I knew he was going to be a big boy and hate walking with dogs that make that horrid choking/cough sound as they pull against their leashes; and....didn't want to be dragged down the street when he became full grown -- thus, the "don't pull" command was learned while on a leash.
I had been told that Berners were easy to train with their gentle nature and needed a gentle, with love, training. The breeder warned against using old fashioned "obedience" training.
However.... Jesse was the "alpha" in his puppy pack and there were quite a few moments that he tried to make me think he was in command and made the rules. I had read somewhere a long time ago about domestic dogs also thinking in terms of a pack, just as wolves & coyotes do. Okay, knowing something about those guys in my wildlife studies, I pondered what do the Alpha's do to establish their leadership... next to beating the ever-living-bahgezies out of the usurper, ha! They simply do two things for the most part. One they eat first- always actually they are first in everything, down a path, hunt, mate, you name the task, the alpha is first. So, with that thought... Jesse never got anything to eat within one-half hour before we ate and always had something, a treat or meal right after us. Second, and I think this one was the best of all... he never entered or left the front doorway of the house or gate outside before us... he went through those portals behind us. I will tell you-- those two things once established, made his training so much easier. And it was so nice being able to open a door without worrying about him dashing through.
The only thing left to do was for each of us teach the other our specific languages and the "rules of the pack."
|he also loved to eat crab-grass...note the bare spots on the lawn|
his "eating paper products" fetish began.... next story.... the $600.00 snack.