Since I was the only person handling the dogs, I had to put them both in a stay position while I stepped back to take a picture. Jaf is only starting to learn stay, and he has never had to do this off the training field (my kitchen, LOL!). I put Azaan into a down stay, and then asked Jaf to sit stay. Notice that his leash is laying on the ground next to his front feet while I stepped back. This photo was taken on the sidewalk in the small Village of Sewickley. There were people on the sidewalk and cars on the street. Jaf did an excellent job with his sit stay with real life distractions! I am very proud of him.
This photo below is a Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe. Nice car! I think I am going to put it on my Christmas wish list.
I also decided to try tieing Jaf to a park bench in town to see how he would react being left alone. The park benches are just off the sidewalk, and give people a little area to sit if they get tired when shopping. I tied Jaf to the bench, and then Azaan and I walked away. We did not walk very far -- I don't want anyone stealing my little boy! I wanted to "test" him to see if he would go ballistic, or stay composed. After I walked away, I asked him to sit from a distance. He sat immediately. As you can see, he does not appear to be stressed that we left him. Cool as a cuke! He only had to sit there for a minute or two, and then Azaan and I went back to him. I had liver in my pocket, so he got his reward. Yes! Good boy!
While we were in town, Jaf charmed a woman who was walking. He LOVES to meet people! Today, November 30th, was a really cold day. We have been having some nice weather for November, but it got blustery and cold today. Notice the lady's hair blowing in the wind. Brrrr. I can't wait until Spring!
When we got home, we went into the pasture to see if we could find any critters to chase. I took this photo of Jaf in the pasture. For additional information on Jaf's breeder, visit the Quo Vadis Boerboels website.
I posted this picture in an online forum dedicated to Boerboels, and John Blackwell had some nice compliments on my puppy. John Blackwell is well renowned in the mollosser dog world. He made a name for himself as a breeder of American Bulldogs and a book that he wrote in 1997 called "American Bulldogs". Since that time, he switched from breeding American Bulldogs to breeding Boerboels. He is now the President of the US Boerboel Association, USBA, a registry of Boerboels in the United States, and recently retired from breeding. I was flattered with John's compliment, especially coming from someone as well respected as John Blackwell. But of course we all know that Jaf is one magnificent Boerboel puppy!
Boerboels often play rowdy and rough, so be prepared for lots of action if you have a play date with a Boerboel and another large dog. Azaan was well socialized since she was a puppy, and she gets along with most dogs.
"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, the neighborhood. Won't you be mine, won't you be mine, won't you be my neighbor?"
I digress. Back to reality, it was another beautiful Fall day in Pennsylvania. After next week, I won't be able to take the dogs into the woods because of hunting season. The Monday after Thanksgiving is the first day of buck (white tail) hunting season in Pennsylvania. I decided to take the opportunity to enjoy the leaves.
Jaf started the day by trying to taunt Azaan into play. What a little tease! Here he is barking and growling at her to see if he can get her to chase him.
It worked. I am so happy that the two of them get along well. When I took the two of them to the vet for Jaf's check-up, the vet was surprised that Azaan puts up with his antics. She can dish it out too. The caption for the following photo is: "Who me? I am a perfect little baby Boerboel and I am innocent of any wrong-doings."
I know that it is important not to let young puppies stress their bones by jumping, climbing up stairs, etc. Jaf's breeder is probably going to have a coronary, but I try my best to keep this guy grounded on all four feet. Baby Jaf has different ideas though, and sometimes he does things so quick that I can't stop him. He saw the challenging tree on the hill, and thought it might be fun to climb. Jaf's real Mom, Mizpah Minnie, likes to climb trees. Jaf wants to let his Mom know that he is trying to follow in her footsteps. He doesn't back down from a challenge!
"Okay. I'm listening. Now what did I do wrong?"
If you look closely at this picture, you will see no less than 8 piles of turkey poo on the roof of my van. Grrrr. He seemed so happy and friendly though, and I love my neighbors. I figured that a little bit of turkey doo-doo wasn't the end of the world.
Okay, so I how do I get him off the top of my van? Two of his buddies were hanging out under the pine trees, so there was a total of three. I was pretty sure that I could get Azaan to scare him down and herd him on home without hurting him. I was right.
I don't think the van suffered too many toenail scratches as she jumped up at the roof of the van to scare him down. As soon as he flew off the van he took off after his buddies under the trees. Then the chase was on. When Mr. Van Rider took off in the wrong direction, Azaan swung wide and brought him back to going the right direction. She chased them a few hundred feet towards the direction of their home. At this point, I think they were scared shitless (no pun intended) so they were running for dear life. After I was certain they were committed to go the whole way home, I recalled Azaan and she came right back. What a good girl!No dead ducks at this house!!
The foundation of Michael's dog training system lies in marker training (also known as clicker training). I recently purchased his first video called "The Power of Training Dogs with Food." I love the DVD, and I have learned a lot by watching it. The video can be purchased at Leerburg.com, http://leerburg.com/220.htm.
According to Michael, training treats should be large enough that the dog sees them as a reward, and they should be soft and not too chewy. You do not want a treat that your dog cannot eat within a second or two, otherwise the training is disrupted.
I like to use liver from the grocery store. You can either buy beef liver or chicken livers. Both work well. I cook it in the microwave oven for about 5 minutes on a plate. I feed my dogs raw, but I do not want to work with raw bloody liver in my pocket when I am training! Yuk! Put the liver on a plate, and then nuke it for about 5 minutes. Once it is cooked through, cut it up into small treats. The longer you cook the liver, the easier it will be to handle. I have also tried cooking the liver in the oven on a cookie sheet. This will dry it out, but it takes more time. I don't have a lot of time to waste in my daily life, so the microwave method is working out well. I cook only as much as I think I will need for that particular training session. All of my training sessions are very short, so a handful of liver is plenty. One word of caution -- chicken livers seem to contain more water than beef liver. If you plan to cook your chicken livers in the microwave, make sure you cover them with saran wrap, otherwise they will explode all over your microwave and make a mess. I learned the hard way!
This training reward is inexpensive, easy to make, and very healthy for your dog! There are no chemicals or preservatives added. If you look at the label on most commercial pet treats, they are full of chemicals -- and very expensive. Let's look at Bil Jac Liver Treats that are commonly sold in most commercial pet stores. A 4 ounce box is $2.49 at some of the discount pet shops, but $2.99 at Petco. At $2.49/ounce, that that equates to nearly $10 per pound for liver treats. In comparison, I buy liver in the grocery store for about $1.29 per pound. Bil Jac treats are nearly 8 times more expensive than homemade liver treats.
Let's check out the ingredients in Bil Jac Liver Treats:
Ingredients in Bil Jac: Chicken liver, chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn, glycerin, high fructose corn syrup, wheat flour, propylene glycol, phosphoric acid, salt, calcium propionate, and potassium sorbate and BHA and citric acid (preservatives), iron oxide.
I really don't like to feed my dogs corn, high fructose corn syrup or any of the other chemicals listed here. My homemade liver treats are just beef liver or chicken liver. Easy, quick, inexpensive and healthy! Save yourself some money while doing the best thing for the health of your dog. Try it!