More Winter! More Ray!

The pic below was taken just after the Wednesday Post’s pic! Ray’s feet and “rear” are clearly immune to cold temperatures as he quite happily stands still, or sits, in the snow when requested to do so.

While this cooperation is appreciated, he does sometimes sit down simply because he does not want to go in the direction that we are going. He has always had a little “stubborn streak” in him, and almost 80lbs of motionless dog (with feet stretched out in front to brace himself against us) can be a bit of a challenge.

How do we move him against his apparent will? There are quite a few options, none of which will consistently work, but one of them at any given time will be just what is necessary to change his focus.

A tug on the leash can work, but not too often.

One of us walking on ahead and going out of sight can work.

Ray seems to like to know where we are going and so telling him will usually work, as long as it is a place that he knows is good for him. Telling him we’re going to Lululemon, and then heading in a different direction does not work!

He will often “stand” upon request, and then walk with us, but he expects his treat for standing upon request.

There are occasions when we will just stand still, and wait for him to decide that sitting at that particular spot gets him nowhere (not much fun this time of year with an arctic blast passing through)!

His apparent desire to simply go in a different direction (it is his walk after all!) will occasionally be accommodated.. We will let him lead and see where he takes us, but that really depends on what we see as his potential options, and whether we want him to go there!

He really is an interesting character!


60 thoughts on “More Winter! More Ray!

  1. It was reassuring to read that I am not the only one to experience a motionless dog. Sometimes, I can convince Bailey to come along if I use a high pitch voice and start to skip/jog. I think she believes that I am having fun without her and just has to join me in the frolic!

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  2. Omg is Ray somehow related to my Bear ? Haha.. bear loves to play the sit in one spot game also.. mostly when I want to go a different direction then where his nose is leading him.. sometimes I sit as well and tell him that I too can sit here .. lol so silly

    Liked by 2 people

      • Yes… and often! Ray knows what “stand” means, so that will sometimes get him off his rear. He is very attached to us so, if one of us goes out of sight, he will sometimes get up and try and find the missing pack member. He understands “the bank”, “Lululemon”, “the mail box”, and a number of other destinations where he generally gets treats, so telling him where we are going will often work. Finally, while he may not want to go in our direction, he usually does have an agenda, so we let him pick the direction. Once he is up and moving, we can often turn him around …. or simply let him take us on a walk. We have to remind ourselves that the walk is mainly for his benefit so if he picks the route now and then … so what?

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      • I just stand my ground, the moment you give in they start thinking they can get away with it, bear used to be so bad about it, so when he does this ( which is less frequent ) it doesn’t last as long. His standoffs when we lived in the Caribbean were horrible thought.. I had to bribe him with treats.. it takes patience for sure but I also show bear I’m more stubborn than he is haha…

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        • It can be a sensitive area, and if you have been bribing him, then you should not be surprised when he tries to manipulate you. It’s the most natural thing for him to do! You should be trying to show him that cooperating is beneficial to him i.e. reward based training. Our training of Ray in many areas is covered in my book about his first 18 months with us – “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” (available from Friesen Press, amazon etc. in eBook, paperback and hard cover formats). Please give it some thought as I suspect you will relate to many of our challenges.

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          • I meant in the Caribbean I used to bribe him, I haven’t done that in ages and just stand my ground and wait him out, because of that he isn’t as bad as he used to be and is a much less frequent occurrence luckily. I know also sometimes mine will stop walking if something is different… a garbage can is placed somewhere new, we’ve worked long and hard on that to build his confidence and I do things slowly but with a lot of praise when he shows me signs of progress.. I love how smart our dogs are and I love when they show us personality, it’s cute and funny.. a lot of trial and error for sure along the path of being a team πŸ’—

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          • And I will have to check out your book for sure, I love reading all of these topics related to our dogs and working with them and learning to communicate with them effectively too

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I hate when our dog tries to tell us where to go. He was a stray when he was picked up by the dog shelter. I have no idea how long he lived on the street before he was picked up, but the moment we go outside he turns into the stray dog again. Sniffing everything in sight and heading straight to the trash cans. He becomes weary of all sounds and runs or cries at the sight of another dog, cat, or green balloon (lol). Inside he’s golden. Outside he acts homeless. Maybe that will leave him someday, but I don’t know. He’s barely over a year old according to our vet. She said the fact that the shelter neutered him should calm him down after a while. Anyways, great post. Blue loves the cold weather. It never gets real cold here in south Texas, but i do notice on cold days Blue really wants to be off leash to run. He would probably freak out if it snowed here. Hell, I would freak out if it snowed here. Laters, and have a great writing weekend! – Robert

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    • You really should read my book about Ray – “Who Said I was up for Adoption?”
      He too was a stray and estimated at 2 years old when picked up. He sniffs everywhere as well, but that is typical dog behavior . Whereas we analyze things by sight before the other senses kick-in, dogs are guided by scent with vision etc. being secondary. Also note that scenting is very demanding on a dog so let him scent away as it will tire him out!
      Ray was afraid of people and other dogs, and has been seen stalking a black garbage bag blowing in the wind, and a feather! We cannot do much about garbage bags and feathers so he must learn by himself that they are not out to get him, but we can (and did) convince him that other people and dogs were not necessarily a threat to him. We had to use a professional trainer to get started on that, but Ray is now Mr. Social with everybody.
      It was not only money well spent, but a great education in dog behavior and body language. Ray was giving us some pretty obvious signals … but we weren’t getting them!
      I don’t understand what “acting homeless” is, but as long as Blue is happy … so what? If he is not happy, then you need to find out why and address it.

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      • Homeless was wrong word. I meant he acts like if he is a stray still, but on a leash, lol. I definitely will get a copy of your book. I definitely think Blue is very happy with us. We just need to move to a place with a back yard. He’s a little too active for apartment life. -Robert

        Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah I take him out about 4 times a day. And almost every day get him off leash and he turns into a little Tasmanian devil. The apt. is gated so he can’t get out but catching him is not easy. Lucky I take treats with me or else I’d never get him back. He’s not that big at about 27 pounds. Vet say she does not think he will get much bigger. Likely a Shepard mix with some smaller breed dog. Handsome devil too. Very healthy last check up. Thanks again. – Robert

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  4. Ray has his own mind, eh! Makes me laugh at how he won’t let you take him in the opposite direction if you say you are going to Lululemon. Never knew a dog with such a sense of direction.
    The last line of your post sums it up well! Explains Ray and explains why he chose you. He knew an “interesting character” when he saw one. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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