Monthly Review: January 2021

Every year when January hits, the new year gets us all jazzed up. Most people ideate about how the new year should be but only a few turn it into reality. Unfortunately I have been letting all these years slip away. Starting this year I wanted to be more mindful.

Why A Monthly Review?

I’ve been training dogs for more than two years. Whoo hoo! All these time I was too focussed on my dog’s micro behaviours — teaching my dog to SIT, DOWN, BARK, etc.

Only recently I understood the magnificence of building a working relationship with my dogs. I also realized that without a plan, I’m heading no where in my training. This was an aha moment in my dog training journey.

Starting this January I shall be setting a goal or two for each of my dogs and shall be reviewing our progress at the end of the month.

The Focus For January

Max: Teaching Max to retrieve.
Laika: Unfortunately I couldn’t focus on Laika much.

What Went Well?

The retrieving behaviour in its entirety isn’t great yet. However I was able to identify where we are slipping.

The retrieve behaviour consists of three micro behaviours — creating interest in an object, holding the object and retrieving the object. I was trying to tackle all at once which didn’t take us anywhere.

Recording, re-watching our training sessions and being part of a great community helped us to split the behaviour in to the following

  • tug — build the tug drive
  • hold — duration / distraction
  • bring to hand

Now that I figured the pieces of the puzzle, I shall be working on these one at a time.

Goals for February

With Max, I want to build the drive for tugging and work on bringing objects to hand.

With Laika, I want to desensitize her to the sound of crackers and bus honks.

Today, I’m grateful because training my dogs paved way for me to meet wonderful people around the world.

What A Beautiful Day!

மேகக்கூட்டங்கள் விலகிட
பறவைகள் கானமாட
இலைகளின் நுணியில் பனித்துளிகள் நடணமாட
அண்டத்தின் பெரும் ஒளியாய் திகழும் கதிரவன் தோன்றிடும்
எழிலையும் மிஞ்சியது —
உன் முகத்தில் மலரும் புன்னகை.

— உன் அப்பா

என் எண்ணங்களுக்கு வண்ணம் பூசிய தாய் தமிழுக்கு தலைவணங்குகிறேன் இன்றும் என்றும்.

Associative Learning In Dogs And Babies

Babies and Dogs learn at a much faster pace. It is quite amazing to see how well they associate stimuli and respond based on the stimuli. This is called Associative Learning.

By learning Canine behaviours, I knew that the psychology behind dogs and babies (humans) are very similar. But I never expected that the learning in both species would be at such an amazing pace.

If you would like to observe associative learning in both species — give them a positive experience by making a sound or saying a word. And in no time just by hearing the sound or the word, they would be expecting for the experience to happen.

Today I’m grateful for my parents who inculcated contentedness along with many other values in me.

Laika Turns One

Laika

Last year, this day, I found Laika on the streets. This video inspired me to adopt Laika.

Laika challenged my dog training skills. I had to push myself because of her. I’m what I’m today and the credit goes to her. She still is a challenge for me in terms of training a dog but we are overcoming the challenges together.

I wish Laika a happy birthday and many more happy returns.

The First Yum Yum — Weaning

Six months have passed since our son’s first cry. Whew! Time flies. In the recent visit to the doctor, we were advised to wean the baby.

I had the pleasure to watch my son eat his first meal. Thanks to the technology and the remote work without which I would have missed a golden moment in life.

Though our son wasn’t sure how the food tasted yet he kept his smile in between his quivers.

A Sugary Banana Pup

My wife and I had our baby, recently. And I can’t think of a better word to describe the new addition to our family a sugary banana pup. I felt the urge to write today and my son was my immediate thought.

I thought of coming up with a title that described baby without actually using the word. Lately I have been gravitated towards cultivating plants in a way that mimics nature. I thought I could use an analogy from nature to come up with the title.

I got two Banana saplings a few months ago. The saplings grew to an extent where I could see a few Banana pups shooting from the base of the mother plants.

The recent interest in cultivation made me curious to learn more about the Banana pups. These pups depend on the mother plant for survival just like human babies. Nature is amazing, isn’t it?

That’s how I ended up with a sugary banana pup.

Where To Get Combai Puppies?

Disclaimer

This is neither an advertisement post nor I have been been paid to write this.

I have been on the lookout for a Combai pup that serves the purpose it has been bred for, for two years. After two years into searching, I found someone who helps people get Combai pups from people who breed these dogs for generations.

In the recent times, more and more people are interested in raising native breeds. The increased interest also paves way for exploitation.

People are willing to transfer INR 15,000/- in the blink of an eye just by seeing a video clip on YouTube to get a Combai pup. This is not to say that a Combai pup isn’t worth INR 15,000/-

Bitches undergo hardships in the hands of non-ethical breeders. By buying puppies at hefty prices we are only supporting these unethical breeders.

If you are really interested in raising a Combai puppy I strongly suggest you learn about the breed before getting one. Mr. Ramanathan shares a ton of information about Combai breed on his YouTube channel.

Three of my acquaintances got four Combai puppies in total from Jeevan Pets. Now the puppies are 120 days old at the time of writing this post and the dog parents are extremely happy with their dog’s temperament and growth.

Update:

Out of the four puppies, only two are alive and the other two were affected by parvo within a week of purchase.

The cost of a Combai pup at the time of purchase was INR 5,000/-

Hello world!

I’ve pushed the reset button once again. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve flushed the contents of this blog.

I had to reset because may be I needed a fresh start, may be I’m realigning my priorities, may be I wanted this blog to feel more personal or may be I wanted to be more intentional with my writing.

In short, I’m steering the course of this blog to reflect my thoughts on how I perceive life and my imagination on what an exemplary life could be.