Thursday, September 11, 2008

...And your little dog, too

I just recently got back from visiting Panama. Although rain was forecasted for this afternoon, I managed to lunge him before it started.

The owner of the property has two medium-sized dogs. The female is pretty sweet and laid back, but the male is very demanding about getting attention. Every day when I arrive, I go through the same hassle trying to get him to not jump up on me. When he wants attention he starts whining and squirming around, and after a moment starts jumping like crazy. It's like his excitement builds and builds until he can't contain himself any longer.

The male dog also gets really excited whenever I'm doing anything with Panama, particularly when I'm giving commands. A couple days ago, he got in Panama's way when I was lunging him, and Panama lowered his head and did this funny little prance-and-stomp with his front legs. The dog got out of the way pretty quickly, which was good because it looked like Panama was aiming right at him!

Today the dog offered a variation: Instead of getting in Panama's way, he ran around the circle right behind him, barking periodically. At first Panama handled being chased while lunging reasonably well — he didn't once try to speed up or run away.

After a while, though, Panama started making his annoyance clear. A few times he spotted the dog, lowered his head, and took off running right after him! The first time I was so surprised I didn't scold him; thankfully he stopped when he reached the end of the lunge line and remembered I was holding it. After that I started scolding him for it, because what I really don't need is to be yanked off my feet by an annoyed, overweight pony chasing a dog through the backyard!

It's a great mental image, though, isn't it? :o)



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