Saturday, July 18, 2009

Farmdog is Miss Manners

Sorry for the dearth of posting lately, folks. I have a couple that are going to be really funny as soon as I get past the whole "well that sucks" portion of writing them. I'd rather wait and give ya'll something great than rush and give you something bad or merely ok.

So yesterday, we took Fuzzy Pup up to the vet to get his rabies shot, which went fine. On the way out of the vet's office, he spotted some geese that the vet and his wife keep, and was very curious. The geese weren't curious at all, of course, but rather aggressive.

So two of the geese nearest him would drop their heads way down in a goose's "Go away before I whup up on you" stance, and he'd drop his head way down looking at them, and then here come the geese and there goes Fuzzy Pup the other way. I giggled.

(On a side note, please, folks, remember to get your pets vaccinated for rabies on a regular schedule. Just because you haven't heard about any cases in your area don't mean there aren't any in the local wildlife population. This has been a public service announcement from all of us here at Tractor Tracks and the Farm Fam enterprises.)

Once we got home, Farmmom invited me over for dinner... and to cook it. Since Farmdog didn't get to go with to the vet's office, I took her with me to the parents' house.

Now, Farmmom and Farmdad have their own dogs, both pups under a year old. They haven't really been exposed to other dogs or the manners that come with that, they've got that puppy exuberance, and they're very fond of me.

So when we walked in the door yesterday, I unclipped Farmdog's leash and told her to teach 'em some manners.

This is sort of the opposite of "it's a baby, be nice" in that she's allowed to growl, snarl, and snap at the other dogs, but she still isn't supposed to break skin. She knows the criteria well enough and immediately set to demonstrating that she is, indeed, the head bitch on four legs of any dog pack in this family.

Farmdog is a great teacher of manners to pups because she has a no tolerance policy right off the bat. If they're behaving in a manner that's not appropriate, she's going to call them on it, and keep letting them know that it's not acceptable until they change that behavior.

That includes displaying proper submissive behavior such as chin-licking and showing belly, but it also includes jumping up on people after they've said "no." She'll come up beside them and snarl and bare teeth while she pushes them aside with her head or shoulder, and never touch them or the person with teeth once, which is a courtesy that the other pups rarely show her, nipping at her in an attempt to get her to leave them alone or to play.

Farmdad's dog, Hootie, is an intact male, just reaching the stage of his doggie puberty where he's being pickled in hormones. Thus he was rather pleased that I had brought him a new girlfriend and greeted her with the cocky assurance that never having had his little puppy butt whipped for rudeness creates.

And she immediately knocked him to the floor.

Thirty minutes later, Lizzie, the queen bee pup of the house who didn't know how to submit to anyone, is displaying a champ's skill at showing belly and is much calmer. Hootie was still being a bit of a spazz but he'd stopped trying to mount Farmdog and had begun trying to get her to play.

By the end of the night he was able to sit quietly under the table and just watch the goings on, but it was actually rather entertaining to see them get there.

Farmdog is a great pup to teach unmannered pooches because she's so careful with smaller dogs and animals. She looks and sounds like she's going to kill them at times but she has never so much as drawn blood from another dog, even when she had to hold them down by the throat to get her point across and they were squirming and fighting her.

She's picked up scratches and bites aplenty, but she's never caused any. She's my Miss Manners, and man, she's good at it.