Are you paying attention?
Good Sunday morning; I hope that you all have a great day today. So I tried something new yesterday and let's just say it wasn't a big hit. I get it; you are here to read, not to write although I did have one comment from Mesa's Pet Resort, a big thank you.
So onto writing; I thought I'd write about an event I saw yesterday at the park. Yep; someone out there walking their dog was my object of study again. As I always write; I'm a watcher, and I like to watch how humans interact with their dogs. I was walking the old ladies back to the car yesterday when I noticed a Dad with a young and very exhuberant golden on the end of an extension leash. We were pretty far away so I could watch them together for a long while. The Dad was fairly young and had a couple of young children with him as well.
As they entered the park the man was not focused; he seemed to be in a hurry. His young dog stopped to sniff causing him to stop at the end of the leash. The man yelled at his dog "stop it". Stop it? Don't have a quick sniff? The dog bounded around and she then had to pee; she squatted down as the Dad was still walking. Again he came to an abrupt halt at the end of the leash and yanked on it "what are you doing?" He hadn't even noticed that he pulled her out of relieving herself; he was angry and there was absolutely no connection between the two.
Of course this left me pondering; are you paying attention? Often it is the little things that we miss that lead to other larger things. Noticing the small things that your dog is communicting or doing can help when working with issues; good or bad alike. When something is just in the fledgling stage; taking mental note of this can be a make or break point. Had this man being trying to teach his dog to pee while on a walk; he would have missed a perfect chance to reward this behavior. He also could have used the sniffing behavior to teach a "let's go" meaning to stop what you are doing and come with me lesson.
I see this human behavior quite a bit; you are out with your dog, your dog on a leash. You are going about your own business feeling a sense of "the dog is attached by a leash" so I don't have to pay attention to what they are doing. Wrong. Alot can happen on the end of a leash; yes they are safely attached to you but just what is going on at the end of that leash? Paying close attention to your dog is imperative; and when you do you open up the flood gates of possibilities. Modifying behavior starts by watching it. ;)