Mieke and The Beam

We dog train on Saturdays and it’s the thing we most look forward to doing. We love the people we work with so much and we are constantly in awe over their dog whispering abilities. Mieke has graduated from basic on-leash obedience and Oakley is still learning his On-leash. Mieke started in March 2016 and we started Oakley soon after we adopted him in June.

 This is Lady Mieke. She’s a 2-year-old AKC Sable German Shepherd born on May 11, 2014. The day after my husband and I got married. She was fate for us and I’m surprised she wasn’t named Destiny. We call her Mieke or Moo. She is super smart and very independent. She is different than most shepherds because she has 2 Alphas – Both my husband and me. She likes him more most of the time until she’s sick or hurt then loves me the most. Picky dog 🙂 She also listens to him better and loves to push me until I give up. I think she’s my training for children.

 Oakley is a rescued Dutch Shepherd Mix. He was 10 months when we adopted him so we picked his birthday to be August 7, 2015, after my great-grandfather who is the reason I love my shepherds so much. We saw him in a Tractor Supply on adoption day and both Mieke and I loved him. I went home and could not stop thinking about him so I went back and picked him up. I hadn’t planned on getting another dog for a while. My childhood Shepherd Mix, Ozzy, unexpectedly passed away in January and my heart was still healing. But my promise to Oz was that I would adopt in honor of him and give all the love I could no longer give to him, to a dog who needed that love more than others. That’s how I ended up with my sweet boy Oakley. He has the same loving and sweet heart my Ozzy did but actually lets me cuddle him like Oz didn’t. He is a quick learner and wants nothing more than to make you happy. And maybe a tennis ball or 20. We have bonded so quickly and he’s helped with the healing of Oz so much. I honestly feel like he was sent by Ozzy. 🙂

We discovered this week that Mieke had been playing us. You see we’ve been doing off-leash training for a while and she was not doing great. She wasn’t doing bad but not the level we expect from her either. We started training her on an E-Collar before we found our trainers and it mostly worked and they suggested we go back to it for off-leash. Now? She’s so on point and just a champ on the obstacle course. Go figure. It’s hard to get Mieke from “Play” to “Work” Mode and the E-Collar signals that for her. I know some people are against E-Collars – I am too – For people who don’t know how to properly use them. But I’m against any training tool used in properly. Remember when I said Mieke was smart? She knew everything we wanted from her and chose not to do it. She did it enough to get by and the collar changed that. To the point that she did this.

 We run her through the obstacles to challenge her mind. German Shepherds are working dogs and she loves to work but we have to make it fun for her. She has never done the beam before and she watched Daniel jump up on it and she followed. She jumped from the ground to the beam on her first try and sat down. This dog is SMART! When she jumped down she was excited barking and running around to all of us to get her congratulatory pets and good girls. We work her for moments like this when she is proud and excited for herself.

Next, I wanted to see if she would do it for me. She’ll do anything for Daniel almost so I placed her on the spool then had her walk out on the beam herself. And she did it right away.

Y’all I don’t photograph well ever but look how happy and proud she in this picture! WE are so so proud of her! We got lucky and their barkbox had been delivered when we got home so they both got some extra special treats and napped for a few hours when we got home. Overall, a fantastic training day!

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