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A dog that dislikes men 2

Following on from last weeks article, the dog in question came back again for another overnight stay. I cannot say I was optimistic that he would have improved but as it turned out, he was learning quickly how to avoid my capturing tactics.

The owners arrived and we had a brief discussion about the upcoming beginner’s class and their dog’s man problem. They said that their dog was considerably anxious about a man working in their garden, but this did not make any sense. All I could do was hope that this time he would come and enter the house.

I took the dog into the Thursday training class without any sign of a problem. During playtime, the dogs ran round the field enjoying themselves. Once the class had finished and everyone had gone, the dogs staying with me, continued to play until it was their mealtime.

As on the previous visits, the dog would not come anywhere near the door and he just remained outside. He could see his food but there was no way I could put it down inside the kitchen without the other dogs stealing it. Nor was I going to close the door and place it outside for him. My feeling was if he was hungry, he would or should come inside.

Once the other dogs had eaten, I opened all the doors into the house. All the other dogs lay inside near the fire, but there was just this one dog sitting in my drive looking into the house. What was he thinking?

I eventually fell asleep on the settee, waking at about 1am with the dog still sitting outside. He had to come into the house, but how.

I showed him his meal again and then I walked towards the door, but he did not follow. It did not appear he feared me even though the closer I got to him the more he backed away.

In the end, I went into the house to collect a lead (Leash) and torch in the hope that if I were outside, he might go into the house to keep away from me. That did not work. Trying to catch him or corner him in the garden would be impossible, as there are too many places to take cover. For this reason, I made him go into the agility field. Once in there, I closed the gate and walked directly towards him until he went into the obedience field. Here there is nowhere for him to hide from me, so I was going to try some Dog Whispering.

I have still not constructed a lunging ring, as there are only a few cases where it proves useful. Using such a ring like this, I can stand in the middle and make the dog run round the edge. This shows that I am in control, not the dog. The intention is to make the dog understand I am the Alpha. He must learn the only way to stop me sending him round and round with no way out, is to come and submit to me. Once he does this, the dog should be willing to follow me anywhere I go. That is fine if I had such a ring but I do not. This field though is L shaped and large, but like a ring, there is no way exit.

Wherever he went, I followed, always walking directly towards him with my little torch that has twin blue lights you can recharge by squeezing a leaver. A neighbour looking out of their window might have wondered if there was a blue-eyed alien floating round my field at 2 am in the morning.

I must have walked for nearly forty-five minutes before I could see him begin to hesitate. Eventually he just sat by the gate without cowering, allowing me to put his lead on him. When we were nearing the house, he dug his feet in, not wishing to go any further. I did not stop and reluctantly he followed, but what was it he feared about entering the house. We may never know what happened to him before he ended up in the dog shelter but certainly, something scares him.

The odd thing was, once inside with the back door closed, he became a different dog. He was friendly, glad to have his meal, followed me into the lounge, and sat by me as I watched the television, just like the other dogs.

There could be two reasons for this. The first is what ever he feared did not happen, so once inside the kitchen he was fine. It was just this entering into the house and possibly, he vividly remembers some form of aggressive chastisement, but I do not know.

The other reason could be that the house is just like the lunging ring. Once the door is closed, there is no way out, so again it could be submission towards me until he is outside again. The only thing is he does not show signs of submission towards me, once he is inside the house.

After I adopted Winston from APASA, at first he too would not come into my house. I can only think that some people who assessed him for themselves did not allow him inside their property. Again, I am guessing. For Winston he soon came inside when I placed his food bowl in the kitchen. Winston does love his food.

The next morning I let all the dogs out as normal. Just as a test, I clipped a lead onto the dog so if I could get close enough to him, I could call him and stand on this to stop him running away. Unfortunately, Ruby, who was staying with me, liked chasing and catching this lead. Eventually she chewed right through it, leaving only a short length dangling from his collar.

I tried calling him, but he just went as far away from me as he could. These once a week stays were not working and if anything, he was only learning more ways on how to avoid me.

Before the dog starts in the next class, the owners would like to discuss what methods we could use that may solve this problem. At the moment, I am simply trying to appreciate why he is this way. Once I do understand him, then I hope to find some way to solve this problem, not just towards me, but also towards all men. I will keep you informed.

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