Friday, August 14, 2009

Male Dogs

Today was frustrating. Rugby's favorite dog in the whole wide world was there. Just the last couple times he has seen her he has decided that he wants her to be his girlfriend and has started to hump her. This is unacceptable.

The first time he pulled that stunt he was so wrapped up in what he was doing I could not get him to even acknowledge me so that I could re-direct him. Last time and today I was able to call him and get him to stop and look at me and maybe redirect him for an instant but I was not making progress stopping the behavior. Today when I could get his attention, I called him to me. Occasionally he needed some help getting to me since the magnetic force attracting him to his girlfriend was so strong. When he got to me I just told him to get on whatever chair was closest and left him on a down stay for an undefined amount of time (mostly until I wasn't as angry with him). After I felt he had been there for long enough I would release him and sure enough, sooner or later I would catch him in the same act as the one he had just been punished for.

This particular time, I called him to me and he stopped the humping but refused to come to me. So I started approaching him so that I could assist him to me, and this time he promptly trotted away from me and into the house. While he thought this to be incredible clever...escaping the push-ups and time out that awaited just made me more frustrated with him. When I got to him in the house, I grabbed his collar and helped him to me. We did several more short distance recalls until we ended up in the yard again. When his girlfriend distracted him and he refused to come again - I remembered that I had a slip lead conveniently draped around my neck. This became attached to Rugby. We did 2 more, and heel briskly out to where I was working to begin with. I left him on a down stay and continued what I was doing before being interrupted.

Stupid me, I let him go one more time and to both of our dismay he found himself being entertained with humping yet again. This time I was done. I grit my teeth and called him one again to me. Now, he knew better than to head in the other direction and trotted out and came and sat in front of me despite having to go around other dogs, etc. I had him finish and put him in another down-stay. This time I must have been emitting angry signals to all the other dogs, because the three other dogs that were acting as my shadows as I worked also found a comfortable position and did not move for a good 5 minutes. Slowly the other dogs dispersed and Rugby was left all alone.

When he was released from that down-stay, Rugby changed his attitude quite a bit. For one, he did not for the rest of the day go over to see his girlfriend who was sunbathing by the front gate. He also payed an incredible amount of attention to me in the yard. Usually Rugby does his own thing, of exploring somewhere or another. This afternoon, he stuck pretty close. When the work was done and I sat down with all the dogs, this new Rugby came and got in my lap and fell asleep. Pretty amazing for the dog that wanted to pretend I didn't exist. This new found attention as overflowed to how he behaves at home too. Since we have been here he hasn't been more that 3 ft from me.

This is more like it. I hope he remembers today the next time he sees his girlfriend. I can deal with how he has changed today for sure!

In the morning, Rugby and Ellie were distractions for a dog aggressive dog who has been working on her self-control. The three dogs all did sit-stays and down-stays together. The little ones and even the big one behaved very well. :p

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