Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In This Week's Issue of The Oxford Journal

When you are writing a regular column, you learn to recognize the jolt of a column idea, and you go with it because that deadline is always looming. 
This week in the newspaper, Field Notes explores the idea of socializing a puppy when you live in the country. How do you find other dogs and other people and other places to expose your dog to? I think the answer is obedience classes but my husband disagrees...
My friend Jane says if you only teach your dog one command, make it the recall one. A dog that comes when it is called, or better yet, freezes when it hears its name then knows it has to return to you immediately when it hears the word "Come", is going to be safer, happier and more trustworthy (and more full of treats, in our case). She reminded me that walking in woods around my home makes it particularly essential that my dogs have total recall - hello, coyotes! - so I'm to stop thinking about columns while the dogs run wild and instead, recognize that every moment is a training moment when you are with a dog. 
In a choice between two photos, this one didn't make the cut because it needed more space to do it justice. 

Abby performs perfect recall. With ears like that, she obviously hears me calling her. The promise of peanut butter flavoured treats helps, too.

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