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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
Yesterday, being dog day, I took everyone to my friend's house to socialize. Decker was fine and in hand visiting with all of the dogs. Nancy, another friend came in the yard with her dog after us, and I herd a little growl from Decker. I promptly and literally put him down and put my knee on him biting with my hand. I waited until he relaxed, then let him up. I heard nothing out of him after that. Later, when everyone was swimming, I was able to take the leash off of him and let him relax in the pool. He sure likes to swim. In and out the whole time. He ignored all of my friends and accepted their presence.
Bible study started for me last night. And as usual, the dogs come with me and wait in the car, Decker included. When we were leaving, I opened the window of the camper shell and was petting Decker. I mentioned to my bible study leader that this was the new dog that I was working with. She is not a dog person so basically glanced at him. Decker growled. My hand was on him so it turned from a pet to a scruff on the neck and a "bad - no!". My bible study leader was loading her truck and I was getting ready to leave when I heard a growl again. I immediately got out of the truck and opened up the back. Decker saw me coming and sucked up to the cab and kind of put his head down. Too bad, that's not good enough. I jumped in and pulled him partly out, scruffing him firmly and my face was in his face. More "no"s and that was that. This is the first that I have seen him aggressive while in the truck.
Today we all went on a two mile power pack walk. We met up with a dog running at us but with a fence between us. Knowing what I know about dog psychology, I needed to stand my ground, in order to not let this dog think that he scared us off, thus creating a future problem. I stopped us and turned toward the dog. He was staring with his tail up. I noticed that my chest was not turned directly toward the dog but at an angle. I rotated my upper body more to be directly facing him. In about two seconds, the dog got the message and lowered his head and tail, turned and left.
That is good for the pack to see me control the encounter.
Ten minutes later we turn back onto our road on the way home, and a dog in his yard, spots us. Bark, bark, bark. Then another one in the same yard comes and does the same. I have had previous problems with these dogs before, and frankly was tired of it, and I don't really like being barked at. Time to take a stand. Empowered by the previous success, I turned and faced the nasty dogs. These dogs are non-socialized dogs, who even run the humans who own them. I kept my pack sitting and slightly behind me. Decker started whining, wanting to see the dogs. I corrected him and made him sit again, slightly behind me. I was in charge, and I wasn't taking any more crap off of these rotten dogs. I just stood there, chest out, head up, in charge of the world. After about a minute or two, the dogs were getting bored with the game. A well ingrained game on their part, as they do this to the whole neighborhood. They were leaving and I started walking again. They came back to the fence barking. I noticed they looked over to the house several times to see if their human was going to call them out of the predicament they were in. No help from the owner. These dogs are just lawn ornaments anyway.
They continued to bark while looking at their house for their human. About a minute later, they decided to leave. I WON! Ha Ha.
This was real good for Kate to see. Her trust in me as pack leader is strengthened even further. These two dogs have been trouble for us in the past. She has been attacked by them twice before. And there will not be a third time. If push comes to shove, I will protect my pack. Even to the point of killing if necessary. Matt has told me the same. If they attack us one more time, he will come over and kill the dog(s) too. While I think that is a very drastic move on both our parts, I understand the emotion. They are our kids, and will not be hurt further. Being successful today with standing my ground was a win-win situation.
The pack is safe and secure, the troubled dogs don't get further "pumped-up" with being dominant with their territory, and I look better as the pack leader. I just hope the rest of the day goes as well. We will see.
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