February 1, 2011

Oliver at show-handling class, Day 1

Oliver and I were at a show-handling class last night.  He has already gone through one set of show-handling classes already and this will be his second set of show-handling classes.  Last night was day 1.

Together, we hadn't done these in a while and we both were a bit out of practice.  Oliver is the only table dog in the class and is surrounded by very large puppies and dogs.  One puppy, an Akita, was only 16 weeks old and is already three time the size of Oliver.  Needles to say, Oliver was feeling out-sized and out-numbered.  His poor tail was down for most of the class.  Now can you blame him?

Oliver was in front of a large Collie.  I noticed when Oliver was away from the Collie his tail would come back up and when the Colliee returned, his tail would go back down.  I could also tell he was stressed becasue he kept yawning and that is a sign dogs are feeling stressed in their current environment.

Later on, Oliver was infront of a Bull Mastif, and he seemed to be much more relaxed with him around instead of the Collie.  Can he not tell the size difference between the Bull Mastif and the Collie?  Maybe Oliver's fears were loosely based on size and based more on something else.

We will see what happens next class.

Secret Lives of Pretty In Pink Dogs

1 comment:

  1. Your post is reassuring to me, Juanita. I find that Jack is generally stressed around large dogs, too; yet, two of his playmates are Bernese Mountain Dogs and they are *huge*! Jack will also shy away from some small dogs, usually the wiry, yappy or assertive ones. (You know, small dog syndrome.) My conclusion? Size does matter - imagine a human three times your size looking down on you and trying to "step you down" as a way of controlling you - but combined with that is a sense of the dog's energy. High energy, herding, yappy dogs, regardless of size, are not welcome. Easy going, play yard referee-types, regardless of size, are.

    I had been thinking that Jack's tendencies were a result of me coddling him or something, but even with this stage of our obedience training (manners class) where we learn how to interact (and not) with other dogs, Jack has kept his preferences.

    Then I recalled that the few Havs I've met around here have shown the same preferences as Jack, and now you report that Oliver does too. I think we have a mild-mannered, easy-going breed and they just don't like it when that easy-going, happy demeanour is challenged by the herders and bullies and hunters and pests in the doggie school yard. Anyway, that's my conclusion and I'm sticking to it!

    BTW, Jack says hello and said to tell you that it's not his fault that we haven't made it back to Grimsby since November. And he wants to know from Oliver when he gets the rewards for this extra work of performing in the ring. ;-)