Saturday, May 21, 2011

Shocking Transformation

So, I haven't really talked about this much but Piper has not been a fan of Vladdy since ... well, day one.  He has wanted to play with her all along but every time he gets near her she runs for her bed or my lap or the couch where he can't get to her and then she'll hunker down and growl or even snap at him.  She stopped wanting to go outside if he was going too which, of course, he always was.  It's been troubling to me because I've had Piper for such a long time and the last thing that I wanted to do was make her uncomfortable and insecure in what has been her home for so long.

Then last week I started recording Dog Whisperer reruns on TiVo because I realized I needed some help.  To my luck the third episode that I captured addressed the precise issue I was having.  Older dog is a good dog, younger dog comes in and he's neurotic and strong and overpowering.  The owner isn't doing what needs to be done to control and direct the puppy so the older dog goes through a series of emotions.  First she feels afraid and insecure because she can sense that the puppy is in an unhealthy, neurotic frame of mind.  Then she decides that if the owner isn't going to deal with the situation she has no choice but to take matter into her own jaws and she starts snapping at and attacking the puppy but then the owner stops her and basically undermines everything she tries to do so the last step is complete and total avoidance of the puppy.

In just two weeks Piper has gone through every single one of those steps.  My bad!  So we started taking more control of Vladdy, keeping him on a leash even in the house so that we can correct him when he tries to jump on her or chase the cats.  Correcting him faster and with a stronger energy when he starts to bark or whine when he's not getting the attention that he wants, and making him sit and wait for things like food, to come out of his kennel, and to go outside or come inside.  Well there has already been a significant change in Piper in relationship to us, she's less clingy and more confident, but she still hadn't really changed her attitude toward Vladdy.

So last night I had Vladdy on a leash and he was DYING to chase Kody.  No matter how many times I corrected him or told him no he would be lunging at the end of the leash seconds later.  Kody wasn't helping because he kept darting in and out of Vladdy's bubble egging him on but I'd like for Vladdy to learn to just ignore Kody no matter what he's doing like Piper does.  So I finally laid Vladdy down on his side, which Cesar Milan does from time to time as a show of dominance and assertion and to get a dog to relax.  Well ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!  He started scrabbling and fighting and scratching and even tried biting me.  Wow ... no wonder Piper wasn't comfortable with him.  I had no idea he was THAT bad!  So I held him down, draped an arm over him and just wrestled it out with him for over 45 minutes of howling and fighting.  Every time he would stop and I would think it was over he would start right back up again so I just stayed with it and then it was like an almost audible "click" as his brain turned over.  He just ... relaxed.  His body, his mind, everything.  He just gave up and accepted it.  I could feel it but I wasn't ready to trust it because I wasn't sure how long it was going to last but Piper, apparently, knew something that I didn't know.

Out of the blue after an hour of completely ignoring the drama between Vladdy and I she suddenly jumped out of her bed, ran over, and started inviting Vladdy to play.  SHOCK!!!  GASP!!!  Well I hadn't officially released Vladdy yet so I told Piper to get back and sit and wait, which she did well because she's already a great dog.  When I had her calmly waiting at a comfortable distance I let Vladdy up, took the leash off and the two of them tumbled and wrestled and played for 20-30 minutes and then they both spent the night together in Vladdy's kennel and Vladdy was completely silent all night long and even after Snackers woke up this morning.  This morning started off with more play and then Piper went in Vladdy's kennel and laid down so I put Vladdy in there with her and they're laying silently together.  No barking or whining from Vladdy to be let out ... wow.  Life changer!

8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 fish sandwich w/cheese
>>tartar sauce
>>tomato, onion, pickles
1 serving fries
Daily Caloric Intake: 832

6 flights of stairs
Walking: (w/Vladdy, Piper, and Snackers) 4.4 miles! WAHOO!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That's pretty amazing. I might have to start watching that show, LOL.