Positive reinforcement is very important to me, it’s the way to a strong bond with my dog. A relationship of mutual trust, of happiness and joy.
Eva Bodfäldt is, in my opinion, the most outstanding Dog psychologist/trainer I have worked with, her ideas and views correspond to my vision of life with a dog, her books have guided me for many years.
Having her come to Corinne’s was a wonderful experience, she made us see and accept the dogs we have. To work around our personalities as individuals to form a team, handler and dog, towards a stronger bond and mutual understanding.
Thank you Eva.
Something major’s going on. Veronica is all excited, this, apparently, super famous dog trainer is coming to work with us at Corinne’s!! Yes with OUR group!! AND she’s going to stay at our house!!!
Veronica gave me THE TALK! The “you have to be on your best behaviour” talk. “Eva is very important” and “You have to show her you actually know the rules”!
Gee! Enough already, she was making me nervous… who IS this Eva person..? I started to picture a tall severe looking lady with perhaps a whistle.
Dennis did not escape the lecturing “Don’t give her treats all the time”, “She’s not allowed to behave this way when Eva’s here” he got quite tired of her nagging too.
I’ve said this before: She just doesn’t know when it’s time to stop!!
The day came, there she was, THE Eva, nothing like I imagined; she was fun, joking and laughing a lot. And no whistle in view!
Dennis cooked a delicious dinner, (we all know Veronica is incapable of that) the atmosphere was very nice AND I was allowed to sleep on my usual spot under the table, Eva did NOT mind! Ha!
I was starting to relax, Eva was very friendly here, but at Corinne’s tomorrow… Some teachers are VERY strict, so I’ve heard.
Veronica and Eva seemed to get along really well, they talked non stop, and amazingly enough not about me!! Can you believe that???
Not even that much about dogs! I felt a little left out…it could have given me a few heads up for tomorrow.
Veronica had shared as much information about Eva as possible to the team. Her ideas, her book, and of course stories of her own dogs (I did hear a lot about them).
The amazing Golden Retriever Kipling, the one on the Video. That film had been shown, at the time, among Veronica’s friends and in several Obedience clubs, Kipling became quite a celebrity here back then.
Then of course Eva’s black Labrador Zakk, a wonderful dog. Sadly he’s in Fairyland now
I’m NOT jealous! You see, Veronica does not expect me to be that good!! (Well yeah, like I could heel that well, best joke ever!!)
The plan was for Eva to work with each one of us, focusing on our weak spots, or whatever needed improvement.
Eva showed everyone her reward system. Varying between, treats, play and cuddle.
First in line was June with Corinne. June is always so concentrated, focusing on her master. Ok, she’s a Border Collie, she’s older then me AND she’s with Corinne!
Wish I could do that, stare at Veronica all the time, bet you she’d like it. I tend to get a tad distracted.
Innok, he’s a Beauceron, my friend, he’s charming and handsome.
They trained both heelwork and walking nicely on a leash. Eva showed FE how to walk with him on either side, keeping his attention.
He did so well, I was impressed (and perhaps a little, little jealous).
Mylo, an Australien Shepherd, a super cool dog. He does bark quite a lot, seeking BN’s attention.
Eva taught her to reward him behind her back, and only when he’s quiet. At first I could see he got irritated, “What, and why??”
Mylo’s a smart guy, very soon he caught up. No barking: as by magic, treat dropped close by. By the end of the day, he was calm and silent, and rewarded a lot!
I don’t like little Leon, a Jack Russell. He’s hype and runs everywhere, he is just too jumpy all the time.
Veronica does not approve of my attitude when it comes to Leon. She thinks he is “sooo cute”, “Look Felicia he’s adorable and funny”!
Funny? Really? I don’t see that at all!
Eva worked on his focus and not barking. All his energy put into a chore, a game or an excercise. He became very different. Hm…calm little Leon…? I just might reconsider the situation.
My turn, Eva explained her introduction to heelwork, I looked at her fascinated, is this when I get a treat? (had just seen the other dogs munching) Nope, nothing.
Veronica started walking expecting me to follow in an orderly way. I don’t quite know what happened… the thing is… I didn’t really feel like working …
…I got distracted…where were the others?… Is that Inook playing with Leon??… Who’s that guy walking down the street?…Is that a beagle with him? … what are these irritating birds doing… it was just so difficult to focus. Anyone can understand that. (I’m no border Collie, us Boxers, our strengths lie elsewhere)
Eva said something that sounded very much like “tying up” and “tree”… what ???
…Veronica DID tie me to a tree!! Yes, just like that, AND she went to cuddle with Leon! Leon out of all dogs! I couldn’t believe my eyes! What’s going on??? (Not warming up to him any time soon)
I felt so embarrassed, on top of that in front of Inook and Mylo, the guys! Straight after they had been Mr. Perfect, both of them..
And what did Eva think?
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Veronica came back. This time I did my best, (Not getting caught again!!) I listened, I focused. Just look at me!
Coming up right between Eva’s left hand and leg. You see what a good dog I am??
My turn to be Ms. Perfect…nearly…well close enough! Veronica was very happy, suddenly heelwork was actually fun.
I have a lot to live up to. I keep on hearing about Little Ms perfect Lego, I mean don’t get me wrong, I loved her, but no need to rub it in!! Not to mention all the other perfect dogs out there.
I need to meet some bad ass dogs!!
Apache another Australian Shepherd, we don’t really get along. It’s just a mutual thing.
He’s great at agility and very obedient, (I reluctantly have to admit) but a bit shy. MJ wanted to work with his fear, especially with people.
Eva suggested MJ give Apache treats while saying hello to all people she meets. Making it fun, and relaxed.
Eva seemed very happy, she was all smiles at lunch, they served Raclette. Some smelly cheese dish. (We were not even allowed to taste!)
After two days of intensive fun work, all problems tackled, everyone seemed in great spirits. There were laughs and jokes.
Us dogs felt like super champions. We were all giving each other smug looks, like “Ha, I’m the best”. Holding our heads high, tales wagging, that is until we crashed into deep, exhausted…
…. sleep. Had no idea learning to be perfect, “intense style,” was this tiring…
How do the “pro competing dogs” handle it??
Thank god Veronica is not into that any more, of course little Ms. Perfect Lego had no trouble. Me I’m different! Anyhow, I don’t need competitions to glow, I glow on my own, “Au naturel”!!
Inook was just as knocked out as me.
Even little Leon was quiet, and calm.
One last evening at home, dinner in the garden and cuddling for me and Eva.
Tomorrow she’s leaving, soon she’s going to fetch a new puppy, a little black labrador. Her name is Will-Ja.
I miss Eva, working with her was just so much fun. I wish she could come here often, teach us more cool stuff. Veronica and I really improved our teamwork.
Best of all:
Eva told Veronica I’m a great Boxer! You hear that??? THE Eva Bodfäldt thinks I’m a great Boxer!!!
Yep, Now I can look smug!
A note from Eva Bodfäldt:
Kära Felicia! Du är en så underhållande och sprudlande skribent. Jag har just läst din blogg med stort nöje. Keep up the good work with Veronica! Never give up! My biggest hug! Eva, the swedish dog trainer.