Who We Are

We are a 2legged and 4legged family. I am the Crazymomlady of the flock, in charge of loving, teaching, and playing with two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and tolerated by a ferocious tortoiseshell cat.

My love of and journey with dogs started as a child, back in the days when dogs were “just dogs.” Our dogs always lived inside as family members, and as such I grew up learning from them.

But as the days of dogs change, and dogs become more active members of our communities there is a more urgent need for humans and their 4legged friends to learn from each other. Our pets need more manners and more skills to perform the new jobs we require of them.

Those jobs range from sports like agility, obedience, and new sports like treiball to their most important and perhaps demanding job of all- loving us. As moms and dads, owners, handlers, trainers or whatever name you want to call us it is our job to teach them the skills they need to thrive in whatever job we ask of them.

But herein is the beauty of loving a dog: as we strive to teach them they end up teaching us far more. My 4legged friends have taught me lessons of contentment, happiness, living in the here and now, of how to be teachable and eager learners. They have taught me of communication and body language. And while those are lessons I learned in order to help them, they are lessons that benefit all aspects of my life.

Here I strive to record the Lessons From and For 4 Legs. These are the stories and challenges of sorting through the myriad of training methods out there to find the ones that work for each individual dog in my life. I choose positive methods and tools. I love clicker training, shaping, luring, and capturing. I do take classes now and then, but my main curriculum of training is to home-school my pups using Sue Ailsby’s Training Levels.

These days it is up to Maizey and Magnus to teach me my lessons. As Cavalier King Charles Spaniels some may think the main thing they know how to do  is snuggle and sit regally on the couch, both things they are very good at! But their intelligent, biddable, playful, outgoing and busy personalities make them a joy to train and play with.

On September 8, 2010 we lost the member of our family that has taught me the most. Meeka was a Rottweiler rescue success story. Over her six years with us she taught us about quiet confidence, loyalty and peace. The sum total of all I taught her pales in comparison to what she taught me in any given day. She appears frequently in the first months of the blog, but her essence permeates all I do in our dog world.

Details on all the dogs and their training progress can be found on their personal pages.

Features of Lessons From and For 4 Legs
Maizey’s and Magnus’ Adventures in Training
I have set quarterly goals for 2011 and will update progress and plans on these pages.

As positive trainers we tend to have your own language. One that we take for granted everyone knows. For those who don’t speak the language of four quadrants, positive punishment, shaping, capturing, etc. etc. etc. the Training Terms Index takes those terms that had me scratching my head when I started and breaks them down. It can always be found in the What I Ramble About Tags.

We really appreciate the loyal readers we have. To show our appreciation for the time you take to share your wisdom and experience with us the Thoughts and Comments box is updated throughout the month, and refreshes at the first of each month. Please leave your link with your name, and follow us with your Google or Blogger identities using the Follower widget. Networked Blogs can be used with your Facebook Profile to keep up with us on Facebook.

We update and rotate our favorite dog blogs. Keep an eye out you never know when your blog will show up on our recommended reading list!

This is a list of the places I have found the most useful training information.

We have been joined by several others who have set a personal activity level goal for themselves. Our goal is 365 miles in 365 days. If you would like to join the challenge please leave a comment or email me and I will add you to the list.

To contact Lessons from and For 4 Legs please email at: katie at lessonsfrom4legs. com.