Friday, July 31, 2015

Velcro Dogs Are There If You Need Them Or Not

You know if you have one.

You are in the house, going about your business, and two feet away from your leg is a pair of soulful eyes
and a ball of fur.

In my case, it's a little further away and mostly black fur with white accents, but the feeling is the same.

They're called Velcro Dogs.  They require their own way of dealing with them.  Their own discipline. 

Some people aren't the kind of people who like being that close to another creature.

You have to wonder why they got a dog in the first place.  It's a case of being given the privilege of being asked to be the leader and showing them through life.

Yes, Asked.  You have a dog who isn't an alpha and wants to know what it can do.  Not always for itself, but for you.

So show it.  Now that you have been promoted to Boss, do something with the job.

My Back Of The Pack Beta dog Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM) is starting to ask.  He's not glued to my right calf.  Actually I insist he walks on my left side since I am very right handed.  But what he's doing in his own gentle way is to follow me around the house.  If I go to another room he will wait to see if I am coming back.  If I don't he gets up and moves over to the same room I am in and picks a spot.  Since I have mats in every room for him to sit on, it's a compromise.

There are other dogs that will literally sit under you when you're at the desk.  It can be unnerving but they're there for their own reason.  They want to be available if you need them.

Mine is helping me learn Spanish.

There's a small area of about a yard/meter square in the corner next to my Big Green Chair.  He would hide
back there if I left it open so I keep an old cooler back in the corner just so that he can't hide there unless I want it.  I move the couch in place to block access unless I'm over there.  If I am not sitting in the Big Green Chair, he actually will park in the corner so that he can look out at what is going on, watching.

I put myself in that chair, turn on the TV and put on one of the children's programs in Spanish that I'm using to learn with.  Sure, Plaza Sesamo or "Los Pies Magicos de Franny" is juvenile and basic, but basic is what you need when you're told by Duolingo that you are only 50% fluent in the language.  There are other programs, but all are chosen for simple sentence structure.

Animal shows in Spanish with Closed Captioning can be remarkably educational and remarkably helpful.

All I have to do is to move, and Rack alerts to watch what I'm doing.  Shift in the chair and he lifts his head
to see what I am doing.

Get out of the chair and he listens.  If I am in the kitchen too long, he gets up and walks in.  Back to the bathroom and he walks past to make sure I am there, then sits just out of sight.  Return to the chair and he's back by my side, gazing up at me with those twin brown eyes, then settles in, job done.

Uber Beta Dogs don't confront, they do what they have to without being noticed.  He will grow out of that as confidence builds.

So if your dog is velcroed to the leg, consider what the dog is telling you.  It's asking you to show it what you want of it.  If your dog has a play drive, toss a ball for a bit.  Think of that as a bonding exercise.

It is an endearing way of saying "What's next, Boss?".

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