Friday, November 23, 2007

I thought last weekend was bad...

but this Thanksgiving has been the worse.

Last weekend that dogs just never jelled. They never seemed to get it together and really has some fun. I kept thinking that the right dog would pull the group together. Sophie showed up and my hopes were all riding on her. No luck, they mostly just wandered around and ignored each other. I am getting a crash course in the psychology of group dynamics. The right dog can make a playtime, removing a dog can improve play time, but sometimes you just can't get them to play at all.

This weekend is is less worrying about them not having fun and more of keeping them from killing each other. Every single dog I have this LONG weekend is a regular. Every single one of them has lost their minds.

I have Tessie and with Tessie you never get a quiet weekend. She is quite the barker, in the kennel she is bad, but out to play she is worse. She barks non stop at all the dogs to get them to play with her. I keep trying to point out that this is not working for her, but she hasn't changed her approach.

I have Sunny, a collie, who is herding all the dogs. Sunny also barks in the kennel and even more when out to play. Sunny needs an authority figure. I work on him every time he comes. I pull out everything I have learned from the Dog Whisperer's show and his books. I can usually get Sunny to tone it down but this time he is just not stopping at the nipping at other dogs. He has actually managed to piss BB off so bad that she has snapped at him more than once. He has not gotten the message.

I will try again to talk to his Dad about how he walks his dog and how the humans need to be the pack leader and not Sunny. Sunny is a severe dog bite waiting to happen. He is going to happily chomp on the wrong tail or flank and he is going to catch hell for it.

As for the rest of them, they all left their manners at home. Chaser and Bella were teasing Jake far too much last weekend and now they are doing it to Smokey Bill. Patches likes to play with everyone, but as soon as it gets to rough on her, her teeth come out and the growling starts. I just never let her play with anyone for too long. Sweetie is just a nervous wreck and she is fully capable of avoiding all the other dogs, normally. This group just can't leave her alone.

Which brings me to Kodi and Bella, two of the biggest dogs and yet the frightenest. These guys bark a big fight inside their run, but then just spend playtime avoiding all the other dogs. They have been coming for years, this is their routine. Bark like killers until let out and then tuck tail and go hang out by the rose bush.

Not this weekend, I don't know what changed but it changed for the worse. They still bark like killers in their run, but now when I let them out Kodi growls at whatever dog he comes to first and Bella puts her whole mouth on the neck of whatever dog she comes to first. As you might guess, Kodi and Bella now have one side of the play yard all to themselves.

One more weekend like this and I quit!

1 comment:

Madelaine said...

Hope things are mellowing out by now. Are you still full? I apologize for Bella and Chaser's bad behavior. I hope you are not seeing teeth from either of them.
I have never seen them with a bunch of dogs--only the one little neighborhood beagle who shows up when he manages to lose his electronic collar. They manage to romp and frolic with him for about 30 minutes before he wears them out. Please do not quit! We need you!