Some time ago I wrote about our new puppy and the steps we had to take to get him trained and I thought an update was very overdue… so, here goes.
First some background.
Barney should have been a miniature labradoodle (yes, he is a cross between a Labrador and a poodle), but he isn’t. Oh, he’s a labradoodle alright, but he just ain’t miniature. He was supposed to be about 18 inches to the shoulder when fully grown… he’s 24 inches, with another couple of months growing to go!
He’s a powerful dog, too, having already pulled my mother-in-law over and breaking her arm!
But, I have to say he’s a handsome chap and full of joie de vivre.
And therein lies some of his problem. Sometimes, just sometimes, on his walks he forgets how and powerful he is. When he’s fifty metres away he’ll lock eyes with you and burst into a full pelt heading straight for you… a madness comes into his eyes… he flings spit from his jowls… and he launches himself, usually from ten feet away straight at you, jaws snapping as he tries to bite into flesh.
“Aw,” said my wife. “He loves you, he’s just playing.”
Playing he may well have been, but my arm looks like I’ve been attacked by a vampire.
Clearly something had to be done, so it was back to obedience classes. (Obedience, ha!)
Option one: just turn your back on him and he’ll get bored. Nope, he thought it was a massive game and simply snapped all the harder.
Option two: distract him just at the moment of launch… throw a stick, a ball or do something to stop him from a full blown attack. Nope the flesh n my arm was much more interesting.
Desperation set in; it was going to be three strikes and out.
So, option three was the Pet Corrector, which has come to be known in our family as the Pet Protector. It’s a can full of compressed air, which makes a loud noise and emits a blast of air. Hmmm… sceptical.
But the next day I took Barney out for a walk armed with my new protection. We locked eyes, his muscles bunched, the madness came into his eyes and he launched himself at me.
Blast of air.
Barney was stopped in his tracks. He looked at me and the madness faded from his eyes.
Ten minutes later the same thing happened.
He’s never jumped since… the Protector (sorry, Corrector) worked, he’s cured. It’s been a couple of weeks since his last jump and we have not used the Protector once. We’re all free to enjoy our walks and Barney, who was on his third strike, is saved*.
*I actually said to my wife “one more time and either the dog goes, or I do.”
She gave me a withering look and said “don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out!”
Another blog, there, about pecking orders!
P.S. I was going to relate this to EB and a short sharp shock for someone who’s not doing what they should… something like a formal warning. But I thought you might enjoy the story, just as it was!