writer, warrior, whack-a-doodle



September 15, 2009
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 4 minutes


dsc02553This has got to be one of my favorite Mr. Wild Dingo & Juno shots. Juno looking up, happily prancing next to Mr. Wild Dingo.

Mr. Wild Dingo rarely "trains" Juno. There's a difference between training your dog, working your dog and showing your dog. I basically train all of Juno's new behaviors and Mr. Wild Dingo "works" them on Saturday with her and during the week. I've seen it firsthand that no amount of love, affection or food will get a dog bonded to you. We know this because doing that only made Juno 10 lbs overweight and still growling at Mr. Wild Dingo. The only thing that has worked magic between Scott and Juno has been Scott training and working her.

The other day I was training and working Juno around the yard. Scott stepped in during a recall exercise. Who do you think Juno went to? You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw her look at me and make the choice to go to Scott. A bittersweet moment. But that was the point of training her and honestly, either choice on her part would have been a win for her. 

A year ago, when we got Juno, I questioned if she was a good fit because she had such a different energy than Loki. Loki is such a "get in your face and be my friend" type of dog, while Juno was shy but grew more and more sullen the more Loki got attention and she did not. She didn't have the same energy of play Loki had so it was hard for me to figure out what type of attention she needed. Then she started really fearing Mr. Wild Dingo. He'd walk into a room, she'd split. He'd walk over to pet her, she'd growl. I had to figure out that she didn't need the same energy of work that Loki did, just the same amount of time spent with her as I spent with him. She didn't need the rough and tumble play that Loki required, but quieter exercises to increase her confidence. Over time, she came out of her shell and her energy increased and drive to learn became more predominant. She's even become confident enough to play a rough game of tug with me. Through training she's learned that going to Scott is always a safe bet and there's always a party when she gets to him. Last week in the unfenced area of the warehouse, she got confused during an exercise and didn't see Scott so she bolted. Scott called her and she promptly turned around and went to him. For a Siberian Husky breed (the breed who bolts), that's saying a lot!  She also did a super long recall in the parking lot where there were plenty of places to bolt, sniff and generally ignore Scott. But she did it beautifully.

With every new behavior she learns, she grows more and more confident. While in Home Depot with Scott, she pulled out her favorite crowd stopping "Juno Mind Trick"  to win over a curmudgeonly looking customer who couldn't resist her charm. And today, while working her "moving down" during recall, she decided to "down and roll over" just for the cherry on top. That damn dog makes it hard not to reward her even when she gets it wrong.


"Hey pop, that obstacle looks cake. Lets show these newbies how its done!"


"Juno, do you think you can climb that ladder like Yukon the sibe is doing now?"
"Paaaalease. Don't insult me. Give me a blind fold and maybe it will be a challenge."


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6 comments on “Bittersweet”

  1. I think Juno and I are twins from difFURent khoasts!

    I took a bit of time to emerge from my shell too
    I soooo work hard at charming those that don't know me!

    Tank woo fur sharing this!


  2. Wow they let you go in Home Depot? Or were you in the parking lot?

    I'm happy Juno has learned that Mr. Wild Dingo is a safe zone. 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  3. Good job Juno! Make your people work for it to figure us out.


    p.s. Momma is making comments about MWD's outfit. Something about Alpe d'Huez and block socks. I don't know what her problem is!

  4. Great post! We really do have to work at understanding our puts' needs and wants. Phantom took a long time to trust. He was the runt of his litter, shy and reserved and hesitant for a long time. He slowly started to open up when he passed adolescence. He is very loyal to those he trusts, namely his Human Mom and Dad.

    We really enjoy your posts and seeing how you both interact with the dogs, each with their own needs and wants and personalities.

    Tail wags, the OP Pack

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