Beanie’s been growing up fast lately – so fast it’s hard to keep up!
Her sniffing ability has really blossomed, to the extent that it’s getting in the way of training. A little while ago we had the tunnel incident during puppy agility. On the following training night, she was doing quite well until a sausage was used to lure a nearby dog into the down position. From the point that chipolata hit the floor, Beanie became a sausage-seeking missile. After observing the shenannigans, head trainer Val advised us to work extra hard on the “leave” command and include tasty distractions in her day-to-day training. We’re doing this, and hopefully it’ll make a difference in the next session tomorrow.
OK, so that’s the sniffer situation. Now let’s talk about the woofer situation. Beanie has suddenly discovered that she can growl and bark, and is trying out her new skills with.. well let’s say mixed success. The actual sound is fairly convincing – she’s managed to lower her voice a bit so it doesn’t sound quite so obviously like a silly puppy. Unfortunately she doesn’t really pick appropriate times to use it. The ruleset for her vocalizations seems to go something like this:
- Safe on Daddy’s lap in the car? Growl and bark at some unfortunate soul who’s minding their own business across the road. Or possibly target a bull or other large animal in a roadside field, but only if the car’s moving and we could outrun it if it turns nasty.
- Another dog or cat making noise in the street? Growl and bark if (1) the front door is closed and (2) the windows aren’t open wide enough to allow entry
- Some stranger comes to the door? Keep really quiet, look cute. They might have treats.
Then there’s the play fighting. It’s become much more dominance-oriented of late, and it takes a big, confident dog to be able to stand up to Beanie. In fact her most even-sided play session so far occurred with a pitbull cross called Dozer. He’s a really gentle, friendly chap who actually looks quite cute, until that is he opens his jaws and reveals the knife-filled chasm of death that is his mouth!
Play sessions with lesser dogs usually end up like this though:
Takedown – Jack Russell Terrier pup goes belly up
Is that an Alien bursting out of Beanie’s chest? Nope it’s a thoroughly dominated JRT!
Don’t worry – the JRT’s were having every bit as much fun as Beanie!