Mac, a corgi cross dog, that lives for excitement
Its funny how randomness of life brings you together with certain people or dogs. I met Mac first when I was requested to pet sit him on occasions that both owners were working. He gets afternoon walks with myself and my dog Archie every few months or so.
On those walks around his own suburb, he spends a massive amount of time marketing territory, which my dog then remarks.
So it is always interesting seeing how such a dog goes off lead in parks where he will meet many other dogs. Will the territorial mode kick in so that he is more anti social than other dogs? This question also arises as he has as lot of food guarding issues still.
And this is where it is great that a dog is smart and knows its limitations and what its actions can cause.
When we randomly meet Mac in off lead parks, he is often high energy and on edge, not wanting to be dominated, and generally not dominating other dogs, but he is far from relaxed. This almost seems a universal trait in the few corgi crosses I have met.
This means that I trust him around my pack in the park, because I know that he knows that he doesn’t want to bring bad things on himself, but he also projects just enough unbalanced behaviour that other dogs are a little concerned about interacting, until we have walked with him enough and they can relax.
Ironically very few owners see the how social their dogs are or what problems they might encounter in parks. Perhaps after one bad experience they stop coming to parks. Perhaps the walks are far enough between that very few permanently lessons in self modification can be made.
Ironically out of the current pack of dogs I walk, one that is most similar in behaviour to Mac is probably a 12 year old Corgi Cross called Harry that I have walked three times per week for years. The issue for Harry is that my walks with him are just about the only time he has been walked off lead. Hence the amount of work I needed to do with him originally and how he is still stuck in his guard mode. He is great for recall now, and a valued member of the pack, but definitely wants interactions with other dogs on his terms.
I know the massive difference that daily off lead walks around many other social dogs would provide to these two dogs, but time, money and desire (or not even knowing) prohibit this, as it is with 99.9% of dog owners.
Is that a bad or a good thing, that owners are indifferent or don’t even know there are issues. That they think that 50 or 80% social is good enough? There are so many other things happening as 2014 draws to a close that for most people, the dog’s real happiness and balance are the last things on their mind. I am different because I took a massive pay cut to be involved in the grass roots section of the dog industry. I have devoted a fair chunk of my life to understanding and actively making dogs lives better, one dog at a time.
Mac has a very good life at home, is taken to the vet regularly and I see his owner walking him off lead when his job permits. He is cared for very responsibly, Its the dogs I NEVER see in the parks, or the ones that are still scared there, that most concerns me ..
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