How I got my dogs to cooperate with me.

I have my dogs that cooperate with me. Many say they are remote controlled based on the amount of control and cooperation i have with my dogs.

What did i do? I treated them like my children. I got cross when they didn’t do what i want, i got disappointed when they didn’t understand me. I got frustrated when things never came closer to the desired actions. My dogs got scared of me, they lost interest in doing what i asked, they got frustrated with me. With time i worked through my mistakes with them and fixed what i caused, i built their desire to work with me. I taught them that i wasn’t perfect. I taught them that i was cross and disappointed and frustrated with myself. Did this and does this effect my dogs? Of course but with the mistakes i make, work is put in to make the problems better and make my dogs understand that it is not them.

With me not being perfect, with all my mistakes and the work that i put into fixing them i built trust. But i didn’t only build trust, i taught them to think for themselves and help me. This built my trust in them. This gave them the ultimate reward. The reward of success. The reward of responsibility and achievement. The feeling of me being proud of them. I got cooperation from my dogs by teaching them that i am proud of them. And even more proud of them when they think for them selves and solve problems, no matter how many they cause by trying to solve them.

When they ask for something i try to accommodate their desires, and they show understanding. They get rewards, randomly for being good dogs, they get reprimanded when they are pushing the boundaries, they see me get cross when i let them down or miss handle a situation. It’s about life, living and learning.

A lesson i learnt that has made the difference in my dog training is one a psychologist once taught me. When one takes the place on the podium. There will be a time they fall, this time will result in disappointment from those who looked up to you and that is what leads to the greatest respect as we don’t see flaws in each other just places that need more help and support then others.

Kühl Stealth VS Quechua hiking pants

To start I will be going with the pair I got first and those were the Kühl STEALTH hiking pants. 
The cost of the pants were R1400 or close to 90€. They were made from a light material and had zip off legs just above the knee. 

The Quechua pants cost R300 or about 19€ and had the zip off legs at the same place as the Kuhl pants, just above the knee. 

The material used in the Quechua pants was much thinner than the Kuhl pants and this was great for summer but shit for winter which meant buying another pair for winter hiking. 

The Kuhl pants had a lots of pockets and I found this nice but having the back pockets although for every day was great, for hiking made it uncomfortable to do long distances with anything in them and after a while of sweating the pockets ended up causing more problems than they solved, on the other hand, the Quechua pants had only three pockets and they were not very big. Great for hiking but pretty useless when it came to carrying anything. 

What I like about the Kuhl pants is that the zipper stays with the piece that you take off. This means you don’t have that little metal ball rubbing on your leg. The Quechua pants end up rubbing your legs in all the wrong places. 

The life expectancy is not bad when it comes to the kühl pants as I have done almost 2 years and many Kms in mine and with a little seam coming loose only recently I felt that they really stuck it out. I will be fixing them and going forward with them into their 3rd year of hiking. Their loose fit and the ability to wear them all years round by simply slipping thermals underneath makes them a ‘one pant does all’. 

The Quechua pants, on the other hand, has taken some beating in the 3 months that I have been using them. With the fit being much tighter and having more elasticity. It has lead to the appearance of the little Cotten balls from chafing between the legs and scratching of the zipper I will be laying them to rest until I have a less demanding job that may require them. 

The conclusion is that you pay for what you get. 

The Kühl STEALTH pants live up to their name and their cost and are recommended for those who are going down a road that needs strength and multi purpose clothing. 

The Quechua pants are not terrible but serve more for sporting pants in the periods where the mornings are fresh and the days are hot. Ideal for instructors and trainers. 

Why i change food for winter

With the cold weather coming soon. I start looking at new foods. Foods that are high in fat and oils. This is for both me and my dogs. 

We have seen that most dogs that live in very cold conditions have a very fatty and oily diet, this is because oils and fats hep keep the coat and skin well hydrated and insulated. It also stimulates new hair growth and a thicker coat for the winter will help your dogs more then you may think. 

In the summer i feed a very large poultry diet and maybe some Dutch and lamb every now and then. Withthe winter coming i slowly increase the land and add fish to their diet. Salmon is a great prep for the winter and offers the dogs great support for the winter. 

 It is also very important to look after he joints as the temperature decreases, especially in older dogs or your working breeds.

Go to your food specialist and ask them what to do for your breed and how to look after them for the winter.

More on how to move with dogs. 

So on our travels we have experienced a lot of difficulties. The main being the emotional stress on the dogs, but the second being the cost of moving with dogs. We have taken plains, trains, busses, boats and cars. And this is what we went through. 

Firstly planes, this is the hardest part of the travelling process. It causes stress on all parties and holds the most complex systems and well the possibilities of something going wrong is higher then I am comfortable with. Although we were told everything would be smooth and problem free. That it was but my heart stopped for the 20hrs that we were not together. 
It cost us $1500.00 for the tickets and well that was only half of the expense. You still have vet bills and crates to pay for.

Trains. A method I thought would be problem free. Afraid not. Although working much better then this airline business. You keep your dogs with you, huge plus. They do need to be muzzled in most trains, not so bad. You pay 50% of a normal ticket per dog. So this is all looking pretty good. The problem comes when you get on the train. 
Where do I sit? It isn’t easy to find place on trains in peek time, so I suggest you book for when it is not full. Then moving to connecting trains, this becomes difficult. Manipulating your way around full trains, stations you don’t know, in a language you don’t understand, with 2 dogs. Problems. I suggest looking for trips with at least 10-15 minutes layover. We missed trains a lot. 

Busses. For sort distances they are great, 
Usually free for dogs, but muzzles may be needed. Also tend to be quite cramped at times so keep this in mind. 

Boats. Easy, till motion sickness kicks in. We did only take ferries so didn’t encounter many problems and also free for dogs. 
The easiest and simplest way to move though is to rent a car. Long distance it is the cheapest and the dogs are free(don’t tell them you going with dogs). 

P.s. Non of this applies for Switzerland. If on budget, avoid at all costs. 
Oh ya and don’t buy a 30 year old camper, also a bad idea. 

On the move

Here is a few things that I have learnt that have made my life much easier with travelling with dogs. 

Paperwork. Before you leave send all important documents to the cloud. Or as I did an email address. This way if anything goes missing you can retrieve all information. 

For dogs bring folding bowls for food and water. This makes it much easier to move and carry.

Pack both harness and collars with you everywhere you go. You never know when you will need them. There have been times I have gone to town and needed a harness and not had one. 

First aid kit. Before you leave, go to your local vet and ask them to explain some basics to you like if your dog cuts their foot, hoe to clean and bandage it. Bring that stuff with you. Also look at what medications are poisonous for your breed. 

Bring muzzles regardless of whether your dogs are big, small, aggressive or not. Some public places my require them to have muzzles. 

Bring their passports with you everywhere. 

I think that’s all for now.