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Sunday, 5 December 2010

Renton’s Riot


                

Due to the snow, Renton has had time off from training.....but not obedience.

 The last few days have been a bit erratic with Renton. His guiding work has been excellent, but, he has been showing some signs of stress, particularly around horses, cats and dogs. It appears to be a re-action of fear rather than dominance, as he is not an aggressive dog by nature. He seems to fixate on the horse or dog...  barking and growling, and this is obviously, very scary for other dog owners. 
Well, this is what happened last week when I was out with a couple of colleagues having some lunch in a nearby pub. I blame myself, because Renton was asleep and I hadn’t a proper grip of his lead. It just suddenly kicked off. Steak pie going one way, chips the other... One of the regulars came in with his small dog Megan. She  is a quiet little thing who sees the pub like a second home. Moss knew her well and they got on fine.   However, Renton hadn’t come across her in his previous visits. Before I knew what was happening, Renton was up on his toes and off barking and running her. She must have thought; “ that’s it I’m a goner now”. 
Thankfully not. Renton ran over to her and stopped dead. As if, “what do I do now.”  he sniffed her nose...and after that they were fine...all was quiet and calm again.


He has also done this in harness on the street a couple of times. I’ve just used the old "Dog Whisperer" technique of getting him to lay down on his side, until he calms down.  And it seems to work.


As for the horses this is new to Renton and us.  Moss quite likes the horses and has never worried them or ran riot. And when Renton first came, the horses in the field next door didn’t appear to bother him, but for some reason he has been loosing it completely. To the extent I’ve had to get him down on his side again. This technique does work well. In fact he puts up very little resistance. However, this means I can’t relax, I’m on my toes the whole time waiting for the next reaction. Charlie, the horse has remained very calm, at all times, looking over the fence wondering what all the fuss is about
I’ve been reliably informed this isn’t unusual for a German Sheppard who has changed handlers at least 4 times in his 2 years. Guide Dogs have told me that his sensitivity will decrease as he settles further.


Lets hope so as my right arm is going to be two foot longer than my left. On the positive side  I now have the reaction time of a Ninja warrior. 






This is Charlie, one of the horses next door - he is the coolest horse in Lanark - and knows a thing or two about mad dogs...

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