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Whispering to Dogs

January 13, 2009

 

Roxie is lulled into submission by the voice of the Dog Whisperer

Roxie is lulled into submission by the voice of the Dog Whisperer

 

Pilot loves it when the dogs bark on the box with the moving pictures

Pilot loves it when the dogs bark on the box with the moving pictures

He's a genius, I tell you

He's a genius, I tell you

 

I have a new love/obsession: The Dog Whisperer.  Ignoring the fact that ‘whisperer’ is a terrible word that sounds wrong no matter how you say it, the show is incredibly captivating.  I turned it on one morning, assuming it would make good background noise, and just couldn’t look away.  I even teared up after one particularly frightened dog’s rehabillitation.

So today I decided to work with my two dogs.  Roxie, aside from her aggression towards other dogs, gets particularly scary when the mail comes, ripping it out of the slot and flinging it across the room, snarling.  But what I realized is that she spends a good hour before the mail actually arrives tense and aggravated, just standing in front of the front door, waiting.

Today, instead of waiting for the mail to do anything, I put her leash on and then settled down in the den with her and Pilot, where we watched Cesar.  I got Roxie close to me, kept my voice and attitude completely calm, and talked to her, focusing all my energy on her.  Pilot, who is extremely jealous, actually lay down once he realized he wasn’t going to get my attention away from Roxie.  She settled in too, and at one point I had both of them sleeping next to me on the couch, pressed together.  

Anytime the signal went up in the neighborhood that there were OMGSTRANGERS, I just kept Roxie focused on me and in a sit.  After The Dog Whisperer I let them outside and threw a tennis ball for Pilot (his new favorite activity).  The mail came while we were outside, but I managed to keep Roxie from barking too much.  

I left them to get my lunch, and managed to eat my lunch without any disturbance from the canine contingent.  Now I think I have to start working them into a pack.  I realized, as I was watching the show, that I always walk Pilot and Roxie separately.  The only time they go out together is on the rare occasions my mother and I walk them together, with her walking Roxie and me walking Pilot.  Pilot obviously loves Roxie, but he was such a baby when we brought him home, and grew so fast, that I don’t think Roxie bonded to him the way she should, probably because we were so worried about training Pilot, that we didn’t think about really preparing her for his presence.   She’s not as dominant with him as she should be, which has made her snap at him if he goes for her dinner or rawhide; he should have learned by now not to even try.

Once my shoulder heals, I’m going to try taking them out together, using what I’ve learned.

And people say you can’t learn anything from T.V.

 

Quote of the Day:

“The most important thing that we have to provide every day is that we are the pack leader, that we set the rules, the boundaries and the limitations, and then we love. Most of the people, they go to get a dog because they need somebody to love. So they are going after what they need, not what the dog needs. And that, to me, creates instability immediately, and the dog sees the human as a soft energy. So they don’t follow the lovable leader or a spiritual leader; they follow a dominant one.” – Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer

Link of the Day: Apparently, only one space is now appropriate after a period.

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