Monday, August 26, 2013
A Sign Your Dog's Training Is Catching
The sun isn't even up yet.
My eyes are barely opened.
I have fed Rack, and we have begun our first walk of the day.
It is 83 and the clouds in the skies offshore are giant pillars of glowing grey cotton candy fluff. Somewhere out in the ocean, East of the Bahamas, the sun begins to come up, backlighting the very tops of the clouds that are giving the water back to the briny deep.
I round the corner and spot someone else's morning drama.
Pepper is at the door with Bill. Bill is watching over her this weekend with extra care. She's an older Dalmatian who has just had a seizure. With them is their younger dog, Rocco. Rocco is an energetic teen of a midsized mutt.
I walk by as quietly as I can, doing my best imitation of Bugs Bunny on tip toes.
It didn't help.
Getting just past the driveway I hear "ROCCO! NO!".
Rocco No has just appeared in a dash of tan and white fur and is now laying on the ground under Rack. Rack is surprised but merely sniffing Rocco, while my hand goes to Rocco's collar.
Always, always, always have your dog's collar on while in the house. It makes it easier for someone to catch them if they've run out to meet the neighbor.
I manage to hook my thumb under Rocco's collar and hold him safe.
Rack goes back to sniffing Rocco while out of the corner of my eye I spot Pepper wandering up, leash dragging on the ground.
Dog Number Two caught as a result. I now have three dogs. Rack is standing still enjoying the scene.
Up comes Bill apologizing and gathering up his canine crew.
This all proves to me that the training is working well. Rack truly loves Pepper, as well as just about any other dog that isn't acting grumpy.
There are way too many fussy little grumpy dogs in this neighborhood, but that is true with every neighborhood I've ever walked a dog through. The smaller the dog, the more likely it's going to be badly trained. Badly trained dog means owner who really needs training.
There are certain dogs, and people, that Rack absolutely loves. You can tell. All the sudden I have a 42 pound McNab dog that is doing his best impression of Skippy The Bush Kangaroo by leaping five feet in the air.
The leaps are getting fewer. The intensity is ramping down. The number of people and dogs that he's jumping for are getting fewer as well. He's not yet a year old so he's still a puppy. It's that he realizes that the craziness isn't as welcome and that he's going to be allowed to play. It's also that there are certain dogs, and people, who simply don't appreciate that sort of behavior.
Just as growling at passersby is not acceptable, neither is climbing on people and jumping on them.
It's simply happening less as time goes on.
Good Dogs Go More Places. Bad Dogs Stay Home. Those points are beginning to take hold in that furry little head
Thankfully since the Right Arm Perpendicular Tug doesn't work well on walks.