Ginger Taffy - Rottweiler Kennel
Ginger Taffy
Rottweiler Kennel

Fédération Cynologique Internationale

Rottweiler klub České republiky

IFR rottweilers

Český kynologický svaz

Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub e.V.

ČeskoMoravská Kynologická Unie

Blog 6: It’s Not All That Easy

There are many things one just isn’t good at – somebody's not good at driving, others cannot skate and others won’t ever learn correct punctuation in Czech sentences ;-).

Having a dog sounds easy. Anybody not involved will imagine taking a dog for a walk is the only duty of a dog owner, plus maybe a couple of vaccinations and some food issues. I used to look at it in this simple way too back then. Now, however, as the owner of two young dogs I can see a great deal of obstacles we are yet to overcome and it’s just me who will either manage or not to get them over with. In spite of certain experience I already have, there are things that wouldn't have even come to my mind before...

This first one is just a trifle (I don’t want to get too serious straight away, do I? ;-) but have you ever tried to take a picture of a puppy? A puppy is a restless creature, will not sit down for a minute, and when it does sit down, the moment you come closer with your camera it will jump up with joy and hurry up to meet you, lick you and your camera all over, so no more picture taking. Both Taffy and Gin are still perfect examples. I’ve been on the watch to take nice pictures so many times, tried taking pictures for hours ending up with just a couple of slightly decent ones. Nevertheless, I am actually proud to have at least some of those hard-earned photos, because I have already started to feel pretty embarrassed for not being able to keep my frequent promises to send puppy pictures to all friends of mine. At last, now I have great pictures taken by Hanka Toušková, to whom I’m sending my many thanks :-) The weather was on our side, we spent all afternoon with the girls in the garden, let them play and Hanka kept taking pictures. She's a professional, the pictures are awesome, check it out in Picture Gallery.

Rottweiler is a work breed and I have to admit that it was quite bold of me to get this breed of all without ever having anything to do with real training. But I fear nothing, my doggies have all my free time every single day and I definitely do not underestimate the training. I’ve carefully studies the theory, Taffy is doing very well when it comes to basic commands, and also Gin is beginning to obey. But we are about to start protection training, tracking and, above all, obedience. Protection training is real fun, I personally don’t like tracking much, but there you go... Obedience training, on the other hand, as the basis for the dog’s control and discipline – that will be a tough one. It is not quite the same having the dog obey at home in the garden and when you are together with people and other dogs. We train obedience with both my girls at home every day, just for a while so that they won’t get fed up with it, but the thing is, I have to admit, that it is me who needs discipline during training. I believe it’s the one thing people sometimes don’t realize – that merely feeding and walking the dog just won’t do. If you want to have a trained dog or even maybe want it to pass some trials you must train it daily and slowly and to teach the dog with patience and love, you’re not allowed to lose your temper when something doesn’t go as fast as you’d wish. Rotties are said to need more time to learn but once they’ve learnt a thing, they'll stick with it. Well, we’ll see, so far the one thing I’ve learned is that although I thought myself to be quite a calm person, Taffy’s obliviousness during tracking gets my levels of adrenalin pretty high. First couple of times she kept turning around, coming back, staring dreamily around and letting me know that she doesn't give a damn about any track at all. She was driving me crazy ... However, Vlasta then explained to me that it’s me who has to take it easy and he was right. I have a feeling that it’s like with children – when you're nervous they can feel it and the harder they will try to annoy you. It’s the same with dogs: when the master is nervous the doggie is sure to feel it and it will reflect negatively in the dog’s behaviour.

I got a lot of precious advice from Hanka when we were waiting for our turn to train protection. We were talking about our feelings for our doggies and agreed on a heap of things – we both take our doggies for friends, family members. Hanka’s Alger Orca Ha-Mir started to have bone problems when he was five; he develops very painful bony protuberances. Not only it costs a fortune to take care of an ill dog, but they also had to reduce training exercise which they both enjoyed very much. Some breeders wouldn’t think it strange to sell such dog and get another one that would fulfil their ambitions and better fit their breeding purposes. I must say this is very hypocritical and completely ruthless. I can’t imagine throwing Taffy away for any reason; I know how much she depends on me and how much she would suffer with strangers. A dog is not a thing you can abandon with the first failure or problems – once I decide to keep a dog, I shall always love it, despite failures at shows or bad results of dysplasia x-rays so it's no good for breeding etc. At this point I can promise to Taffy and Gin I shall never throw them away, they are at home here as well as we are.

And maybe one more thing – I really would like to see how it works in a kennel where they have maybe ten dogs (and there are many kennels when they keep many more...). I can’t imagine how in such case you can take proper care of your beloved doggies every day. It’s true that Rottweiler has no special needs when it comes to exercise, but every dog needs a regular walk and play time and exercise. I am sure there are kennels where it works well, where the breeder looks well after his doggies, gives them all the care he can and all they need. Unfortunately, the bad kennels which serve solely for reproduction purposes, where litters rapidly multiply and the breeder hardly knows his own dogs, are not scarce either. There were many such examples among the Alaskan Malamut breeders, at first sight it might look as a great success, dogs in these kennels keep winning one competition after another, but as soon as they fail there they go again – you don’t make any money, get away! I know of several Rottie kennels like that too, but I also know there are many good breeders who are likely to make a difference in Czech breeding. I wish them good luck!!!

And why am I saying all this? That it’s really not all that easy, and when it comes to really important things like having a harmonious and enriching relationship with your dog, it requires a lot of energy and discipline especially from us – the dog masters. If you can’t manage your own stress and control your temper, you can't expect your dog

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