by Jane Wu (Mar 12 2016)
Greetings! We are a cheerful Human-K9 pack made up of Jane (human), Moses (k9), and Andie (k9). We are the source of entertainment in our family. We recently passed the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test and are working toward Advanced CGC (CGCA). We are a work in progress and have no idea about where our journey will lead us. However, we are hopeful because we found LARPBO, a community where we get a lot of support from other members, the opportunities to work on socialization, and a myriad of resources available to us on training and community outreach. In this intro, we are going to focus on our journey in training, specifically in socialization, because that’s what we need the most. We believe that training both the handlers and the dogs is the basis of a responsible dog ownership and an open door to adventures beyond our imagination.
Our handler, Jane, is a first time dog owner. In fact, she never had a pet. (Ok, she had gold fish and desktop cactus.) Needless to say, she had a general and naïve expectation on dog ownership. The mistakes that she made are too embarrassing to mention here. We’ll just let you figure out in private. We are certain that she will continue to make mistakes. However, she is much more informed now than before, and has gained the confidence to become a responsible dog owner through LARPBO.
Moses was our first 4-legged member. He entered into Jane’s life when she was going through a time of grief for the loss of a close family member. Moses was a distraction that kept her mind away from unpleasant thoughts. At the weight of 15lb, Moses can be described as a dog with a big personality trapped in a small body. He often presents himself sincerely with a signature underbite. Don’t be fooled by his innocence. When he first met Jane, he was a clingy, nervous, territorial, and demanding spoiled little BRAT, who occasionally excitement urinated. They barely survived from each other in the beginning of their relationship.
A year later, Andie, a white Australian Cattle Dog puppy, joined the pack to facilitate Moses in deterring some unwanted solicitors. When Andie reached her adult size, she has been “voluntold” to carry some of our gear when we go on field trips. (This is the time when Moses doesn’t complain about being a small dog.) Andie came as a calm, eager to please, and docile dog. She graduated from potty training within a week and knew most of the basic commands by the following week. Jane thought that we had an “easy” dog. Things didn’t turn out the way we’d liked. Andie was a sensitive fearful dog with anxiety toward certain sounds, strangers, moving objects at a distance, and the worst of all, she had the propensity to nip when her herding instinct kicked in.
The three of us had gone a long way in training since we first started the pack. However, we hit a stumbling block when we were in real life situations, especially in a highly distracted outdoor environment. The 99% obedience and focus found in indoors depleted to less than 10%. The root of the problem could be traced to lack of socialization. Jane knew the problem, but struggled to find places to practice. (Jane had a mysterious deficiency to know places outside the 5-mile radius from our home.) In addition, she lacked the experience to read and respond to situations properly.
Fortunately, we found LARPBO.
All LARPBO classes are held in parks surrounded by real life distractions. There are numerous benefits. First, it is a controlled environment with multiple trainers on site to improve on Jane’s handling skills. Second, Jane does not need to feel embarrassed when Moses and Andie are not cooperating. Many dog owners have been there and understand. Third, we have the moral support from other members to confront the distractions as a group. There is no excuse to shy away from the challenges.
In terms of convenience, the cost for classes is a pay-as-you-go system. As much as Jane wants to keep Moses and Andie in the same pace, there are times that Jane just needs to sleep in to recover from being bombarded by deadlines from work.
Last but not the least, LARPBO also hosts pack walks throughout the Los Angeles area. This is a thrill to Jane. Instead of spending time searching for dog-friendly places to go to and figuring out the logistics, she can simply RSVP, follow the instructions on Meetup, and show up with a dog.
Even though passing CGC test is a milestone in our training, there are still areas for improvement. We hope that we will completely overcome our issues of being in highly distracted public spaces so that we can confidently take on more opportunities to encourage and support other dog owners, furthermore, to share our tail-wagging moments with the world. Until then, we will continue to attend classes and participate in pack walks.
If you are not yet part of the LARPBO family, we’d like to encourage you to get connected because it is a community with visions beyond owning dogs.
By the way, did we mention that none of us is a bully breed? Our bully classmates do not discriminate. We fit in comfortably without camouflage or bribing.
See you in class!
Meet LARPBO Dogs & Peeps
These stories illustrates LARPBO’s part in keeping dogs home and out of shelters AND guiding owners to help dogs reach their potential. Please help us continue making a difference in the community. Click here to support TEAM LARPBO by donating to our October 2018 Race for the Rescues goal. Donations benefit LARPBO, as well as various shelters and rescue organizations.
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