• Caroline Yon

    April 29, 2016 at 10:25 am

    thanks Michael, I completely agree.  I have noticed when we have been doing Customs work that I have to be very careful and tell people not to try and touch her – I usually just say it’s because she’s working and so isn’t allowed play with strangers.  However the main reason is that she can be a bit sharp.  She does not like people approaching her and standing over her or putting their hands near her head.  She will snap at them, mostly as she can’t escape them as she is on the leash.  She is pretty obedient.  If I ask her to sit/stay she will wait and I can leave her in the middle of the warehouse with forklifts banging around (obviously not near where the dog is), and people walking up and down and she won’t move as long as they ignore her completely as all the staff know to do.  I have been working a lot on basic obedience, heel, sit, down, stay and she is responsive.  Her recall is good 98% of the time – although if she is exercising with all of my dogs and there’s a rabbit to be chased then I’m afraid it all goes a bit wrong.  Pack mentality takes over.  She and the other dogs will come back but at the initial instant of the chase I have no hope of stopping them.  It’s about 30 to 40 seconds before I can get their attention.  Having said that, we have feral sheep and I can now stop all the dogs before the chase.  I think they have figured out chasing sheep has consequences but rabbits are fair game.  I know I need to work on getting her to stop/sit/down at distance from me and would really appreciate some guidance with that.  We did have a situation yesterday when an acquaintance of mine came to the house when we were out.  I have 7 dogs at the house at the moment (2 are boarding) and the guy took the decision to come through the gate.  The dogs don’t know him particularly well and apparently Quma had a good go at grabbing his leg.  Luckily he’s a military guy and had his fatigues on and they withstood her teeth quite well.  Also, luckily, he’s big enough to admit he was an idiot for entering the house without permission so to speak.  What it did show me is that Quma has got some instinct to protect.  If you can help me build her defensive skills and confidence and also give me some pointers on how to keep her from becoming a liability or out of control that would be fantastic.  Yes I want her to protect me but only from real threats not the whole world!!