2 steps forward, 85 back

Maverick is dog reactive. We’ve been working hard on this for 2 years, at least. We’ve made some progress, I thought. We’d been able to pass some dogs on the sidewalk without issue, I could almost always get his attention away from the other dog and break the stare, and I was feeling hopeful that we were past the worst.

Then today happened. We went to the park, the paths aren’t great so I was picking my way through the snow when he decided to sniff, deeply, nose in the snow up to his eyes. It’s cold and my coat has a huge hood. I didn’t see the girl coming up behind us with the hound type dog. But Maverick did. He pulled the leash out of my hand and ran at the other dog, barking and growling.

No physical damage was done, I managed to get his leash and pull him back, the other girl managed to get her dog safely away. She was so nice, I kept apologizing and she kept saying, “it’s okay, he’s just being a dog.”

We went back to the car. I cried for ten minutes while Maverick panted happily in the back seat, seemingly quite proud of himself.

So it’s back to basics. We won’t go back to the park till this is under control again. We’re going to work hard on the “watch” command till he whips his head around to me whenever there’s another dog in the vicinity.

We’ll figure it out. No one said it would be easy, and if they did, they lied.

There have been coyote sightings in my neighborhood. Coyotes don’t like dogs, especially big dogs, especially when there’s a femaie in heat. Consequently, Maverick is confined to the house after dark until the Bear gets home. I told Bear that I supposed I could take my Glock along if I take Maverick out, but he didn’t think that me with a loaded gun and a dog who pulls like a tank was a good idea. Sometimes he has no faith in me. πŸ™‚ (I would probably shoot my toe but we won’t talk about that)

So Maverick is grounded for a bit, from the park, and from his nightly outings. (He goes out before dark, it’s not that many hours that he’s inside).

I think I have enough booze in the house to survive this.

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17 Responses to 2 steps forward, 85 back

  1. Bitey Dog says:

    I remember those days so well. Hopefully Maverick will mature enough to not want to chase everything he sees. With Geordie, no amount of training seemed to help, just aging. (Maybe make a quick trip to the liquor store just in case?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mav will get the hang of it. Perhaps you’ll live long enough to see it happen. I mean, there’s a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thankfully, Maverick was put into the hands of two people who understand forgiveness and aren’t quick to physical punishment when their four-legged child misbehaves. And thankfully, the other person in the park was pleasant and composed and forgiving as well. What happened in the part wasn’t a good event, but even I can imagine how much worse it COULD have been. Take comfort in that!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can one really make a dog not react to another dog or is that just part of a dog’s nature? Just curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it takes a lot of time and hard work but it can be done. Actually, I should define “react.’ it’s not THAT he reacts, it’s HOW. He can look at another dog, even be interested, but the lunging and barking is not acceptable. We’ll get there!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ReginaMary says:

    Oh, Maverick! You should leave the other dogs be. That’s what Razz does. He looks away and begs me to take him to see tiny humans instead.
    I am sorry you had such a difficult time with Maverick. Be careful with those coyotes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what we’re working towards, having him look at me instead of the other dog. It will take time but we’ll do it. I know we can.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ReginaMary says:

        Still just a puppy! πŸ™‚ We have a dog park nearby, but Razz doesn’t care for other dogs and I don’t care much for people! We are quite the match!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I used to take Max to dog park. He was the gentlest dog in the world, loved everyone and every dog. But we witnessed a few fights among dogs and people and when the three pit bulls came after him, after the GSD and the Rottweiler – whose owner thought it was funny – tried to attack him, (I nearly got arrested that day, remind me to tell that story sometime) we stopped going. I wouldn’t take Maverick there, he’s intact and that sets off a lot of male dogs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ReginaMary says:

        Oh, Suzie! You go girl! I pity the fool who messes with my boys-two and four legged alike!


  6. Peachy says:

    Oh Maverick! Sending blessings & good luck sparklies to you, love you!!

    Liked by 1 person

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