I had a plan, that was of course derailed, to share how I worked with my dogs on the command “ignore” because they really need to learn to ignore the unwanted elements in the area. Instead my first training is more physical and that is teaching “slow” and “patience.” Nakama is pretty good with “patience” already and if I say that he will generally sit and chill. Tomodachi is still learning, but she learned to sit while watching Nakama, so she will eventually follow his lead. As for “slow,” my reason for skipping “ignore” and moving to “slow” is because two little doggies like to go outside in the fastest way possible. What this means is they pull like no tomorrow when we are going down the stairs, or at least they did. Nakama hadn’t had much of an issue with stairs because before this year we were on the first floor, so there was no risk of me falling down a flight of stairs because of his thirty-pound body excitedly moving down the stairs to get outside. With Tomodachi it is a different story. Tomo is going to be (by my best guess) at least fifty pounds, or more. Fifty pounds on its own would be enough with the physics of movement and the mass to cause me to fall, but add Naka’s thirty pounds and movement to that it was a wreck waiting to happen. So, here we go with working on the command “slow.” I’ve moved them to walking behind me rather than in front by having them wait at the top of the stairs. If they start to go down then I bring them back up and tell them to be patient. This command has gone over pretty well, but if there are distractions, such as other dogs or people, then they still get excited. “Ignore” is on my list for next, so hopefully that alleviates the excitement after we are better at slowly going down the stairs. In addition to making them walk behind me, I enforce this by using my electric cane as a block. My body is not as wide as the stairs, so the cane acts as a second barrier that they do not breach. Now, before anyone comes at me for the electronic stick, it is not turned on, nor would I ever use it on my dogs. My reason for carrying the cane is because there are feral dogs running amok in my Alaskan village and quite a few of them are violent. I’ve been in dog fights before where the cane has come in handy to ward off the unwanted dogs. Now the dogs in the area know I have no problem using the cane and show their submissive behavior when I tell them to go away and hold the cane in front of me. Luckily for me, I’ve never had to use the cane on a wild creature. It is overly sad I’ve had to use it on the pets in the area that owners let loose to run rampant. I am not going to take any chances with feral dogs coming after Naka or Tomo. As a fur-parent, I made a vow to protect them and I aim to continue that until they are ready to cross the rainbow bridge. It is kind of amusing that I did choose Slow and Patient as my first two commands to discuss, because that is how training works. I need to take it slow and have patience. Keeping those two commands in mind for myself as well as my puppers, I am sure we are gonna find lots of success in our training.