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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Communing with Nature

Peace in My Morning Walks

Their is something lovely about going for a walk on a beautiful morning. 

Found a little blue Robin's egg fragment.
Today the dogs and I explored an old logging road that isn't too far of a drive from my house - we decided that it will do quite nicely for morning before work walks.
Its a small paved road that is blocked off to car traffic and open to people for walking or bicycling. We bumped into one gentleman who told us where we could turn around for a 2 or 4 mile walk.

It's nice and quiet, with a beautiful view of the rolling hills in our area.

The dogs did quite well for walking in a new area (which is of course always exciting!) we passed several dogs without any issues. The last dog we passed was another story entirely however, Ziva didn't like his unstable out of control energy. I'm not excusing her bad behavior but simply explaining what had happened.

This dog was clearly out of control, he was dragging his poor person every step of the way and they barely had a hold on him. I could see that he might be an issue so we politely stepped off of the road to give them room, and I had Dante and Ziva sit: Ziva had leash aggression issues in the past and this was one of our ways to help her through those issues - have her sit, and watch the dog/dogs pass us by, correct her if needed.

Well the lab decided that we were simply to interesting to pass up and he lunged at us, this invoked an aggressive lunge back by my little Ziva and of course her brother had to be in on the action. Luckily I am fast and exercise regularly because the two of them together are super strong!

*One thing to know if you have a bully breed - it doesn't matter if another dog starts it, the sad fact is that due to all the bad press and stereotypes you'll probably be blamed for the incident this makes it very important that you are able to control your dog/dogs in any setting.*

We avoided a clash of the titans but I was rather embarrassed, I'd like to think that the lab's owners might learn to control their pooch but I doubt it. The only thing I can do is step up our distraction training. Like I said earlier though - they are really well behaved on walks and can usually pass by other dogs without even a glance.


  1. I understand completely. We're still working on Jedi around other dogs. He's fine most of the time, especially if I'm quick enough to redirect his attention. The worst, though, are little dogs. They can be total shits, barking, lunging, pulling -- usually on a flexi-leash. Sometimes Jedi will bark back and I get the stink eye, because my German shepherd scared the widdle Chihuahua.

    1. Haha! That's hilarious! One thing i've noticed with my two bullies is that people with small dogs tend to pick up their tiny dogs as they walk by. :-) This always cracks me up. Most of the time my two are well under control and walking with good manners. But just like your Jedi (love the name!) my little Ziva does not like un-mannered pooches.

  2. So agree with this here! Barry is a cool dog that loves to meet every dog he sees but we still have to work with him on his manners. His energy will match the energy of any dog he meets. Many times we walk right on by with Barry just moving forward enjoying his walk. The difference for us with the small dogs is that if they do bark and growl he quickly runs past and whines (it's almost like he's scared of them). Bigger dogs are usually interested in meeting and sniffing Barry so we allow it ONLY when the other person is allowing it. Otherwise, we move on.

    Another thing to add to the bully breed discrimination (we see it all the time) is that we'll never take Barry to a dog park if there are other dogs. It's just not worth it. We'd hate if another dog started something and we got blamed (because that would happen). Once Barry was playing with an older, yet energetic, golden doodle. Barry kept rolling on the ground on his back to show submissiveness and the owner was afraid Barry would grab her dog's neck (because she heard from a friend of a friend about a pit bull killing a dog while playing by biting the other dog's neck). So we moved Barry away from the play and the golden doodle still came at Barry barking and wanting to play and the owner didn't do anything to remove her dog from the situation. That golden doodle turned around and bit Barry on his little muscle butt! Anyway, it goes to show it doesn't matter what kind of dog, it's usually the owner.

    1. When we were working on Ziva's aggression issues we reached a point where we trusted her but needed to get her around other dogs for more socialization. It was a little scary but we went to the dog park their were only a few dogs when we went (I too swore we'd never go because of other owners). It went well for the most part. Ziva made a buddy who loved to play chase and they ran all over the park, Dante was in heaven he didn't even pay the other dogs attention he just wanted to smell everything.

      We had one minor issue, a lady walking with her pup in the park had a bag of treats which of course resulted in a swarm of dogs all around her. She was polite enough to ask before handing them out and Ziva has no food aggression issues but a larger dog (somesort of mastiff mix) that was there did and he turned on Ziva! She narrowly escaped a bite and I had to jump in and grab Dante with my hand by his collar because he was going to defend his sister and jump on the big mutt!

      That kind of ruined it for us, the couple who owned the large mastiff mix failed to correct his behavior and it was worsening by the minute so we packed up and left before things got out of hand. We've only been to the dog park once more since then and their were only like 3 dogs there.

      I certainly wouldn't recommend going because humans are the factor your can't count on, just like bad parents they unclip their dogs and walk away expecting everything to be just dandy, and not taking any responsibility for their dogs bad behavior. Its too bad though because we would love to have more puppy play dates!


Barks & Howls are always welcome!!

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