Muttley and I have been for a walk. We covered a couple of miles. I say we, I’m sure he covered twice as much because he kept running off when he saw another dog!
We have been intensively training the last couple of weeks, and he is very good at sitting on command, (treats make obedience worthwhile), and he is very good at recall when we are on a walk. Unless there is another dog. Especially a black dog that vaguely looks like my mum’s dog from a distance.
Muttley is a staffy. So it has ALWAYS been a worry mixing with other dogs since we got him. He was a 9 month old when he came to us. The family had had him from a puppy of a few weeks, but hadn’t socialised him and had left him in a cage for a large chunk of each day. Thankfully they realised this wasn’t the best life for a staffy, and thankfully we took him on. Staffies are a misunderstood breed, and most staffy owners will tell you how soft and loveable they are. But if anything ever happened with another dog, you know the staffy would get the blame.
So mostly, out of worry and concern I have kept Muttley on an extended lead during our walks, unless we are 100% certain there are no other dogs about. But since I’ve started the intensive (re)training the last couple of weeks, I have become a bit more brave. After all, if he thinks he’s going to get a treat it’s worth coming back to me.
But there was the dog, half a mile a way, a dot in the distance, and off Muttley went at bullet speed. I would have run. Only wellies aren’t easy to run in! So I walked, calling, trying to sound calm and collected. Until I got to them. The owner was fortunately fine, I put Muttley back on the lead, and apologised. He did just want to play. He’s a lover, not a fighter! But he did not come back when I called! Argh!
So off we walked in an opposite direction. No black dogs about, nothing close by. I told him to sit, gave him a treat, looked around once more and let him off. But he had clocked the dalmantion! A dalmation! Doesn’t even look like my mum’s dog! Argh! Again, I called, was ignored, and walked closer. This time he actually did come to heel, just once, but once enough to get him on the lead!
Third time lucky, yes? A new dog was on the field, but surely we were far enough away that he won’t run off? I managed a couple of times of calling to heel and giving a treat before new dog was spotted and off he ran!
“And you were doing so well and looking so impressive from a distance!” laughed the owner. I apologised for my dog having no recall skills, and no knowledge of boundaries, as I again put him on the lead.
But over all I am relieved. He wanted to play with each dog, there was no animosity. We just need to work on that recall, and Muttley needs to learn when a dog has had enough!
Off home we wandered. 2 miles, 5000 steps covered. And here I shall spend the rest of the day, chillaxing. I’m bloated today, my muscles obviously in need of repair, and so I shall be obedient and rest. The last thing I want is an injury with 15 weeks to go before the marathon.
Happy #janathon the 13th!