Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Strange Encounters

Diva, Ryder and I have been encountering some of my neighbors on our walks.  Ryder is really beginning to take things in stride.  His big issue remains other dogs.  He feels compelled to bark or growl, even when I'm working on basic commands such as sit or heel.  He is now taking bikes, strollers, scooters and walkers in stride.  Children are no big deal for him.

Diva on the other hand has beautiful leash manners and if I can keep her focused on me we do well when we encounter things.  If she goes into "stalk" mode she can be difficult to refocus.  Children, bikes, scooters and sometimes walkers remain scary to her.  Mind you, I've also discovered that rocks and snowbanks can get the same reaction...  Some days I wonder if I should get her eyes tested.

Today in her defense we came across the most interesting child.  The best visual I can give is a standing up turtle on a scooter.  This little boy had on a bike helmet, the roundest, fullest backpack I've seen in a while, and was happily scooting down the road.  In fact he was zig zagging.  Towards us.  As a preemptive strike I put the dogs into heel formation.  As he approaches, Diva does her on alert and gives a little grumble.  I give her a sharp reprimand insisting she goes back into heel.  She complies.  Well, as much as dog curled up into a pretzel position, while walking can do...  The child then swerves towards us, yelling some weird gibberish phrase (and I'm well versed in cool kid phrases), and continues on.  Diva's eyes bulge out of her head.  Her tail crawls further up her sphincter and she tries to remain in heel while watching behind us.  She performed the most acrobatic functions on our walk tonight.

For whatever reason kids and wheeled apparatus' are particularly freaky for her.  This kid, did not help.  But it was a great training opportunity.  Ryder, my little superstar took this strange child in stride.  Showing an alert curiosity.  If loose there would have been a pretty good likelihood of him chasing or jumping on the creature before running back to me.

All in all, it was quite the amusing walk tonight.


Liz Stout said...

Diva needs to give her spooky horse tendencies back to the equine world

Anonymous said...

It is incredible to read about your dogs, because it's almost like they're mirrors of my two (also littermates, 2.5 years old). My girl-dog is intense, independent (but oh-so-cuddly in the am before we get up, and has plenty of prey drive), used to get (sometimes still does in the spring) worked up about bikes and scooters and kids and activity.
My male is much more soft, clingy, sensitive, and easily intimidated (including issues with other dogs. Spending 5 weeks as caretaker of the sheep farm socialized him phenomenally well, though, and he's a totally different dog now than a year ago when he came to live with me) by dogs but also very, very easy to control/mold because he wants to please ME instead of himself. He's my "offleash in our unfenced yard" dog, who lays at my feet while the girl-dog chases bugs.

On stock both are keen, but the girl dog is intense and super confident (but officially very moldable and listens!), and the boy dog can still be impulsive and it's the one time he'll sometimes "forget" to listen...or to stay down after he drops. Lol. He's also the one that could be turned off of it very quickly if over-corrected.

All in all, it just makes ready about your dogs so interesting for me because all I keep doing is going "Oh, wow, that's my dog! That too! That too!"

Country Girl said...

I am thoroughly relieved to know I'm not the only person out there with dogs like this!! I swear I try hard but my dogs make me look like the worst owner in history some days. lol