We made the switch from a quilted backseat cover to a backseat hammock (Amazon: Zone Tech Back Seat Pet Hammock), Mac seems to like it a lot better. For folks that are in the market for a seat cover, I did a quick video review over the weekend, hope this helps somebody!
Thanks to all the comments on the earlier entry - when Andy brought Sumo over to my house to "test the water," we decided to approach this home visit with a few added strategies.
- Seeing how they met before and worked things out once already, we skipped the baby gate. This worked because Sumo was extremely submissive and never challenged Mac.
- We let Mac and Sumo meet in a neutral territory first and went for a walk together.
- After the walk, Mac and I stayed outside the house while we let Sumo a chance to explore the house without Mac patroling him. This is so that when Mac is in the house with Sumo, Sumo will not be exploring
the house which agitate Mac the Majesty.
- Once they are comfortable with each other in a location, we proceed to another location of the house.
Overall things went a lot smoother compared to last visit. It is probably a combination of them already met each other before, the more gradual and organized introductory process, and me not flipping out each time Mac breathed down Sumo's neck. We figure one more visit like this and I should feel comfortable enough to board Sumo when Andy goes on vacation! Yay for new playmate!
Below is a collection of videos from this session, less scary moments and more play time, I promise!
PS - In an effort to keep things more organized, I created a new YouTube channel for Mac instead of lumping all my videos together. If you are interested in getting notification on new video updates, please check out the channel and subscribe!
Check out this absolutely gorgeous video done by strapping a GoPro to a Great Dane puppy. The dogs at this park seems a bit crazy! (or maybe it's the slow-motion)
This topic may be controversial: How should you act when another dog is acting up towards yours at a dog park?
The entire conversation can be read by clicking on the thumbnail to the right (with name/pic masked off for privacy, btw, the last author actually "Liked" her own reply, she must have felt very strongly about it). It started with people complaining about a pair of standard sized Poodle terrorizing a local dog park, with the owner not able to do anything to stop them. All of the people that complained about the pair ended up just leaving the park, and some don't even enter the park if they see the Poodles there.
I find it ridiculous that so many people know and complain about them, but nothing had been done. I guess we don't like confrontation. This brings me to my main question: if a dog in the dog park is behaving badly towards yours, whether it be humping or excessive bullying, and the owner is either no where around or does not care, what can you do?
I can tell you now, if Mac is obviously in distress and your dog is pinning him down and you are not right on top of them, I am going to push your dog off of him, whether it is the proper etiquette or not. The well being of my dog is way more important than what you or everybody else at the dog park think of me.
As to less immediate behaviors like humping, I am on the fence. Should you be allowed to nudge the dog off yours, or should you be completely hands off and pray the owner would do something soon?
If there is one controversial thing in the dog world, it would be Cesar Millan and his method of training. If you are reading my blog, I assume most of you are already familiar with The Dog Whisper and his works. The reason I bring him up is because a recent thread on Shibainuforum.org re-surfaced and I started reading through it. Which got me thinking and did some more research online.
While I personally prefer the Positive Reinforcement method and have doubt about the whole alpha rolling and domination mentality, I do believe there are merits in some of Cesar's advice - especially staying calm & assertive and properly exercising your dog. I am not sure if I buy the whole energy thing, maybe it is the choice of word - as soon as I hear "energy" I think hippie marketing catch-phrase.
Up until this point all the pro-Cesar arguments I read online had been made by people who were terrible at getting their points across - until today. I read a great exchange between a pro-Cesar member and another dog trainer: http://www.dogspelledforward.com/cesar-millan-review-bella/
The blog entry was written nicely, but the gem is the discussion that happened in the comments, especially when user "calmassertive" came in.
I do not agree with everything either party said and I have my own point of view, but it is good to see a pro-Cesar member actually making some great points. The exchange really helped me take a better look at how realistic each approach is and helped draw my own conclusion.
Here's a cute little story that's worth a read:
Instant Dog Mom
Yesterday was a beautiful day in Maryland, so Mac met up with Hiro at the local dog park's small dog section.
I really feel Mac's tolerance for other dogs went down drastically over the winter. His behavior reminds me of early last year, just a lot of get-away-from-me-growling and barking. The good thing is that I have been through it before so I am pretty comfortable addressing all the issues this time around. Things got heated when Mac and a Beagal both wanted the same ball and nearly broke out in a fight, but that was easily separated and they acted like nothing happen afterwards so I suppose it was only a loud quarrel. One interesting observation is that after the initial 30 minutes, Mac seems to be used to all the new sights and sounds and started behaving more like what I remembered him from later part of last year, eager to meet new dogs and no longer growly. I think that means I need to keep up the socialization and re-acclimate him to meeting and playing with new dogs.
For most part of the hour and a half we were there, Old Man Mac pretty much just watched and roamed by himself, but things changed after a 8 months old Sheltie came into the park. Mac apparently likes him a lot and joined him and Hiro in play! It was great to finally see Hiro and Mac playing together!