Sunday, 15 June 2014

Sleepy Alice

I love this little girl, but sometimes I need reminding of that. She can be such a monster when we’re out for our walks. She gets so excited and loves it so much that she forgets herself, me, training... everything, except running and looking out for potential prey. Her prey drive is so strong that she’s looking around all the time for movement; for something to chase. She doesn’t try and chase Daisy quite as much as she did at first because most of the time Daisy doesn’t want to be chased and has her way of saying no - snapping and turning away rather than running off - although she will sometimes run and let Alice chase her. Alice’s target now is Comet. Every time she goads him - by pushing her muzzle into his neck and grrrring - he will respond and eventually start running. They run together with Comet snapping at her and Alice pushing the muzzle into his neck - if she didn’t have the muzzle on, she would definitely bring him down. When Comet has had enough he comes back to me and stops running, but Alice’s adrenalin keeps pumping and she keeps grrrring at him and pushing the muzzle into his neck quite aggressively. This is when I step in, but it’s hard to calm her down when the rush is still there. 

I know from seeing how Daisy has stopped running that if Comet didn’t want to be chased he wouldn’t run, so I don’t intervene unless Alice gets too over-the-top. But my worry is that Alice is learning that this is how she interacts with other dogs and that she’ll become even more of a problem to walk with other dogs. So far she is much more subdued when we walk with other dogs (she was fine with Adrian’s 4 dogs on Friday), but I can see from her body language that every so often the adrenalin will start pumping - she’s looking around for prey rather than just trotting along with the other dogs and sniffing things. That’s when she’ll start goading Comet, even when other dogs are around. If any of the other dogs start chasing her she stops, but if they don’t then she’ll keep trying to bring Comet down. I’m not sure what to do about this, but for now I’m trying to take them out with other dogs as much as I can. I’m going to think more about how it is that the adrenalin rush and excitement can stop suddenly when there are other dogs there who start intervening. Maybe if I watch more closely what is going on I’ll be able to work out how to trigger that myself.