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Thread: Banjo's social life

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Canberra
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    Default Banjo's social life

    Even though I didn't discard the validity of what the dog trainer tried to teach me in our one on one, I just haven't known what to do with it. And not even been able to come up with any questions to ask her. The main thing I've taken away from it though is that whether or not Banjo socialises with other dogs should be largely her choice. And I show that to her by casually calling her and walking off 5 seconds after any meeting with a strange dog. So she knows that interacting with other dogs isn't the goal of our outing.

    It seems to work. She seems happy in the knowledge that walking away is an acceptable way of dealing with any sort of bad vibes she might get from these meetings. We've had the occasional spat still. Either because I wasn't walking, like when we were relaxing on the beach recently, or when the other dog doesn't take no for an answer, which fortunately seems to happen rarely now we avoid the dog park.

    The best spot for socialising is still our big off leash area in our old suburb. It really is the ideal dog walking spot. Today we met there with my friend with the great dane. The same dog Banjo snapped at for no apparent reason the first time she met him. Even when she was younger and still very sociable, she was wary of large dogs. So today it was heart warming to watch her invite him to play and then trying to figure out how to play with a dog twice her size.

    She did growl at him twice, but it was totally appropriate. He stole the sticks she retrieved from the pond out of her mouth when she wasn't even halfway to shore. After she told him off for that the second time, I noticed he stopped doing it, so that turned out to be effective communication.

    The pond was crazy too. We laughed so much. A great dane, a ball obsessed bc, a Spaniel, a couple of JRT and foxies, and our Banjo all having their own kind of fun in and around the water and with eachother.

    I wish we could live closer to that place still...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Mid North Coast NSW
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    388

    Default

    Sounds to me like you've come away with some valuable stuff Beloz, even if it was only this one thing, it seems it's made both Banjo's and your outings much more manageable and enjoyable. That to me is a win

    Lovely to hear Banjo's having some nice playtime and her anxiety around other dogs has eased.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
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    3,082

    Default

    Banjo seems happy to socialise in most conditions. That's more than i can say for myself beloz, or my dogs. Bernie is perfect gent around other dogs, but i can tell you, he doesnt give a rats arse about other dogs, he's only into his family, he often doesnt notice other dogs, he's busy watching me. Id love for him to play, to chase something fast as he is for once! But alas no. He just isnt interested in dogs outside of his family.

    and Banjo's telling off dogs is fine in my book. I dont discourage it, for eg. who am i to say that Bernie's high pitched rant he goes into when hollering at the fur kids here, is wrong, it works for goodness sake lol
    Imagine, your kid throws fave teddy into river, you HAVE to go in and get it, or you'll not get any sleep for a week, just as your clambering out onto the bank, a person comes along and steals the teddy! Id be hollering too! like you say, it was justified. in that instance anyhow.

    Who's needs are you trying to meet here?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
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    I'm so enjoying observing Banjo with this stuff.

    For the past 4 days, there's been a tradie's dog across the street. Possible ridgeback cross or similar. Looks a bit like a dingo maybe too. First time they met when we went out for our morning walk, there was lots of posturing going on from both of them. Stiff legs, hackles up, circling. So I called Banjo after 5 seconds. I see her trying to come to me, but the dog followed her and then she stopped, obviously feeling threatened. This happened a few times but I kept encouraging her to come to me (wasn't using our recall cue) and finally she gathered the courage to just keep walking and I was so thrilled that she experienced that turning your back and walking away really can work, even if the other dog is threatening to follow.

    The second morning was pretty much the same, though Banjo let out a frustrated little whine while she looked at the dog across the street form our front lawn just before we went back in.

    The next morning started the same until finally Banjo started wagging her tail and eventually performed a subtle little play bow. The other dog still took some convincing but after a while they started racing around together, with Banjo acting like a clown and the other dog being still a bit standoffish, but friendly and interested.

    This morning I saw the other dog put her paw on Banjo's back in a playful move. So very cute to watch this gradual process. Bit like a time-lapse series.

    Oh and I forgot to mention that during these interactions, I made sure I praised Banjo for calming signals and I noticed that she used them more and more each day. Probably because she felt less of a need to posture back as time went on too, but I was happy I had an opportunity to try enforce this. She was always really good with that kind of body language and it's as if she is remembering again now. And I am left wondering if there is something about the dog park environment that encourages dogs to ignore calming signals?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    se qld
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    836

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    dog park environment

    Is a large number of dogs in a small (often fenced) area
    and that is not natural or comfortable for many dogs.
    Add humans yelling commands and the odd one belting their dog they are mostly a very bad enviroment.

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