Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The tantrums continue. This morning as we left the house, Rockwell was fine but we passed a mother with a small child. I am not good with kids' ages so I guess this one was maybe four years old? Anyway, something transpired between them and the kid started wailing and the mother was pulling him along. I looked back at her as Rockwell was hauling me off to a particular patch of grass and mutual sympathy and understanding passed between us.

Later over at the reflecting pond, Rockwell decided he would play tug of war with his leash so I stood there and ignored him. And stood there, and stood there. At one point, he decided he needed a better purchase on the leash so he let go and re-grabbed but since my back was to him and since the leash was attached to my wrist which was also behind my back, he actually bit me on the bum as he went for the leash! Of course, I am not wounded except in dignity. It took him a while before he gave it up and decided he would rather have my attention than play with the leash.

I find it interesting that before I decided to go with the depriving-him-of-attention ploy, I felt exhausted mentally and physically when he pulled a tantrum. Now I am tired physically because of all the pulling and trying to maintain my balance and position, but I don't feel bad mentally. I am not despairing, I don't feel bad because I'm fighting with him, and today, a passerby thought it was "cute" so I don't feel bad about how it looks either. Although, as you know, it is NOT cute. Anyway, I am happy to continue on this path for a while. And I still think he will out grow it.
Who, me?


At 10:19 a.m., May 30, 2006, Anonymous Muffy said...

Maybe the 'ignore routine' casues you less mental stress because you can look around and so can see the tantrum in the context of the world going on around you?

At 10:28 a.m., May 30, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

That's a good possibility Muffy. I was thinking it was easier because there was no confrontation. Before, I'd have him in a death grip and we'd be eyeball to eyeball, growling at each other. Now I just wait until he realizes he's not getting any attention and he stops of his own accord. Plus I don't have the old adrenaline pumping which is always stomach churning. It's probably a combination, like everything in life.

At 2:37 p.m., May 30, 2006, Blogger HanktheDog said...

Thank you for the birthday wish. Tantrums are a power struggle, so if you remove one from the struggle, the one left has to get tired of no pay off eventually. I try this on my puppy friends, but it sometimes takes lots of Labrador patience...

At 9:28 p.m., May 30, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Hank - mature Labs develop real Buddha nature.


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