A Hot-tempered Beagle and a Newcome-Resenting Pups
Season 4 | Episode 11 | Gizmo, Indigo, Diego, Valley & Whiskey
Even after obedience classes, a beagle is too hot-tempered to handle. Jennifer Lee Pryor is fostering some rescue dogs -- and her own pups resent the newcomers.
Rescue Me, Rescue You
Many people have conversations with their dogs, trying to reason with them. Then they get frustrated and angry when their dogs don't "listen." What we forget is that we are communicating with our dogs all the time, even if it's not with words. Even when we are asleep, dogs are in tune with our rhythms; they know whether we are having a bad dream, a good dream, or an anxious dream. The communication we need to pay attention to is not the verbal part; it's the energy behind it and the outcome of it. You say, "You want to go for a walk?" but you also show them the door, the leash, the natural outcome of these words.
In a dog's mind, they don't understand the words, but they understand that every time the human goes into this state, this means we are going to the park. As long as you are alive, you are talking with your dogs. They don't know what you're saying or what language you are speaking, but they absolutely know the energy you are projecting. That's why it's much more important to be aware of your energy with your dog, not what words you are saying.
Breed isn't destiny for every dog, but sometimes, a dog's frustration or anxiety is expressed through breed-related behavior. The more purebred the dog, the more likely could happen. When the owners do not fulfill the breed side of a dog by helping him to utilize his innate abilities, then he is going to use those breed characteristics to control the environment and the humans who live with him.
In the case of Gizmo the beagle, his owner knew what beagles were supposed to do, but she didn't know how to control his beagle behavior so it expressed itself in a positive way.
My method for this is to introduce the dog to beagle-type activities, but activities which I control. I don't take him away from sniffing the ground; I tell him when to sniff the ground. I don't take him away from howling, I tell him what he's supposed to howl for. I don't work against the nature of the genetics of the animal, I make sure that he sees me as the one who begins the game and ends the game. Eventually we have to bring him back into the dog side of himself (not the breed side), because the dog is the social side of him, where the follower is. It's the dog side that allows a dog to interact happily with animals of his own and other species.