Yesterday I visited two great characters, Tom and Sidney, two Miniature Schnauzers who have just come back from Singapore. They now have a very different lifestyle. In Singapore the doors to the garden were always open so the dogs were free to come and go, but dogs were not allowed off lead at all outside. The lady had a helper who did most things for the dogs – walking, feeding, grooming, playing and so on. I suspect the dogs may have thought she was their servant as well!
Now Tom and Sidney are in cold wet England! They may be a little unsettled because it is a big change, and their lady owner is learning what to do with them. Tom is easier because he fortunately will do anything for a food reward, but Sidney is very clever and food doesn’t do it! He only responds if he so chooses! He has no recall, either from the garden or when out. I found when I was there that outwitting Sidney worked well. He ran out when I arrived (the front was gated) and the lady went out to try to get him in. I suggested we went in and shut the door loudly. He was there in a trice!
Tom’s face looks as if he is wondering what restrictions my presence might impose on his future lifestyle! There will be a few fair rules and boundaries that, once decided upon, must be consistently stuck to.
There dogs need to learn to walk nicely together on loose leads. Before Sidney can be let off lead again after a hare-chasing episode last week, there is a lot of work to be done on his recall. However, for him to want to come when called, he must see the point. Whilst he thinks dogs rule people, then why should he come? So, there is work to be done at home also!