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Dominance

The Dogtor is in

This morning, Blondie (as usual) came with me when I came out out into the yard to feed and exercise The Rowdy Boys. They ate their kibbles then had a nice long run and were finally worn out and ready for cookies. Once they were back in their pens I asked Blondie if she wanted to come into the shop with me. “No thanks” she said, “the weather is nice yet and I want to sit in the yard and enjoy it.”

office
Doug’s Office Workstation

Doing all my “work” in my office used to be my standard arrangement: work was done in the office; when I went home, I was “off-duty”. But then I was mostly doing woodworking. Since I turned more to writing, it’s harder to schedule “work” times for I am often hit by a sudden idea that needs to be put down ASAP. And our house is a lot more pleasant and comfortable than my crowded, grungy office space in the workshop.

Two days ago our area was experiencing power blips: off-on, off-on real quick several times, followed by a 30 minute power outage. Perhaps coincidentally (but perhaps not) when the power came back on we had no LAN access in the house.

Investigation showed that the network expander that pulls the wireless LAN signal into the house from my office in the workshop was dead. I ordered a replacement, but it will take a few days to get here. Until then, network access, especially Internet access, is iffy, when available at all. And when I can get a signal, it’s too week to do anything ambitious. So, when it’s time for me to do any work on-line, I’m off to my office instead of lounging with my laptop at home.

When it started to rain Blondie was barking at me, “Dougie, Dougie, It’s time to go IN Dougie!” I tried Blondieto get her to come up the new ramp into the shop. No dice. I tried to get her to come in the shop the old way; via the gate, no dice. Every time I called, “Come, Blondie!” she turned and trotted up the chute to the house. A few moments later she’d walk back to see where I was and why I wasn’t following her to the back door.

Just last night I was reading a dog training book about how to deal with strong-willed dogs. The trainer was citing a client with a dog that demands his attention at inopportune times and and insists on having her own way all the time. The trainers answer was to re-educate the dog my reinforcing the concept that he – the human – was the boss. Do that by insisting that she – the dog – sit before he gives her the kibble bowl or any treats. Insist that she comply with some instruction (like sit, shake, or speak) before she gets any petting. It seemed like good advice, and I remembered it this morning as Blondie was insisting that I leave the workshop and come to the house to open the door for her.

I called her, I promised her cookies, I whistled, all to no avail. When I walked toward her to try to take her by the collar and lead her (gently) to the shop, she took my approach as compliance and ran up the chute to the back door, forcing me to retreat once again.

Eventually I caved and just let her in the house, we were both getting soaked. But she got upset when I didn’t stay with her. What can I say: she made her choice. I don’t have one: to do any work I have to be in the office. But I’ll see her at lunch time, and maybe I’ll stay home this afternoon. It’s supposed to thunderstorm and she’s terrified of thunderstorms. So I guess she wins again, but she IS happy to “shake” when I give her treats!


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