Sent my dog to school...but he ate the books.

By Enolaref | This Man's Path | 23 Apr 2021

    I have a golden doodle.  Admittedly, they look stupid.  Yep, I'm that guy, I think golden doodles look kinda stupid.  We just got back from the vacation right?  So figured I'm still kinda laid up due to the foot issue.  But I can walk, just a limited amount.  So I went to get some firewood - dead fall from the forest behind my house.  I figured I'm handy with a rope, and we have a dog of moderate size - light bulb moment.  I'll transform my kinda stupid looking dog into a useful draft animal.

    To be fair, the harness isn't the greatest but it works a little.  But the real hang up is getting the dog to understand that it is okay to pull and that he is not in fact stuck like he might normally be on his cable.  I'm not the best dog trainer in the world, but I did with the help of my family teach him to do the basics: sit, stay, down etc...  But normally when we're walking around with him on a leash he likes to pull so we got a specific collar for that activity (go to hell PETA - it works).

    I like him, and I know he is smart, but he's kind of a quitter at times.  But I discovered that he is not exactly a food motivated animal.  His function in life, his divine purpose is to retrieve.  Which makes sense given that he has a significant about of golden retriever in him.  But he has this ball that means more to him than the dog next door whom he continually tries to violate without consent.  I didn't realize how much he loved that ball.  So being the inventive cretin I am, I have my kid walk with him carrying the ball he loves so dearly, and lo and behold, the lazy git starts to pull.  With much encouragement and a little spurring to keep him moving we got him to pull several smaller loads on the ground back to the drop off zone.

    In hindsight, I need a better harness if I'm serious about transforming him into a tolerable working dog.  The harness we got him is for walking, not working.  The pull point is at the top of his back and that isn't very helpful for pulling weight due to center of gravity and such. Plus the mule tape I was using to wrap onto things for him to pull always got up in his legs because he hasn't figured out how to not spin around in excitement just yet.  He just doesn't quite understand the concept I'm trying to get into him.  Hope remains.

    The other thing is that I need a good two syllable command word for hauling stuff.  But primarily I think is consistency.  Doing this a couple times a do for a few minutes ought to the trick.  Kinda like with people.  Biggest mistake on the whole thing was having him pull something heavy in the first try.  He did it, but I helped him a bit.  I think it may have set me back a bit.  We'll see how the brute does later.  I think I'll try to rig something up so it can just rest on his back and get him used to carrying weight.  He is out of shape. Hell, I'm out of shape.  And yeah, both are totally my fault.  But in my defense, actually, no defense available.  I just need to be a better human and dog owner.  Blarg.

Responsibility just kinda sucks sometimes.

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Learning about a bunch of random things after a fall at work.

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