The Control Game!

Ray has always tried to exert a little influence on our lives and routines which are rather self-serving and, relatively recently, he has put significant effort into dictating where he goes when on his walks!

We live in quite a small town, and the downtown core is only 10-15 minutes away at a casual walking pace. This means that wherever we go, we will be either passing directly by (or close to) a store that would be of interest to him. Even if we detour in order to stay as far away as possible from certain key stores, Ray’s nose is almost certainly “locked in” on them so we are kidding ourselves if we think that we have fooled him!

The problems with this are probably obvious, and so we wanted Ray to learn that he could not dictate the route. He could also not spend all his time visiting places that gave him food!

This whole concept of trying to determine his own route started some time ago and, as noted in earlier Posts, he did it by sitting down whenever he had a problem with the direction in which we were going. Our solution was quite simple, and took advantage of Ray’s obsession with all three of us staying together. Whenever he put his rear down and braced his legs so we couldn’t pull him, I just continued walking and left him with Carol. It was not long before he gave up and started to catch me up.

He has now taken that “game” to a whole new level! He lets me go!

Our “Plan B” takes advantage of the fact that, while he is obviously attached to both of us, his bond with Carol is extremely strong. A few weeks ago we were out on a walk when he decided to put his brakes on. There was a pet food store across the road and we were not planning on going there! I suddenly thought that, while he now lets me go away from them, he might react differently if it was Carol who left the pack!

I took his leash as Carol walked away and, within a couple of minutes, he was pulling on it trying to catch up with her! Our new strategy was a resounding success but… I wonder if he will come up with away of escalating the situation further?

These seems to be a bit like trying to resolve the patterns in a Rubik’s cube, but where the colors keep changing!

14 thoughts on “The Control Game!

  1. Amy here. I know a trick for horses, you might try it on Ray. Ugh, Lexi, get your paw away from the delete button! As I was saying, with a horse, you turn him in tight circles and come out in the direction you want to go without stopping.

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  2. We use to use the same trick with Jack when we were training his recall. If he didn’t come back (or begin to if he was farther away) in the allotted count we would hide behind a tree or something where we could see him but he couldn’t see us and he would immediately come searching and sniffing!

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  3. Ha! Ray lets you go because he knows he still has Carol! Seems he’s a ‘Mummy’s boy’ and I don’t mean that badly, just that some dogs can go to one partner more than the other sometimes. Maggie comes to me if she’s not feeling well, but Hubby if she’s afraid or uncertain!

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