Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Living with two "boring" dogs

I've been thinking hard about what to write lately. Even though Abbey and Jake are always an endless supply of entertainment (through their play antics or simply goofing around), they have not done anything extraordinary to write about.

We've been working hard on training them to be calm and relaxed in public and at home. They seem to be settling into a  daily routine - breakfast, nap, playtime, nap, afternoon walk, nap, playtime, nap, dinner and clock out at 6:30 on the sofa until we ask them to go inside their crate at night.

As they mature they appear to be getting calmer and mellower. Jake is training for a career as a professional couch surfer. Abbey is trying her best to keep calm under pressure and being well behaved in public.

Abbey waiting for me at the Optician, while I was picking up my glasses. So proud of my girl waiting calmly and not begging for attention from strangers.
Abbey even managed to show off her polished play skills to her pit bull friends. We still look like mean parents constantly reminding Abbey to stay calm and not get overly excited. I see it as a part of growing up and learning how to play nicely. She appears to be better at reading other dogs body language and understands when they don't want to play with her, at which point she'll walk away and leaves them alone. I'm very proud of her remembering her manners around mature and well behaved dogs and giving them the respect they deserve (if you watch the video, around 15 seconds into a video an older dog checks on the rowdy bunch and Abbey acts all submissive...." I'm good!").

I guess being "boring" is a great thing, we have two well behaved dogs that we can be proud of and show them off to people who don't believe in good pit bulls. I almost forgot the best part, couple of weeks ago a policeman pulled over to compliment me on our dogs - he commented on how well behaved and good looking they are.

Whenever we can we attend the Our Pack training group, over the last several weeks Jake and Abbey have been acting as mentors to another pit bull who needed help to calm down around other dogs. Over the course of several weeks, Violet has progressed from spending the majority of class confined to a car to been able to participate in class. It's feels like an overwhelming achievement to be able to 'pay forward' all the help we received when Abbey's behavior severely regressed when she was around nine months old.