Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Keeping up with the dogs - rough times and muddy times

I need to walk the dogs more consistently. I'm pretty good at getting them around the block at least once a day during good weather. Frog won't go outside if it's raining. Angel requires much more exercise than Frog. It's tough to find that balance, especially when Frog doesn't want to be left behind. It's also tough to take multiple excursions because you have two very different dogs.

Angel wants to run and play fetch.... I mean... run 3 miles. She did the Couch to 5k training with me. She drags me. She likes to play with and chase other dogs. She typically ignores people. She comes to me when I call her about 95% of the time.

Frog likes to run sometimes, but not very far, unless he sees something he wants. He's just worked up to walking 3 miles without dragging his feet that last mile. Frog loves all people and runs to them as soon as he sees or hears them. Then, he jumps all over them wanting attention. It's terrible if they are toddlers because he'll knock them to the ground. He wants your cuddles, love, and kisses... and your dog treats that he just KNOWS you have in your pocket. Frog fears all dogs, I think. He runs around them in circles barking for about the first 5 minutes he's around them. He'll run and play afterwards, IF the other dog and owner can tolerate his behavior long enough. Dogs are good at getting other dogs to chill out, if you just give them some time and space. I started Frog in puppy tweener classes when he was only 4 months old, and he's always been around lots of other dogs. I'm not sure what started this behavior. Also, if Frog sees something he wants, he will respond to me calling him about.. 20% of the time. Yeah.

Angel with run to beat Frog to all other dogs. She then gets them to play chase. Eventually, Frog catches up to them. He begins his ridiculous barking and circling routine until Angel is in such an excited and anxious state of mind that she begins attacking (light nips, mostly to the back of their neck like what a mother dog would do to pups) the other dog trying to force them into submission (trying to flip and pin them). In the process, she'll also jump on Frog trying to grab the back of his neck while barking in a way that makes me think she's saying, "Shut up! You're freaking me out!!!" It's like his anxiety and excited state of mind flips a switch in her that makes her go from a happy, playful dog to the territorial alpha female. At this stage, all of their senses have shut down. I have to catch up to them and either step in between them all to demand they go "AWAY" or drag them off by their collars. It depends on how excited they get. Spraying them with water works too. Nothing else.

So you see my dilemma? I can't constantly take the time to take them out separately, but I also get tired of chasing them. I hate that I have to keep Frog on a leash in the park 75% of the time while Angel gets to roam free chasing the ball. Frog will run away after children and other people with dogs. I think what I've figured out today, is that I can take them out on forest walks in less desirable weather. It was really foggy, muddy, and misty today. However, they got their exercise, and we ran into fewer people than on nicer days. The walk today was really muddy, and thus, so were they! HAHA. We only had once incident like what I described above where Angel was playing with another dog, and then Frog drove her to madness. I walked in between them, said 'Away!', and Frog and Angel left the dog alone. Frog stopped walking and was looking to go back a couple of times but because Angel and I kept moving, he decided to stay with the pack.  Here are some pictures from today.

The mud and puddles didn't seem to bother Angel, but Frog generally tried to walk around all puddles.

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