Monday, December 22, 2014

My special interest?

I asked hubby today, "Do you think dog training is my special interest?  I mean, for it to be considered as a special interest, I have to be obsessed with it, I don't think I am."  I've always thought of dog training as a hobby.  Some people have many hobbies, I happen to have just one. 

Hubby, "Let me see, you wake up every morning, what do you do?  Do your moderator duties at dog forums, which includes exchanging dog training ideas with forum members.  What do you do before you leave for work?  Train Fay Fay.  We come home for lunch everyday so we can do what?  Oh right, so you can train Fay Fay.  If we get out of work and there is still daylight, what do we do?  Take the dogs to a park to train. What do we do after dinner?  Train the dogs.  Oh, AND, what do you do before we go to bed?  Train Fay Fay one more time. you think you are obsessed?“

Well, if you must put it that way.....

I've asked myself before, why do I like dog training so much?  I know one of the reasons is that it can be accomplished with minimal speech.  I can relax and be myself.  After a full day of talking to people at work, it is nice to be able to interact with my dogs without words.  I can convey a lot of ideas and teach a lot of behaviors by using a clicker.  The clicking sound cues a dog on what behavior is desirable. True, dogs are like people, they all have different personalities, no single training method is going to work for all dogs.  But dogs are nowhere nearly as complicated as people are.  I am much more comfortable at reading a dog's body language than that of a person, there is no stress involved, which often is not the case when it comes to a person.  

Dog training makes me a lot more active.  I am a couch potato by nature.  But I can't do that when we have several active dogs.  I don't like to be outdoor, however, we are out walking our dogs or playing with them at parks almost everyday.  I don't like to be around people, but we train with a dog club once a week, and I've attended seminars and classes on dog training in other cities.  My desire to learn about dog training helps me overcome my hesitation to be around strangers.  It doesn't necessarily make me more outgoing, it just nudges me to do stuff outside of my comfort zone, which in turn helps me become more comfortable in unfamiliar situations.

Our dog training experience has also allowed us to help other dogs in need.  We've fostered 11 dogs over the last few years.  Several with behavior problems that required experienced handlers.   We put a lot of training on our foster dogs to maximize their chances of finding forever homes.   It gives me the opportunity to do volunteer work with very little people interaction. 

One other bonus of dog training is that my husband is interested in it as well.  After I dragged him into all these classes/seminars/training clubs, he developed an interest in dog training over time.  It is now a hobby we can enjoy together, a topic for us to talk about, it brings us closer.  

Considering all the practical values, I guess I will take dog training as my special interest =)

Training with Fay Fay at our dog club tonight.  We are working on retrieve and heel.

1 comment:

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