'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


...Has had a mix of good and bad points.

First, the bad.

About an hour ago, I saw a loose Staffie mix, a gorgeous mixed brown boy who was incredibly placid - really friendly, with both me and Lola. He didn't have a collar on, and after watching after he'd passed us for a few minutes it became obvious that nobody was with him. I followed him back up the park, and managed to coax him toward me with cleverly placed cheese, ham and kibble mix and throwing Lola's ball near him - he moved to see her, and I moved to intercept with food. Lola was great: she didn't snap at him being near her ball, and even stood by whilst he ate food out of my hand. She got one piece for every eight or nine he got, and didn't try to posture him away from me or her food. Since the poor boy didn't have a collar, I tried to make a loop out of Lola's lead and slip it over his neck. He happily ate food out of my hand when he had to just put his nose through the wide loop, but when I slipped it further back he jerked away, and when I tried again (quicker, this time) he turned and loped off.

We followed him across the entirety of the park, playing fields and all, but I lost him at the edge of the field. Hopefully, he was going home: he seemed to have a pretty steady course across the park, even if he looked lost to begin with. Poor boy. I'm going to save the local Dog Warden's number for future situations like this; so far,

On the other hand, and moving onto the good points now - Lola stuck with me perfectly across the field, only venturing away to have a quick lap at a puddle (she'd been playing fetch for about twenty minutes before the dog showed up), and even ignored a child AND a football to stay with me.

Earlier today, we also managed to walk past a group of children (they were streaming out of the primary school as we arrived back from our walk) - Lola at one point walked past three kids, less than a foot away from them with only me between her and Scary Children, and didn't bark once. She's also been much better with strange dogs today, possibly due to interacting with so many, quite positively, yesterday.

Or maybe she's just growing up a little. If this is a glimpse of what my pup will be like when she's older, I really am happy I got her!


Sara said...

Sounds like way more good than bad!

I hope the dog made his way home.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Hope that Staffie mix got back home safe and sound! Good job on the entire outing Lola!! It is terrific that she did so well sticking with you and ignoring kids. What a good girl!