Tuesday, June 7, 2011
There's Something To This
I'm not a huge Cesar fan, really, but I also don't think he's the debil. There is a lot of disagreement within the dog community about his methods, but for the purpose of this post I'll say that I think there's something to this whole walking dogs as a pack thing. I've always tried to walk my own dogs as a pack together, but I'm talking about something slightly different in this context.
Take the Noodleman for example.
He's a bit of a troll under the bridge sort of dog. He's a little snarkilicious sometimes, even with his own "pack", though he's not overly serious about that. What he IS serious about is that he's not a big fan of dogs of other breeds. Though he often likes the ladies he just as often doesn't like the males. He has very strong feelings about these things.
Here's where it gets interesting. I've noticed recently that I can take him on a walk with a dog that he has issue with in a home setting, and he'll act completely different in a walk situation. Take this same dog that he wants to harass in the back yard on a long walk, and suddenly they're BFFs. Ok, maybe not BFFs, but certainly copacetic enough.
For example, Sunday we took a walk in the woods with Sandy and her new Golden Retriever, Kobe. Nick met Kobe a month or two ago at my friend Pam's house. The two of them met in the back yard and Nick started immediately skulking around, circling, air snapping, and just generally being a jerk. He got in lots of trouble for it, and eventually wound up being put back in his crate for acting like a punk.
However, out in the woods on the walk? Swimming in the lake? He acted as if Kobe was just part of the pack. He swam with him, ran with him, and didn't ever even give him a hairy eyeball. It was a completely different dynamic.
I really do think that there's just something about walking as a pack that changes the dynamics for some dogs. Maybe not all dogs (I've seen dogs determined to work other dogs on walks like these), but certainly it changes things for the Noodle. What I'll be interested to see is if it changes the dynamics only in that situation, or overall. Based on what I've seen from Nick so far, though, I think it only changes the dynamics for him in that particular circumstance.