The Rip Van Wrinkler, XX, Issue 1, February 2016

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Training Conversation
Enduring quote: Lotte Hotaling, "I don't know about Basenjis being difficult to train, but it is not at all difficult for them to train their humans."

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Training Primitive Dogs
Balance Workshop
2015 AKC Agility Invitational
20, the Dalmation
Dog Scouts of America


5 Tips for Training Primitive Dogs

BALANCE WORKSHOP by Yvonne 't Mannetje

I thought it would be a nice present for Ch’ami’s 10th birthday to take him to a workshop. “Balance”, at our doggy school.

The course normally takes 10 classes in a row, and then you can go on again for another course of 10. Since these classes are so populair the students rarely stop, so there is a huge waiting list. Therefore it was decided to give some 1-class-workshops for all the patient people waiting their turn.

“Balance” is for all dogs, young, old, big, small, active, quiet, relaxed, (in)secure, thick or thin. In these classes the dogs are confronted with unexpected situations and (difficult) obstacles. Purpose is to challenge them fysically to find their balance and to boost their confidence. Each win contributes to their self confidence. Trust and mutual respect between the dog and the owner are the basis of all excercises, so the dog learns he can trust his owner in all kind of different circumstances – this goes two ways of course.

It is absolutely great to see how the dog dares to take more risks and how he handles the obstacles, together with his owner.

Ch’ami did super! He took this class very serious and was totally focused on me. Together we gave a fine demonstration of teamwork and trust, and how close we are after living together for 10 years. Also people were very impressed by the great shape he is in. Needless to say I was SO proud of him, couldn’t stop smiling even the next day. Ch’ami himself kept on glowing for days.

Just saying, your dog is never too old to learn something new. Take the time and enjoy.


PAUL MOUNT AND ZURI repesented our breed spectacularly!!!

Chris Klein and Valur (#1 agility Saluki Lifetime!)

New York City Fire Department (FDNY) January 5 ·

Seven members from Ladder 20 died on the 35th floor of the North Tower on 9/11. In the days that followed, condolences from around the world arrived. Everyone was knocking on our door. Then one day two Sheriffs from Rochester, New York showed up with a Dalmatian puppy. Her name was Twenty, and she became our mascot and companion. She really helped to build the morale in the years following 9/11. I can’t say enough about what she did to help us. She went on all the runs, she’d jump in the truck, stick her head out the window and bark. She became a local celebrity.” FDNY Lieutenant Gary Iorio from Ladder 20 tells the story of Twenty, who we sadly say goodbye to today. We offer our heartfelt thanks to her for being a loyal companion to FDNY members and the community for nearly 15 years.

Says Lt. Iorio, “Today, Twenty has taken her final run to Heaven. Rest in peace, man’s best friend.”

Dog Scouts of America by Lisa Stewart, Chris Stearns and Paula Hearn Photographers

For the past few years I have been looking for lower impact activities to pursue with my 7 dogs. As four of them are now between the ages of 8-10, I was looking for things I could do with all of them. I wanted to try something new in a non-competitive venue that we could do closer to home, as the ten hour trips to the Lure Coursing events we love were getting harder and harder to do as my responsibilities at work made it more difficult to take days off for travel. The first activities we joined were the local Therapy Dog Group. Trog and Tempest quickly passed their evaluations and we began working the Monday night shift at the local Veterans Home. As Joe is retired he contacted the school district and offered up Tempest for the school reading program. She visits a local elementary school twice a week for the school reading program.

Looking for more athletic activities, I looked online for activities in the St. Louis area, as that was only 100 miles away? There I discovered the St. Louis All Dogs Club, a social group that got together for fun events and dog walks several times a week. I joined the club and loaded up Tempest for a trip to a walk. We met many lovely dogs and their owners and had a terrific time. I also received an invite to join four ladies for a New Years Day Back Packing/Geocaching Adventure with the Dog Scouts. I had no idea what this was and looked it up online, it looked like fun so we said yes. Our first adventure was a five hour, five mile walk with our dogs at Arnold Park. We found 25 Geocaches that day. They taught me to use my GPS and how to look for clues and caches. Tempest though this was great fun and led the charge through the woods to the caches. She actually found many of them before I did as she was following the scent of cachers, who had visited the locations earlier in the day.

At this point we were hooked, Geocaching, we love it. We attended the Midwest Geocaching Mega Event, which happened to be held in Missouri in 2015. In 2016 it moves to Ohio. We joined the St. Louis Geocaching club and participated in community service events cleaning up a pet cemetery for Earth Day and attending fun events over the next few months. I also held two Geo Dog events to educate the public on the Dog Scouts and the Geo Dog program.

I joined several Face Book Dog scout groups and learned a lot about the program from the members of the groups. DSA Mission & Vision - To improve the lives of dogs, their owners, and society through humane education, positive training, and community involvement. We envision a future where dogs remain in happy, lifelong homes with responsible owners. In this vision, all dogs are seen as a useful and welcome part of the community, because people take responsibility for socializing, training, containing, and caring for them.

What a great vision and mission. I read as much as I could find about the program, worked four of the dogs on the Trail Dogs programs earning Trail Dog, Pack Dog and Geodog advanced titles. Now I wanted to take the next step and be a full dog scout and get to experience the dozens of badge earning activities and positive training programs that Dog Scouts teach. I looked into Camps. The summer session and fall session was already filled, but the fall camp said they would have a waiting list, so I paid my deposit and got on the list. I did not really know what to expect from camp or if we would get in. I was surprised with an email over Labor Day saying I was in and to pay the rest of my fee if I was still interested in a slot. I paid while enroute home from our vacation and received a flood of helpful emails with read aheads, packing lists etc to prep me for camp.

In November 2015, I attended my first TX Dog Scout Mini Camp. It was an awe-inspiring experience for me. I came home a different person with an astonishing dog. I have been able to enjoy a much deeper and gratifying relationship with Tempest than I ever had with any dog. While I have taken clicker training classes before, and practiced positive training, the instructors at camp took this to a new level for me. Working in the main retreat center with the dozen first year campers, all of whom were working to pass their ten item dog scout test was a great experience.

The First day was primarily checkin and orientation followed by a one mile group walk- this was Tempests favorite part of the day.

The second day there were a dozen different activities offered that we could attend. As our focus was to pass the dog scout exam, I attended the art of shaping class and intro to the manners badge class both of which concentrated on positive training for behaviors. I started the day with the backpacking event, after this Tempest was a bit tired and sat nicely in my lap or on her mat while the instructors walked us thorough the basics of getting the dog to look in a certain direction for a click and reward. Sounds simple, but it took a good portion of the hour long class for most of us campers to be consistently performing this activity. The final days’ shaping class was a targeting exercise where we took the dog into a cordoned off corner of the room and were to select a target tile on the floor and when the dog looked in that direction or at us, we threw a treat there. The object being to get the dog to stay at the target. We watched 4 teams before us go into the ring with their ten treats, remove the leash and the dogs immediately went over to sniff walls, windows etc, receiving treats occasionally and running back to do their own thing, never going to the target consistently. Hmm, now its Tempests turn. I release her leash, she goes over to where the last dog was and sniffs, then looks at me, I throw the treat, she goes over and eats the treat and walks away. Then looks at me again, I throw another treat, she again consumes the treat, starts to walk away, and looks at me, I throw the treat to the target. She goes over, eats the treat and sits on the target. End of exercise, Tempest went to target in three tries. Amazing.

The entire camp was like this for us, constantly learning new things together and having a great time. We stayed in the cabins with two other campers and their dogs this time, but for the next camp we will take our RV as the beds were very, very hard. My husband has to stay home this time as our house was being renovated and one of our basenji girls was pregnant, but he will attend the next camp with me so we can work more of our dogs. I have already used some of my new skills to work with our rescue whippet and I’m seeing the light bulb start to glow in her little head. I am looking forward to the April Mini-Camp in Tyler Texas and the week long summer session in Michigan. Best vacation I have spent with my dog.

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