Monday, January 20, 2003
The Saturday before last, we had a very interesting class. I worked with "my" puppy, 'Red' as usual. It was almost a full class, despite the bitterly cold, windy weather. To begin, we have two dogs in particular that exhibit aggressive tendencies, at times. Neither one of them are vicious, just belligerent when it comes to other dogs. Anyway, before we accomplished anything else, we had to get these dogs past their outbursts. So basically, Mike had us do this by performing a series of exercises in close contact with one another. These exercises involved things like shaking hands with one another while the dog sat waiting, and weaving in and out of one another on a narrow path.
There were a few outbursts, involving only these two dogs. Because we had established the aggressive dogs at the very beginning, we were all prepared and alert, and no misbites occurred. Apparently, the aggressive dogs in the group will usually single one another out pretty quickly, because they're sending "bully messages" throughout the class. This case was proven by these dogs' actions, for sure. They targeted one another without any regard for the other dogs at all.
During these exercises, my pup, Red, got a little stressed. He began to whine as if his tail had been nailed to the ground or something, and as tempted as I was to nurture him, I kept right on going, pulling him along.