I have been working with a McNab, an isolated line of Border collie originally from Oregon.  He was here for recall lessons.  He is fine in the house, but get him outside and he apparently shined on everybody and did what he wanted to do.

Today was his second lesson.  He was doing great healing without making the leash taunt.  His recalls were pretty good also, but not perfect.  But that was to be expected, as it has only been 4 days since his first lesson.

Things were going pretty well and then I noticed that he was getting mouthy, and a little barky when he was corrected.  I basically ignored it as him disagreeing with me.  

Until I started working with him on down and sit.  I was helping him up to a sit position and he nipped at me.  I then put him in a down position, and he got crankier, trying to bite at me.  Things went somewhat crazy from then on.

It was time to put this boy on his side, and let him relax there for a bit, submit.  He would have no part of it.  This turned into a fight on his end and determination on my end.  This guy went into several full-fledged panic attacks, sounding like the Tasmanian devil the entire time that he was pinned.

This boy is very strong, and I was having serious trouble holding him down, he kept breaking free, though not totally, because I was able to hold onto the leash.  Every time that he would beat me, and get away, he was winning.  Finally after several bite bruises later, his owner started helping me while placing him on the grass on his side.  

Boy, this dog was determined not to lie on his side, and fought for his position, tooth and nail.  Bleeding some, I kept telling myself out loud, so the dog's owner would understand, "be calm, don't get mad at all, calm and assertive".  Getting mad is actually worse for the dog because that emotion will affect the dog negatively.

When we humans get mad, we tend to stay mad for a while, some even for the entire day, but not dogs.  They drop it right after they give a correction to another dog.  They do not stay mad.  When we are helping a dog, we should not drag our emotions into the situation for dog's sake.  So we both did the best that we could, by not getting mad when he was fighting us.  

Finally after many times, we were able to get him down for a while.  Then we did the other side of the dog.  And after a while, he was very pliable as he gave it up.  I told his owner that he has now been knocked down a few levels and is not the pack leader any longer.  I had mentioned in his first lesson that this dog was very ridged and tense in his body.  Now I know why his body was so tense.  And now that he has gone through this ritual, he will be much more willing to be trained.

My hands hurt some, and he could have really tore me up, but for the amount of bites that I got, there was very little damage.  My back hurts a little and hopefully I will be fine in the morning.  I hope that this dog’s mind is now in a better place.

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