more about the dogs

Thank you everyone for your kind advice and thoughts about Shadow’s ‘bowl rage’, especially to Rosey of Rosmarinus, over in Norfolk, the ever-helpful owner of Shadow’s sire.  Rosey uses a diet for her dogs involving bones and raw meat, which I find a little difficult to manage, even though I agree with her about its advantages.  But I had indeed been falling behind on getting bones in for my dogs.

Yum yum - raw meaty bones.  Shall I give them to the dogs or make a delicious soup stock for myself?

Yum yum – raw meaty bones. Shall I give them to the dogs or make a delicious soup stock for myself?

 

The issue of dominance or hierarchy still seemed relevant, as well.  There is one truly useful website (amongst quite a lot of dross) –  which talks about dominance amongst dogs and how we humans interact with it.  We often inadvertently send our dogs mixed messages about their status, and as a dog ages her status may change – but not necessarily.

 

Like all of us, Bella was young once.

Like all of us, Bella was young once.

 

Based on both of these bits of advice, we have started to boost Shadow’s nutrition and we have also decided to pay a little more attention to Bella, to enhance her status in the pack.  We thought we might take care to feed the dogs with our laid-back lad, Bandit, in between the two females, as a kind of buffer zone.

Even as a puppy he was a mild little chap.

Even as a puppy he was a mild little chap.

 

Lo and behold, on that very first morning, even before we had put any of this into practice, the dogs seemed strikingly happier and calmer.  And that has continued today, as we have put these changes in place.

 

Bandit consistently places himself between the two females, but slightly separate from them.  Does Shadow look like a viable challenger for dominance?

Bandit consistently places himself between the two females, but slightly separate from them. Does Shadow look like a viable challenger for dominance?

 

Now, I don’t believe in canine mind-reading or anything like that, but I can’t help wondering what made the difference to them.

Jill thinks she knows who is in charge.

Jill thinks she knows who is in charge.

Here I am in a quandary – it only looks like a stream.  The dogs understand what is going on, while I am just grinning at the camera.  Heigh ho!

 

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2 Responses to “more about the dogs”

  1. tracyloveshistory Says:

    23 and I paid a vast sum to a dog psychologist to help us manage our unmanageable Chinese-crested Powder Puff and Bloodhound. We might as well have used the money for a night in a hotel the good it has done us. We are still completely dominated by our Powder Puff. Never mind only fighting with the bloodhound over dog food, he actually helps himself to cereal from our grocery cupboards, which he opens with his wonder-dog little paws. I watch The Dog Whisperer with absolute reverence and then spend the rest of the day tsssing the dogs about the neck. To no avail. I’m pleased you’re enjoying more success than we do.

    • albertine Says:

      Nice to hear from you. I too learned a lot from that Dog Whisperer guy – all except the neck tssing, which never worked for us even though we tried it. But the instant rewards system really does work – especially alternated with occasionally no reward at all. There’s a problem I can see about the fact that opening the cupboard generates a reward. Hmmm. I see. So your dog has trained itself to open cupboards and the cupboards have collaborated by dishing out rewards. Try disciplining the cupboard? Make it stand in a corner? (I also hate that ‘naughty step’ idea. Call me old-fashioned, but – well, just call me old-fashioned.)

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