Sunday, November 29, 2009

What a difference a leash, or lack thereof, makes

It was totally unbelievable. We went to the dog park this morning, and since nobody was there I let Bill and Craig run in the big part. Bill is always fine with the big dogs, in fact he enjoys them. Craig, on the other hand, has snapped at every dog he has sniffed. However, every time he met a dog he was either on leash or separated by a fence.

So this morning I got stuck. I was all the way in the back of the park when a man arrived with his Husky. At first I was determined to just wait it out and keep the dogs in the back. But then another guy arrived with two Labs. It was time for me to confront Craig's fears. I snapped on his leash and started walking forward, unsure whether I was better to keep the leash on or off. Well, Bill made the decision for me as he took Craig's leash out of my hand and the two of them started playing tug-of-war.

I didn't want Craig so riled up, so I got the leash out of Bill's mouth and eventually took it off Craig, just hoping for the best. It turned out to be a good decision! Aside from some initial growling, Craig started playing! He did great until they started chasing him. He got frightened and just started running faster, and you know what happens then...the dogs just chase after him faster! This went on for a few laps until I could get a hold of him. It was a step backwards but I don't think it completely destroyed the progress we had made. We stayed for a bit to try and make some new, happy memories for Craig to leave with and then headed out to the car. Overall, I would say this dog park trip was a big success.

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