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... in one weekend.

Saturday was beautiful summer day here, reaching about 90 degrees but with a nice dry wind. My three-year old daughter and I took Penny to the dog park in the afternoon and it was almost empty, presumably because of the weather. But it was a wonderful time. With no other dogs threatening rogue kisses, my daughter took off running through the meadow and Penny would run along side her. They played hide and seek within the bushes. And both lay down together in the grass at a shady spot. I was just smiling, thinking it was a soundtrack short of a movie trailer. Then we had friends with kids over for barbecuing that evening and Penny was great with everyone and showing (mostly) great self control.

I knew I needed to post this description as I feel that most that I contribute here seems like complaining about bad behavior. She must have heard me think that as Sunday she was a different dog. Nervous energy consumed her throughout the day as we were doing chores around the house and she was constantly and I mean constantly disregarding us, stealing and destroying things all day long leaving us exasperated.

And that sums up our life with a vizsla. Angel one day. Devil the next. And then back to an angel who wants to curl up in our laps at the end of the day.
 

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Hi JP,

Sounds like you had a great day Saturday, so glad you got to spend some time with Penny-the-angel!

I'm hoping that as Merc gets older we will see more and more of the angel.

And besides, when they put their head on your knees and ask if they can have a cuddle on your lap it is very easy to forget they were ever being naughty ;)
 

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This is sweet--and funny. I always call Rosie our angel-devil. On our walk Sunday, she was what she was expected to be. People who approached her ready to give her a pat got the angel, and anyone who approached tense and uncomfortable got the barking devil. I swear, she smells the fear.
 

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Sarah

You sure you don't have one of my dogs. :D, ;).

A few years back I was watching a herd of horses as a new horse was introduced. This horse was particurally skittish and would startle at the least thing, like the wind blowing a leaf across the dirt.. Every time he startled,and ran off, naturally the others ran too.
After awhile though, they got tired of the "cry wolf" act, and forced him away from the herd. Reason being was that they couldn't trust him, or more specifically trust his instincts. His nervousness was a threat to them.
I've kind of concluded that when "pack type"animals sense nervousness, or what we may call fear, it triggers a defense mechanism in them to keep the nervous individual away. I don't think they sense fear per se, but I believe they react to the nervousness.
Eventually ,with that horse, each time he startled at something that didn't warrant it, the others would pin their ears back and bite him as a warning to knock off the nonsense. He's pretty steady now. ;)
Horses aren't really into "positive reinforcement". :eek:
I think dogs may be the same the to a degree.
 

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Gunnr, I think I may have to disagree with you :eek:

I'm pretty sure both Merc and the cat have used classic conditioning to train me ;D

Although come to think of it, the cat does seem to favour the use of "negative rewards" (I will stop sitting in front of the TV yowling loudly if you play with me) ;)
 

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Merc,

Good one. You really get what negative reinforcement is. A lot of people confuse it with punishment, but in fact it means removing an aversive stimulus when you want to reinforce a behavior. Rosie does it with us all the time (I'll stop whining if you...). It works on us, I'm afraid.

:) Sarah
 

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JP,

You are writing Hobie's biography. My favorite times with her (aside from cuddling at night) are at the dog park. She is a social butterfly, running, playing, chasing and being chased. She looks like a little whippet, just missing everyone as she zips by and tries to engage the dogs in play. Everyone LOVES her and she is an angel. Comes home and sleeps like a baby.

Last night, pouring down rain and confined to the house, she went into destruction/theft mode. Toilet paper, shower scrubbies, important mail, followed by an angelic "look, I pooped outside, even in the pouring rain!" and then "Wanna know what that smell is? After I pooped outside, I came right in and pooped on the office floor!"

And down for cuddling at bedtime.....
 

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Cuddling at night is one of my favorite things with Rosie, too. She is sooo sweet and affectionate. I look at her and think, "you'd never know this is the same dog who terrorized some poor dog-phobic guy at the park today or left a crater in my leather date book."
 

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Do your Vs squeak, groan, and make other noises when they lay down? Hobie always sighs REALLY LOUD when she settles in to her perfect sleep position, and if I move her in the middle of the night, she lets out a loud and long groan (the length of the groan is actually in direct relation to how long it takes to move her). And when she wakes up and yawns, she squeaks!
 

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Pineapple... Kian does all the same as Hobie. We think it's hilarious... I cal him and old man.
Oh and the yawn in the morning when we get going is classic, I am going to try and videotape it sometime and post it.
 

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Rosie also lets out a long and loud sigh just before falling asleep; it's quite cute. If we try to move her when she's sleeping, we get the dog early warning system (growl, and if we push the issue, some teeth, but we don't take her that seriously and ultimately, she agrees to be moved...that part, not so cute). Anytime she yawns, she squeaks.
 

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yep Purdey moans just before settling down er specially is we've moved her ..... we take it as a moan against us for disrupting her ;)
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