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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This year has been consumed by Brae, but I've never forgotten about Soro! (it's not his birthday, this is just a random Soro post)

I seem to have made the right choices regarding my timing. Soro is still energetic, motivated, and as youthful as any 11 year old could be. But this summer I have noticed a significant slowing down. I suspect it's the heat and I will see how Sor bounces back as the weather cools and as the snow falls. But it's good for me, in a way, to accept that I can leave Sor home on some hikes and take Brae instead.

Slowing down doesn't mean he's more lethargic. It means on trails, and especially on inclines, he literally is moving slower. Not stiff or gimpy, just slower. He still WANTS to jump 6 feet in the air and catch a frisbee, but I think I'm officially retiring him from very high impact things. It's not worth it for him to break a leg doing something he loves. But his mind is still sharp as a razor, and in every other way he is still the same. He competes for my attention and I sometimes need to physically bar him from interfering with puppy training sessions. Even then, he can be a real jerk! :D I was doing nosework with Brae, using an Xpen to keep Sor on the other side of the room. Sor was very disgruntled at the whole thing, lying with his chin down and his front legs splayed, looking right in the pen at us. Brae was getting close to the odor... Then Sor growled right as Brae was approaching it. Ruined the game, since Brae was afraid of going near the area after that. But Soro was effectively guarding the odor from the other side of the pen. Classic Soro.

He still tries to jump in when it's the puppy's turn on the flirtpole, or if I have a tug toy out too. Brae is just so sweet (and probably knows Soro will bite him otherwise) and relinquishes anything Soro goes near or puts his mouth on, even though Brae does play tug and tries to steal things from any other dog who attempts that. This evening, I tethered Soro in a public park where I was training both dogs and taking turns. Brae fetched the toy and brought it TO Soro to tease him with it and invite him to chase. Such a sweetheart. Soro would never dream of sharing anything with any dog!

But Soro is my rock and also so sweet in his own way. He did a great job at our kids camp this summer and even stopped a kid's panic attack (I was not there to witness this and was told by the camp counselor). He has personality for miles and is just such a special dog. I trust him so deeply, not because he never makes mistakes but because I know him as well as I know myself. It is such a privilege having a dog like him and I hope for many more years!







Brae has nothing on Soro when it comes to food motivation. And this isn't even Soro being as pumped as he could be, at 11.

 

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Love Soro! So happy that things are going well for you with the new puppy!
 

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<3 <3 <3 Soro. Bless the seniors who still try so so very hard, even when it's starting to get hard for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all! It is such a privilege to have folks like you all who have been on DF as long as I have (or longer!). I feel like I 'know' and care about your dogs too!

In tonight's addition of Soro 'photobombs' training sessions with Brae... The downside to having a dog that is great at working at a distance is when I try to put Soro somewhere else and have him relax while training Brae (read: pushed to the far side of the room and blocked with an ex-pen), he still tries to cheat the system by performing whatever I'm asking Brae to do, from the other side of the pen. So tonight I was working on teaching Brae "chomp" (snap his mouth), and from the other side I hear Soro going *clack*, *clack* with his teeth. Then waiting for HIS treat, like it's all about him :D
 

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Thanks all! It is such a privilege to have folks like you all who have been on DF as long as I have (or longer!). I feel like I 'know' and care about your dogs too!

In tonight's addition of Soro 'photobombs' training sessions with Brae... The downside to having a dog that is great at working at a distance is when I try to put Soro somewhere else and have him relax while training Brae (read: pushed to the far side of the room and blocked with an ex-pen), he still tries to cheat the system by performing whatever I'm asking Brae to do, from the other side of the pen. So tonight I was working on teaching Brae "chomp" (snap his mouth), and from the other side I hear Soro going *clack*, *clack* with his teeth. Then waiting for HIS treat, like it's all about him :D
Hahaha...that's awesome - you show that newbie you're the master, Soro! :becky:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
He is too much... I was free shaping with Brae last night, so no cues or anything... But Sor KNEW I was shaping and it's 'his' game just like everything else I do is. So he starts going all over the room interacting with different things and looking at me hoping he'd get a click.

Poor Soro. I have been training less with him due to Brae. But clearly he wants in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Still got it for deer. He reacted in a second and was on them... But turned on a dime when I gave the recall cue. Not all of Soro's training was positive reinforcement but recall was 100% positive reinforcement. I'm proud to say I've never doubted his ability to return to me in the face of distractions.

 
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