Thursday, January 12, 2012


We went back to willard's yesterday.  This time it was morning and there were lots of dogs and Jonah was very high.  From the beginning he was a little more stressed than he had been the day before.  First we came to a big group of dogs, including the lab puppy from the day before.  Jonah was very polite at first but then he got overwhelmed and gave a single bark.  We moved away and all was fine.  Then there was a nice playful dog that he met nicely and wanted to run with so I let him loose and they lept and ran and were quite happy together.

Eventually that dog went another direction and a new one came.  It was a young dog, very excited, some sort of spaniel, and initially they ran fast and happily.  Then something happened and Jonah gave a, "Rawr rawr."  It was more than a single bark but it was a short way of saying, "Stop.  I don't like that."  The owner of the other dog, though, was very concerned.  She gasped and asked, "Oh, is your dog usually like that?"  Before I could answer that Jonah will talk like that but that he's really harmless, she continued, "My dog is very sensitive.  She will be stressed now."  Maybe that's true, but she didn't appear to be discouraged at all.  In fact, again before any words could come out of my mouth, the dog was playfully jumping all over me.  At first it was just a friendly hello but then she realized that I had food and then she got rather pushy.  The owner looked at me and said definitively, "Oh, you have food."  The person called to her dog repeatedly but it was futile and eventually had to come grab the dog's collar.  They walked one way and we called Jonah to us in the other direction.

It was a funny situation.  I guess I would prefer if Jonah never barked at another dog, but in some ways I think it's good that he will stand up for himself now.  He was not aggressive at all, he just told the dog to back off.  If I put myself in the woman's shoes, I could see that she would initially be concerned because you never know the other dog, and for all she knew he could have been starting to attack her dog and there could have been a risk of injury.  So, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt about Jonah's behavior.  Furthermore, I'm sure I misinterpret Jonah's feelings sometimes, too.  It was clear to me that her dog was not stressed and sensitive--maybe her human was, but the dog was a playful, oblivious youth.  Maybe I'm wrong.  That's just how it seemed to me.

The second part of the interaction, though, bugs me.  If having food helps my dog (which it does), I'm going to bring it.  It is not then my fault if another dog is jumping on me.  Please do not blame me because your dog is suddenly uncontrollably attached to me, trying to get into my bait bag.  I guess this is my problem now, but it is not my fault.  Granted, I don't usually mind that much if a dog is jumping on me.  I love dogs!  I just don't like it when their humans get angry at me, rather than realizing their own room for training improvement.

Ok, sorry.  Done with my patronizing rant.  I have lots of training I'd like to do still with Jonah.  He is far from perfect and I am far from a perfect handler.  Ok.  Now time to go.  More later.

No comments:

Post a Comment