3.03.2007

The 80% Compliant Dog

That might be too generous really.

We have a dog. She's a rather good sized hound with a big personality and a dominant streak in her. She believes that she's the alpha with pretty much everyone she's around. With me being the partial exception.

As she's grown up over the last couple of years, she's developed a strong spirit that makes her less than wholly compliant with all commands. She takes her time sitting, she takes her time turning around and coming back, she is a willful and headstrong creature.

Sometimes it gets her, meaning me, into trouble. The other day, the mailman was several houses down the street and still out of sight. I was outside talking with my neighbor, Nande was playing around with her two dogs. And then, bam, like a bolt, she takes off toward the mailman. She means no harm, she's just excited to see someone new. The fact that she's 90 pounds of teeth and dog coming at someone who may or may not even like dogs doesn't really play into her choice of actions.

She's also changed when we go for walks at the dog park with the two boys. She treats the double stroller (fighter style, not that side by side stuff) like home turf and will keep other dogs from getting too close. And, from reports from my wife, she's less controlled and controllable when I'm not out with them.

Part of this lay off time is being spent working with her to reinforce her training again. Reinforce to her that she really isn't in control and has never been the one in control. But she remains pretty skeptical.

With another nice day like today, we'll be hitting the beach tomorrow and that should be a really good time. Its been a little while.

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