Changed my mind

19 Jul

Noel, our trainer, said something at MudPack that for some reason keeps popping into my head. We were introducing Wally to her Chihuahua, Chica, when someone else walked up with their Papillon. `The newcomer warned “Igor would love to meet your puppy but he wouldn’t be very nice.” To which I glibly replied “I don’t mind if he gets corrected by other dogs, he has to learn somehow.” That’s when Noel sagely stated “I don’t let other dogs discipline my puppy.”

Today Susan Garrett uploaded this video on YT about how dogs aren’t always fair in their relationships to other dogs. Chin scratching commenced as I melded Noel’s words with Susan’s video.

All of this culminated in a philosophy change for me, an epiphany. I started to think about my friends with dogs, the owners I most respect, and how they never knowingly let their dog interact with other dogs willy-nilly. I started to think about Wally, with his puppy exuberance, throwing himself at other dogs in an utterly rude manner that is good intentioned but not well met. And I realized that although the right dog may be able to correct him properly without doing mental or physical damage, that would have to be a dog I know well (like Coal). I also realized that Wally isn’t going to learn anything I don’t teach him, so I have to teach him the proper way to approach a dog.

I have to be mindful of Wally and the things around him, be they dogs, people, cars, squirrels. It’s funny because mindfulness is something I’ve been thinking about lately, something I want to improve in my personal life. How lucky for Wally to be my guinea pig!


Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Training


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2 responses to “Changed my mind

  1. John

    July 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    It seems to me that Cesar Milan uses his “pack” to help train dogs but he doesn’t do it haphazardly. He knows the pack (espeically Daddy and Junior) and he also is there and will immediately insert himself if things look or get out of hand. So I think dogs do communicate with each other and can help to assert some balance but we are the responsible ones and the environments we place the animals in can influence how they will respond.
    Temple Grandin comments at length on this in her current book. I think it is her opinion that the animals can sort things for themselves pretty well. But I have had experience of this that is not all that says things can go bad and fast and they can have pretty horrible consequences for everyone. So I think you are right. Be in charge and be alert and be the one that the dog looks to.

    • Cassafrass

      July 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm

      I’m not a fan of Cesar Milan, but I do find Temple Grandin fascinating. I get the feeling that once Wally is older and a little more polite it will be safer to let him meet and greet certain dogs, but until then his enthusiasm is bound to backfire. In the meantime he will have to learn how to be polite somehow, but being harshly corrected by strange dogs isn’t the best method IMO! I agree: alert, proactive, and responsible are the way to go.

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