Learning my new dog


Brian is obsessed with flower pots. Brings them home from the garden, with the content, to empty them on the sofa.He also started his wood collection, mainly bits of the fencing, some quite substantial in size.IMG_2402 But what he loves most is engineering. He tries to get bits of any watch, phone or laptop he can lay his paws on. I’m yet to learn why, as in my unspeakable cruelty, I take away all the lovingly stacked parts as soon as I notice them.IMG_2383

Lily is tolerant. And quite bossy.

Walks are still a challenge, but Brian likes dogs. All dogs. He’s not too keen on people and children scare him into barking-something he normally doesn’t do.


17 thoughts on “Learning my new dog

  1. Great update! It makes me laugh what dogs decide to collect…Mum’s previous GSD had a rock collection. Not little pebbles, decent sized rocks she would bring in from the garden. She knew every single one and would get very upset if we tried to put them back…pleased Brian is settling, Lily looks sweet as always!

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  2. Children are an issue with Ray also so we keep some distance when possible, and heavily supervise when not. The problem would appear to be their (children) erratic and therefore unpredictable activities. They change direction very fast and have a high excitable vocal range relative to most of us. Their age dictates a total lack of any concept of understanding dogs and, of course, there is always a possibility of a bad experience in the dog’s past.
    If we accept that barking could be a warning, or a simple “request” to go away, then the onus is clearly on the dog owner to ensure that there is no chance of an escalation of the situation. Too many dogs have paid with their lives as a result of a negative interaction with an unsupervised child…. and the dog was simply doing what a dog does – protecting itself from a perceived threat.
    We are 99% certain that Ray would be fine, but should we gamble on that 1% of uncertainty? We think not.

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    1. Very wise. We don’t have children, we don’t even have friends with small kids, so we’re not very likely to have any near Brian, but I still want to teach him children are ok. I’m going to work on it, but first we need to make sure he’s more confident. His main issue is leaving the house-but it’s just been a week and it’s getting better (slowly, but I’m not complaining). As soon as he’s ok walking, I’ll try and teach him children mean treats and extra fuss. I don’t want him to be anti-anything, really πŸ™‚

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      1. Yes… we also had to use the people = treats; other dogs = treats; children = treats for Ray. As he is highly food motivated, we have had a lot of success with that method. The problem is that one cannot (with 100% certainty) train for every conceivable situation. Whereas Ray is very good now when a child wants to touch him, we have recently had to intervene when two additional children were running up to touch him. He may have been fine… but we were not prepared to take the risk. Also, whereas he is tolerant of one small pair of hands touching him, when touching changes to a wrap around hug, again we quickly intervene. Dogs do not hug each other and so, not surprisingly, they may react badly. I have minimal tolerance for a dog bite issue which is explained away as “He’s never done that before.” It is up to all dog owners to understand dogs in general, and their dog specifically. When a dog simply does was its instinct dictates, it is the owner that should accept all the consequences.

        Sorry to ramble a bit here but you have an excellent topic, and I hope that this dialogue will make some dog owners stop and think about the significance and responsibilities that go with owning a dog. Walking their dog downtown with unsupervised children running around may never be the same but then, perhaps that is how it should be.

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      2. Well, again, your approach is excellent. All dogs can bite. If we stack enough triggers, even the most calm and reliable dog will have no option but to defend himself. I’d never leave any of my dogs unattended with children, just because I don’t usually trust children that much. People often forget that the responsibility for the bite is shared. As I am the owner I’d own up to any potential damage (thus, I’d rather be prepared and take precautions). Thank you for really reassuring comments- I hope more owners think like you πŸ™‚

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  3. I almost spit out my morning coffee laughing when I read that bit about the flower pots with their contents still in them! Wow, what a pup! I don’t have any suggestions other than what you already know – toys, redirection, and exercise. He will learn. I once had a Beagle pup chew up my very expensive snake skin leather high heels. It happens. Part of the dog learning what where when and how. Have a great day today!

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  4. He must be a nature lover. πŸ™‚ Gotta love puppies and what they love. My Rosie, who is a year and a half, still drags sticks 3 times her size around the yard. She finally understands that she can’t bring them in the house. Finally.

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  5. Someone is a collector! Brian is fortunate to have you and Lily. Brodie can become excited around children. He’s a 2 year old golden now, but still reacts to the high pitched noises and quick movements that kids have. Kids that want to pet him are asked to wait until Brodie is ready. I also keep Brodie at a comfortable distance from children. It’s just the way to be for me and to keep Brodie in a good spot for learning.

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    1. Male dogs tend to be more ‘mine’ in our house. I kind of like their character and independence, though girls seem to be more cuddly and their love is so flattering! We’ll see if Brian is like the other boys we had-we’ll love him whatever his personality, of course πŸ™‚ One of our cats is most wonderfully camp, the other is thug-like: I love all my pets.

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