Monday, May 10, 2010

My Training Update, a Love Song, and Your Moment of Zen

Click here to enjoy all the excitement. May the best dog win!

In order to prepare for my big date with Tula, I was instructed to go places in the Mastiff Mobile where I could observe people and doggies walking about their business and practice ignoring them.

Eager student that I am, I dutifully boarded up and went to a parking lot located directly across the street from a sidewalk that gets tons of foot traffic.

Imagine my disappointment when NOT ONE person or doggie went by! How the heck am I supposed to practice under these conditions? Come out people.

On second thought, maybe it was a good thing that nobody showed up because I have also been trying out my mental leader (shown here).

I don't much care for it but I do get lots of hot dogs whenever it is on my snooter.

[Note from momma - Mango's new trainer is a big fan of the gentle leader head harness. I've seen lots of dogs get a scared googly eyed look when the harness is pulled tightly on their noses. I don't mind it for steering, but it doesn't seem productive with a bucking bronco who is already upset. To my eye, it is adding to their distress. In these cases, a pinch collar seems more humane, but that tool is forbidden at this particular school. So, if I must use a gentler tool, I prefer the chest harness. Plus even though I got the biggest size gentle leader, it seems too snug to me and I distrust the tiny little buckle, but I am acclimating Mango to wearing it just in case]

Yuh. Whatever...

A few days later, PeeWee returned from his walkie and alerted me to a construction site close by where there were many workers going in and out and carrying on with their activities, so the next day we went there at exactly the same time that PeeWee had spotted all the activity.

But look! Nothing, nada, not a sign of life. I waited and waited and waited and nothing happened!

I am starting to think that some sort of reverse 9-1-1 goes out whenever I venture off my estate, "Everybody hide! The Mango is coming!"

I did get to sniff around a bit a check out some peemail.

Can we go home now?

Back at my estate we proceeded to perambulate about the front yard. Suddenly, a car drove by, stopped, backed up, and a man jumped out! He started walking right towards my stone wall!

Momma shouted at him, "Stop!" But he kept on coming and blabbing stuff like, "Wow! What kind of dog is that! I've never seen anything like that!" So momma said, "STOP! He is NOT FRIENDLY!" Ouch! That really hurt my feelings. But it did stop the man and I sat in my yard and looked at him and then looked at momma and got a hot dog and then looked at him, back at momma, another hot dog, all the time he and momma are shouting back and forth about me like I'm not even there. How rude.

He hopped back in his car and drove off.

Stupid momma did not take any pictures, but here is a reenactment of me looking at her and there is my stone wall where the man was standing.

[Momma again - the stone wall is not as far away as it looks. Mango would previously have stood up, gone stiff, barked and otherwise put on a display, so the fact that he sat still and was calm is huge progress]

So I think that I did a good job, right? Momma gave me a big hug, a smoochie, and apologized for saying bad things about me.

[Final note from momma - I credit Mango's good behavior to the practice that we have been doing on leash in the safety of the yard. I have also been working a lot on "wait" and just general attentiveness when he is with me. I think that Mango could handle closer encounters, but I can't and if I get tense then he will react to that, so better to err on the side of caution]

That better be the last of your dumb blue italicized comments on MY bloggy you dotty old hen!

In other news, I was catching up on bloggies earlier this week and happened upon one of my floofy tailed girlfriends singing a love song to ME! Yes! I kid you not. Don't believe me? Watch this movie.

Did you hear that? The bootiful Shelby loves the Mango! I know she was saying MANGOOOO! You can watch the original by clicking here. But I warn you that even though you might think otherwise, she is talking to ME!

And here is your moment of Zen. Anybody else hate wheelbarrows?

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

[P.S. From momma - another training victory. Yesterday I was in inside when I heard Mango alarm barking. I went to the window and saw him charging the fence way in the back of the yard because our neighbor was - gasp - mowing his lawn! Mango vanished behind the barn as he chased the tractor, but when I called him he came and got his hot dogs. Previously I would have had to go out and get him. I think he is figuring this out.

And I want to put a plug in for how valuable a lifetime of training is with your dogs. It doesn't have to be obedience (BORING). Agility, flyball, nose work, dog dancing, whatever. I try to always have my dogs in one class or another just to be able to learn new stuff and hang out with other dog people. Even though I haven't been able to take Mango on a proper walk in some time, I (almost) never stopped doing activities with him around the estate. I am now cautiously optimistic that Mango will qualify to go to graduate school. Who would have thought it?]


Anonymous said...

Good job on all the hard work you've been doing, Mango! Now if only everybuddy else would cooperates with you. Maybe they're just playing hide and seek? I'm glad you didn't try to eat the crazy guy who stopped his car. (Um, seriouslys, who DOES that?) Hot dogs prolly taste better anyway.

Oh...and my mom tried one of those nose halter thingies on me and I FLIPPED OUT! I fell to the ground and pawed at it and generally made a spectacle of myself. But it worked! Mom snatched it offa me and I've never had to wear one since. You should try it sometime!

Wiggles & Wags,

Marjie said...

Last summer, whilst I was playing in my tennis court with my little boys, a man walked up our street. I let out two good stiff boofs to tell him exactly whose tennis court this is, and to carry on elsewhere. He told my boys to shut me up - me! - and my boy Ryan informed him that I was simply exercising my constitutional right to free speech. The man was a butthead. I am most eager to take my boys out on their leash, where I wear a pony harness, and they have a leash attached to their arm. Usually, I take my older boys for the walk, because my Momma doesn't want anyone to complain. Rolling about in the Mastiff Mobile is great fun, isn't it?


Mack and Mia said...


DUDE, if you were a cool and slender yet muscular labradude that gentle leader harness thing would've fit around your big FAT snooter. Obviously, that is not the case, but since you did score some hotdogs I guess you have to be sorta cool.

Wags and Woofs,
Mack and Mia

PeeS. Our momma said your face is so adorable and she just wants to squish it and smoochie it all over! I say, "GAG ME". Where is DEXTER?!?!?!?! I need BACK UP!

Heather and Pumpkin said...

Congratulations Mango. You have figured out a good way to get hot dogs! As you know they are my favorite food. The travel channel would have you think there are free hot dogs on every corner in Chicago but that is not the case. The only time I get hot dogs is when I am being a therapy dog, so as you can imagine I love going to work.


Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I hate to disappoint woo big fella but I'm not the noisy moaning type -

I talk with my tail and pantyloons -


Great job with the making your DOH's day - her training is REALLY khoming along!


Samantha said...

Major A - pluses on all scores, Mango - yowzers, you sure are being most excellent in all the endeavors Ma puts you through! No wonder Shelby is singing you sweet somethings!!! Love that moment of zen - guess you needed that after all the shouting between mom and the trespasser - that was weird. Your mom is incredibly intrepid, but then, so are you!
Hugs xoxoxo

I think obed. is boring too, but for some reason, Mom is compelled to have me do it...

Heather and Ellie said...

Yeah, I had to get used to being ok with the Gentle Leader because all NEADS dogs wear it. But now that I realize how useful it is, I think it's a great training tool. But it's a very controversial thing....

Mango, GREAT job on watching your momma when that weird guy came up! Hot dogs are pretty good aren't they...those things work miracles :)

Wild Dingo said...

Of course Mango will go to graduate school and he will graduate cum daugde.

sigh. the gentle leader. um, ya. While I don't want to put down this tool, as I have seen people use it and are happy with it, but i can tell you it does nothing in the way of making a dog sit or down. If a dog won't sit or down for food, then you will need something else to deal with the willfulness of the doggie. there are a million ways to teach a dog sit or down or MAKE a willful dog sit or down. i cannot see a gentle leader as being a tool for that, nor enforcing the behavior of sit or down. In fact, i see them as being as dangerous a tool as a "choke chain" in the wrong hands. I'm curious to see how long this tool lasts in the "positive only" trainer world. I'll bet over time, people will begin to complain about them.

sigh. be careful with it on the mango! sorry you have to deal with the trainer using it. maybe you can use his flat collar instead? i'd rather see people use that over a gentle leader. i find the gentle leader doesn't do anything for teaching a behavior, it just 'prevents' behavior like pulling. versus a flat buckle, at least you have some form of message you can send the beast! LOL.

Good job on the Mango Man! he's coming along quite nicely.

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Mango you are doing so well. We are so proud of you. Mom probably has stock in hot dogs.. hehe
Happy Late Mother's Day Mom...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

SGR said...

Woof! Woof! I've been gone for a long time n you've been very busy. Love also the changes you made on your blog. Need I say more ... GREAT GREAT JOB!!! Will check out all the entries for the Pawdance. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof!Woof! Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

pam said...

I normally wouldn't copy and paste such a long comment but this is a bit of what I've read about those 'gentle' leaders:

Another well-intentioned, but dangerous fad.

Don't listen to armchair dog trainers and behaviorists, amateurs and part-time pet shop trainers. These dangerous halters come off and can cause cervical and spinal injuries to dogs if the dog lunges because it turns the head.

We feel these are unnecessary for 99.9% of dogs. They have their use however and are excellent in extremely rare instances. In our opinion, these are not so much a dog training tool but a crutch for people that do not understand animal behavior or what a dog thinks or feels.

Dog head halters are stupid because they don't teach the dog anything, they know when it is on and off, dogs usually hate them and flip out and try and get it off, that and you risk spinal injury to your dog if you use one. What is really stupid about Haltis and Gentle Leaders is that they are not even dog training. All they are is a restraint to subdue dogs. We have seen dogs with their noses raw like hamburger from rubbing their noses on the cement to get the horrible thing off of their face.

Haltis and Gentle Leaders are analogous saying that a criminal is rehabilitated if you put handcuffs on him or her. Logic and experience tells us that as soon as you take the handcuffs off, the criminal will re-offend.

Mack and Sally Ann said...

You are making great progress. Lucky,
you get hot dogs.
Sally Ann

Stella said...

Thats nice to get rewarded with hot doggies. I wish I did. Well, I do sometimes, just not nearly often enough!



Benny and Lily said...

Holy crap Mango it looks like the "trainer" just doesn't want you to talk anymore. well at least you get the hot dogs
Benny & Lily

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Great job, Mango - it will all work out in the end. We saw Shelby wooing you - we just know it was you she was calling to. AND she is a beauty.

Mom uses the GL on Ciara now. Phantom has to wear his again because of Mom's back and he does like to pull. But she has a little loopy thingie that hooks on to the ring on the GL and then to the regular flat collar or choke collar as a safety. This way if the GL comes off, the leash is still connected to the other collar.

Good luck with your training.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Kari in WeHo said...

as they say practice makes perfect :) I like the new background

Toby- The dog with a blog said...

Love your background & the new header picture - both are very nice!
Thanks for the update on your training, I'm off to see the "pawdance films"!

Toby's Raiser

Busby and Raymond said...

We gotta say (and pardon our French) but how BADASS is the Mango MOM?! We love her. She's a lifelong learner with the Mango and the Peewee. Big points for being an excellent dog Mom.

And what kind of a dip comes rushing up to a dog he doesn't know? Jeez. Good job not jumping the fence and dancing with him Mango!

Lorenza said...

I know you can do it, Mango!
Kisses and hugs

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Really great news about Mango's progress, congratulations!!!! Keep up all the hard work that you have been doing with him.

As for the gentle leader, it's just a tool. Same as the pinch collar, choke collar, easy walk, whatever. Your real training is everything you have been doing and will keep on doing. Most dogs do initially protest the GL but get over it, especially if you don't let them throw a temper tantrum. I personally don't use one, or any other tool, on my dogs but that's because I do a lot of training AND I don't have a gigantic dog that could pull me over if we weren't yet ready for that situation. I don't think the GL is really a positive based tool as everyone makes it out to be, but I personally would rather have one on a dog then a pinch collar with a dog who I was uncertain about as a dog can fight the pain of a pinch but have a harder time pulling me if I'm turning his head sideways. Of course Mango is not an uncertain dog to you and you do training :) Anyways, talk to the instructor about the easy walk. It can give you the extra security you're looking for and is more humane then either pinch or halter. Or look into other types of head harnesss as some of the other brands are much more comfortable for the dogs.

houndstooth said...

Mango! That's amazing! You have almost completely trained your mom to give you hot dogs on command! I bow to your mental acuities on this one. Soon, all you'll have to do is look at her and she'll be stuffing hot dogs in your sudsy mouth. You've really come a long way from those days of having to run around on the deck to get a hot dog.


P.S. Seriously, what kind of moron runs up to a dog the size of an elephant without knowing whether he's friendly? I say you should have given him a nice close call that resulted in the fellow having to change his drawers!

Cinnamon said...

Hi Mango,

You are doing really well! As you know, I am working on the same problem, getting nervous in front of strange dogs and barking at them. Now I bark much less than I used to, but when I see another dog coming close, I can't stay calm and I start lunging at them. Mongo, keep up the good work! I will do my best too!!


Anonymous said...

So I checked on the rival female dog, and I don't quite get it. What does she have that I don't. Anyway, I don't want to regress because I've had tons of therapy to get over you.
Thanks for the comment today. I was about to miss out on all the fun. You've probably noticed my schedule's really changed and comments are a bit of a luxury. Well, thanks to you, I'm going to enjoy over the next couple of days the Pawdance Festival I've been so looking forward to. Also, real sweet of you to vote for tiny me, since I always look up to your youtube channel. I'm honored.

Life With Dogs said...

Recall is my biggest challenge. Based on your progress I'd say you're very right to remind the rest of us about training. Now if I can just find the time!


Where in the world do you and momma go? No people? You should sit outside of Trader Joes and be their greeter? Wouldn't that be good practice.

Nice work though with that weirdo. Tula gets that all the time. We're so glad u like the film festival. It gives mom a good laugh looking at the entries

Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello mango its dennis the vizsla dog hay wot the heck??? yore mama thinks yoo ar not frendly??? duznt she see how menny peepul come and leev comments on yore blog??? duz that luk like sumthing wot wood happen to a dog wot wuz not frendly??? sheesh sum peepul!!! ok bye

hero said...

Recall is the hardest... but you're showing us the way, big guy... hot dogs, yummy!

Licks, hero

Mr Koda MD said...

AHHH Bless my sleddoggery activities, I learned to PULL!

Ha to you Mango Man!!!

Good work Mango Mum, any improvements to get that old doof in line will be brilliant!

Good luck and keep positive

Chester said...

You're doin' real well with your trainin' Mango, and I couldn't be prouder of you. I guess your Mom's hard work might have a little to do with that but, duh! What else do 2 leggers have to do all day? They should spend every wakin' moment entertainin' us as far as I'm concerned.

FYI-if you get to likin' strange 2 leggers you'll get to go more places and I ain't met one yet that is mean. Usually they make all over me and sumtimes they even ask if they can give me a treat. Uh-YEEEEAHHHH!!! Mom hates to hurt their feelin's and never says no to them. So it's in your best interest to become sociable. It won't have a negative effect your Relentlessly Huge self at all.

Woofs and trained slobbers,
Chester ;0=)

monica said...

so great to hear of all this - you sure earn all those hotdogs making such progress.
Bundy The Bundle of Joy also takes training classes, but now we worry it is too much for him, 'cause after every session he limps and seems in pain for a couple of hours... and is exhausted for days... somehow he just can't stop running after a gorgeous border collie gal who is itsy bitsy faster than him.... and that wears him completely out...
we also worry if there might be some ouch stuff going on inside his hips.. but we hope not..might have to have it checked...

Lola said...

You're doing great work there, Mango. Chester is right. There are benefits to being sociable and it's all in your best interest. Still, it hurts to see your magnificent mouth contained in that gentle leader. I'm glad your Mom doesn't really want to use it much.

wags, Lola

Ludo van Doggy said...

Great job Mango!!
Auntie Penny has one of them leader things. I cas not believe that silly man coming up like that though!
~lickies, Ludo

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

how would Mango have reacted to that man? does new situations wig him out? that is quite typical for the breed i think. we get that all the time too, but we are friendly so that it why we are always about in new places, and probably why you are most comfortable in your estate. we know 2 mastiffs down the road who just seem better off sticking close to home. we think it must be a mastiff trait?

The Rocky Creek Scotties said...

What a wonderful student you are! We just started our little Ruairi in Kindergarten yesterday - he's stubborn and strong willed - such the terrier!!

Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ruairi

BRUTUS said...

What an intense student you are! how focused you are becoming - then again, I bet the hot dogs are easy to focus on! Lucky for me, I have no snooter, so no one ever tried to put a mental leader on me (it'd fall right off, honestly). Mom does use a pinch collar sometimes, and agrees with your momma - when used properly it can be a very nice tool! Mom's gentle, so I don't mind, and I tend to take her more seriously just because it's on. Sad that we have to cover ours with a cloth over-collar so we don't get nasty stares from passersby thinking that I am vicious (or mom is cruel)!

Keep up the good work, big buddy!

Brutus the Frenchie

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

i totally get you Mango man. you are an estate breed and are most happy at home with your momma!

dewdana said...

Sorry you can not find any public training props/assistants. This is definitely the biggest obstacle for us too! It does sound like you are really working hard for grad school though, I know you will make it! We use a gentle leader too. Did yours come with a backup attachment thing that allows momma to clip the leash to both the gentle leader and your regular collar so that if it breaks then you are not loose? The gentle leader worked wonders for us but over time Moose has learned to pull even with that on and given RH is twice the size of Moose I can see that is a problem. I don't think he could pull me off my feet with it the way he could with a flat collar but he has surprised me with his strength still.

Wild Dingo said...

Personally, my favorite tool is the skillet. I don't know WHY more trainers don't use one. sigh.

Tools are tools though as one person pointed out, the training comes with everything else you do.

Sue said...

I tried the head halter with Monty, but it seemed to upset him even more and then we couldn't make any progress.

It sounds like the treats are working. Now what do I do with Tsar who doesn't care a thing about food?

Sunshade said...

Excellent job with training Mango!!! Maybe we should send STINKY to your schooool....hehe!

I think you really love Shelby, your Mastiff head tilts told me so.

ps. thanks for voting for me, I'm heading over there to check it out!

Love nibbles,
Miss Sunshade

Maggie and Mitch said...

Good job on the training, Mango! No doubt you will graduate with honors!
We were just at Norwood's! Your films are winners!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

ScrapsofMe said...

ROTFLMFO!! That tinky little nose ring thingy gonna stop the RH if he lunges? NO? I sure wouldn't depend on just that. Maybe have a backup plan/leash?

I think yer doing grand with yer private lessons. And look how good you are at sitting across the street and staring at...nothing? Got that down pat.

Maybe yer Momma should take you more interesting places, like the ice cream stand? You could use a little dessert with all those hot dogs, huh?

But dude, you look downright pitiful standing out there alone. Want me to come and do pack walkies with you? You could use a little Scottie accessory. I just have to find a picnic table to stand on to give you a good sniffie in all the right places. That's what I hafta do with the Great Dane at the bark park.

I wanna sniff you all over....and over again...


tula said...

Woo woo- It means oooo mango u look like a stud muffin in your mental leader! Can't wait til our date & when you get into grad skool...peewee & nor wood will be onto their doctorate in no time.. Need a study buddy!

Big props to ya! U keep looking at your momma & think hot dogs dispenser!

Kissies, tula

Nuthatch... said...

Oh Mango, we're not only very impressed - we're also very proud. You've made tremendous progress. It makes training that much harder when there are idiots like that man out there.
We're not big fans of the gentle leader either. (But we absolutely LOVE hot dogs - the more the better lol)

Dory and the Mama said...

This really gives me hope for he seems to be just like Mango...but in an itty bitty body!!

Wonderful Post Mango and Mango Mama!!


ocmist said...

Mango, we think that you are doing a great job showing patience as you train your Momma to give you the hot dogs and other treats! She's even learning to read your looks/mind. It was very clear that you were NOT happy with that THING on your snooter! We would NOT be either!

Grammy uses what they call a "Choker Collar" but trained us right off that we were NOT to EVER pull on it, so we don't get "Choked." She's always felt a few pinches at the first part of training teaches respect and quickly teaches us to pay attention to HER, when she wants our attention. It's always worked for her, and she says that ANY kind of tool can be abused. All tools need to be used as "TOOLS" not as punishers, and she uses a LOT of treats. Treats make us WANT to read HER mind!

With your jowls, that muzzle thingy just doesn't look comfortable AT ALL! We hope the trainer will listen to your Momma who knows what works best for you and her!

Grammy says that she really applauds the work that your Momma is putting in with you, and it really shows.

The Army of Four said...

Woo, Mango! I love that vid of you listening to Shelby!
Good luck with all your training! Your mom totally ROCKS for all the work she's doing with you.

Peppy Sheppys said...

Oh no! Our ma ape is most impressed with the job your ape has done with the Mango in training. We can be beasts on leash (except for Otis) and she thinks she might borrow some techniques. We hate the Mental Leader so she agrees that she and we prefer to wear the sports bra harnesses like Dexterdude.

Also, you are some well-read dudes.

The Sheps w/Pep

Leah said...

I love these updates on training. Please keep them coming! Dozer and I are working on leash training but, I admit, I am the one being "schooled". How a small dane puppy turns into a mule, I don't know, but it happens every time we add the leash. I try his favorite treats...uh movement. Oh, the fun!

Oskar said...

My people admit they have not done enough training with me. You may have finally inspired her to do something.