a thinker and also creative.  They learn quickly, if they trust you. For example: my father for good reason doesn’t want her to dig. Once I caught her digging I scolded her and she keep doing it. So, I thought I would change how I scolded her, I didn’t. I took her head in my hand and talked to her, (strange stuff again) explaining that I didn’t want her to dig and that grandpa (my dad) would get upset with her. Then we shook hands/paws, on it, and I went about my day. One day, I had to plant a bush in the yard and she was outside, watching me. Next thing, as I was walking up the street, I saw that she was digging in a patch of weeds.  I was too far away to get her attention, so I waited and watched. After she was finished digging, she took the weeds and shook them, then she piled them and refiled her hole. Of course she also packed them down. My neighbor and father were also watching all of this and were laughing.

There are other things that go along the same lines, but the point I am trying to get across is that a dog, horse, goat (questionable), even a cat, etc, once we realize that they are not just pets but family that they training, interaction and cut loose time will be so much more enjoyable. Talk to them just like they were a friend or family.  They are a part of your life, that will always be with you.  Threw thick and thin, happy and bad times, never judging and always loving, they will always be there.

Hey, you never know, you might learn a lot too, I know I have.

Enjoy rolling around in the grass on your back with your dog (my favorite), give them a big slobbery lick across the nose. They want to share their likes with you too.


 by  Joseph Redhorn Kavajecz

Bear Paws Photography, Laughing Horse Media

Joseph is a professional photographer, specializing in Landscape and Wildlife. Recently he has take his skills, as a bird photographer, and applied them to pet photography.  If you live in Montana or the surrounding region and are in need of photographs, in an outdoors setting, contact him at joekaz@lhmmt.com

He spends his free-time photographing either his husky or the animals at Rocky Acres Rescue near Townsend, Montana.


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