|Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 1:12pm PST |
|I should have explained how it all plays out, but I didn't want to get too long winded.
Moose zeroes in on the puppies. A few puppies, that I haven't seen in a few weeks, adore Moose and Moose is good with them, but all other pups Moose sees, he immediately goes into bully mode.
I watch him like a hawk when I see anything that looks younger than a year old. Once I see Moose even glance in the pups direction, I put myself between Moose and the pup and interrupt Moose's action as best as I can.
As time has gone on, Moose isn't listening to me as well when I tell him to "leave it" when it comes to going over to puppies. He used to listen to that command gorgeously, but not so much lately.
Here's what happened this morning-- It was Ridgeback meet up day at the beach. One of Moose's best buddies is a 18 month old RR. He idolizes this particular Ridgeback, so as the RR's showed up, it looked like it was going to be fun for Moose.
Within 5 minutes of us being there, a 7 month old RR shows up. I see Moose zero in on him (I think he was intact) and before I can take a step, Moose starts his bullying. But, this guy wasn't going to have any of it. He got a bit snarky with Moose and Moose immediately backs off, tries again and the Ridgeback just won't have it. So, as much as Moose wants to be a tough guy to this young RR, it just isn't going to happen, so Moose ends up just playing chase with him.
Then a 5 month old RR showed up and I instantly saw Moose zero in on him. I quickly leashed Moose and waited to see if he would not focus on the little guy so much. When Moose's attention went elsewhere, I unleashed him. Once I saw Moose seeking out the pup again, I'd chase Moose down, leash him and wait.
When I'd unleash him, he'd play chase with the 7 month old and his best RR buddy. If his attention then went to the 5 month old, a few times I told him to "leave it" and he did. He was doing pretty good. But then, a few more RR pups showed up and I knew there was no way I could stay there. And when he was leashed, it was torturous for him to watch everyone running around, so we went to the other part of the beach.
(Before we left though, a regular at the beach showed up. She's a 10 month old Berner who doesn't even trigger Moose's bullying. She's not passive or quiet. She's all puppy, but Moose doesn't feel the need to bully her. Yesterday the two of them played the whole time we walked the long part of the beach).
We did bump into some other puppies while Moose was leashed and he didn't try to bully when one came up to sniff. Moose postured a little bit, but he didn't have any follow through. Maybe being leashed takes his confidence away.
I have no problem leashing Moose as needed. And if we have to leave because of it, so be it. I'll carry his long line with me next time and if he needs to be on it, I'll give it a try. And I'll start working again on "leave it" and other listening skills.
Moose's bullying is only with dogs younger than him. Any dog his age or older, Moose is quite polite to. He, for the most part, leaves elderly dogs alone and idolizes dogs between the ages of 2-4.
If any dog corrects Moose, even some puppies, Moose takes it. Moose understands. He's never snarked back at a correction.
Edited by author Sun Feb 10, '13 1:18pm PST
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