My ”puppy” Quling turned two years old a while ago. Among other things I love him because he’s the cuddliest dog I’ve ever had. Every morning when I wake up, he literally comes to hug me. Wiggling his entire body, he slides into my arms, puts his paws on either side of my neck and pushes his face against mine, while making cuddly noises. It’s like he’s saying ”You’re finally awake!”. And then we need to cuddle until I get up. He’s close to me in a very special way and the one of my dogs that has got under my skin the most.
He’s taught me to think outside the box. I’ve really understood the importance of short sessions, of not repeating something more than twice. I’ve become better at playing, at rewarding, at not doing things ”just once more”. I’ve gotten better at reading my dog, not comparing myself to others, not comparing him to others. I’m more skilled at seeing what’s what in a behaviour, at handling stress, at handling a dog that wants to quit, at handling a dog that just bolts, at recalls.
I’m better at taking some pressure and at knowing what’s healthy and what’s not, at not being in a hurry and letting things take their sweet time. Quling keeps me humble. I’ve felt what it feels like to have a dog that will hunt anything and everything, and I’m really skilled at running fast after a dropped long line… I’ve definitely grown more grey hairs and got more wrinkles. And I’ve definitely grown a lot wiser!
With his birthday coming up, I was looking through some training videos from when he came to me at 15 weeks until now. He really has some great foundation skills and knows a great deal of stuff. This for example:
Cuddly retrieving (a very special form of training for the retrieve that everyone should do):
Leave stuff in my hand (might look easy, but is really tricky when you can’t run around with it first):
Retrieve game (good skill if you’re going to be a hunting dog)
Run to a bowl and eat treats (or what we normally refer to as casting):
Run back on cue (what we call push backs):
Stop and use your nose on cue (also referred to as holding an area):
We’ve also been dabbling in agility for the past six months (I’m a complete beginner so don’t judge my handling too harshly!):
He’s also a complete stunner:
And really loves gardening (and as you can see, he’s great at imitations):
Happy birthday darling Quling! I hope we get to celebrate many birthdays together and that we have many years of learning together ahead of us!