Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Perfect Storm of Dogs

Really, I can't come up with a worse combination of dogs than the one I have now. If you have any desire to lose your hearing, feel free to stop by, the barking is nothing less than spectacular.

I have Tessie and until yesterday I had Jinx. Neither of these dogs comes with an OFF switch. Jinx barks all the time and when Tessie is not barking, she is jumping straight up and down. Which of course, just makes all the other dogs bark.

Tessie's barking has been a problem from day one. The only time she stops barking at the dogs that are playing is when I throw a toy for her. She doesn't bring them back so I try to load up and keep throwing them. Her constant barking at dogs that are wrestling is like a circle of people yelling, "Fight! Fight!", it just isn't going to lead to anything good.

But Tessie comes here all the time and frankly me and most of the dogs are just plain used to her.

Well this weekend, between Tessie's leaping and Jinx's yipping was Keisha, barking right along with them. Then the Glitter Twins showed up, Jasmine and Jake. Two yellow labs that no one wants to play with because just one of them is too much playing. Tessie's constant motion has the puppies in a frenzy and Keisha is revving up right along with them.

If you watch the Dog Whisperer, he always talks about the 'energy' level of the dogs. Let's just say that this much barking and jumping, the energy level in the kennel is at 11. And high energy in dogs is, frankly, unstable. So I have a full kennel of fur covered nitro...one wrong touch and this place is going to blow.

When I first let the dogs out into the play yard, the energy is at its highest and worst. Sometimes they shoot out of their gate like madmen. Diesel had a problem with this. He has calmed down since, but at first I would let him out, lock him on the far side of the play yard and let him run it off for 5 or 10 minutes before letting him in with the other dogs. If I just let him out into a crowd he would being playing but at such an intensity that to the other dogs, it would be an attack.

So, the trick to defusing this situation is first, who can play with who, and second, in what order can you let them out.

I have all these nutty dogs and some of them are of the extra large variety. I have to say that I am mostly focused on Cai, the Irish Wolfhound and on Maki, the Mastidor (Mastif-Labrador). Maki is clearly not used to being the SMALL dog in the pile. Maki was really getting picked on fir a while. Keisha on one side, Cai on the other, when Jinx darts in a bites her on the ankle. Now, Maki doesn't even see Jinx, who is the size of a pound of butter. He thinks Keisha did it and growls at her. "Break it up, break it up, everyone back in their own rooms". First things first, Jinx is not coming out anymore.

I was thinking that the puppies, who are a perfect match for Maki might also do well with Cai. Everything just might work out. Nope.

Let out Cai, let Bella out but not Jinx, let out Keisha, get the tennis racket to defend myself, let out the puppies and Maki, let out Tessie last as she HAS to go in everyone kennel if she is let out sooner.

I am so worried about the big and bouncy, that I total missed the girls working themselves into a tizzy. Of all the dogs, it was Keisha and Tessie that went at it. Looked bad, sounded worse, no marks on either of them.

Okay lets try again.

Let out Cai, let Bella out but not Jinx, get the tennis racket to defend myself, let out Jake and leave Jasmine in the kennel obsessing over Tessie, let out Maki and try to keep her off me, let out Tessie last. Stuff them all on the other side while trying to keep Jake and Maki off me.

Latch the divider gate for the play yard and let out Keisha and Jasmine.

Spend playtime throwing balls to get Tessie to stop barking and fencing with a tennis racket to defend my personal space from Keisha and Jasmine.

I just keep asking myself...so, when are they all going home?

No comments: