Then things started to get difficult. I had had some set backs with the hounds, losing Jack and then Logan on separate occasions. So I stopped, completely. It was totally against the discipline I had held myself to. I believed that the dogs needed regular daily exercise and that the daily work/walk between owner and dog(s) is the opportunity to bond, without that everything would fall away. But I was listening to my feelings. I had lost confidence in taking them out at all, much less working with them and learning with them.
Instead I did a lot of thinking and reflecting. What was I doing? Where was I going wrong? Why was I making such a meal out of this? Other people have dogs and just take them for walks, no big deal. I'd just seen a dog walker in Glasgow with at least 10 off the lead. I was putting all this energy into Natural Dog Training and espousing the virtues to all and sundry and yet I had just lost two dogs in the space of less than a week.
That weekend I had course to go to so the dogs didn't get worked. I had some early meetings over the next week at work, so the dogs didn't get worked (or walked). I did not feel right and I was not in a good space to work with the dogs.
Then I started to realise that 'not feeling right' was how I had been for some while but trying to ignore it. I had been fanatically sticking to my training regime. I was pushing for food, once or twice a day, heel work, 'playing' tug, doing 'box' work, and learning how to speak' (bark) on command. All the Natural Dog Training core exercises. My schedule involved fitting everything in before and after work, at lunch time, around feeding the family. I had put myself under some sort of pressure, as if time was running out, desperately trying to get to a goal where the dogs were 'sorted', desperate to do everything 'right'.
But if dogs feel what we feel, no wonder they were running off. That was exactly what I wanted to do, it I was honest with myself.
Looking for inspiration from Kevin I randomly opening his book:
'But now I was learning the prey organizes the hunt and the urge to cooperate and that all acts of disobedience were actually an instinctual “argument” between owner and dog about how to hunt for prey, although the human didn't see it that way but rather saw it as an issue of respect' 'Your Dog is Your Mirror'
The hounds weren't being disobedient. As far as they were concerned I was not making sense to them with the work we were doing. I had missed the point entirely. Something would have to change