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Duke and I are back from our trip up north *PICS*

February 2nd, 2007, 02:14 AM
Well after a 2 hour car ride Duke and I are finally home. We spent the Sunday plus this week up at a relatives plus their two dogs to visit. It was a little tense at first as Duke, who's a Rotti/GSD/Collie and is now almost 6 months and scheduled to be snipped at the end of Feb was having a bit of a dominance clash with Tyron, their male 14 month old altered Boxer. We introduced them outside of the house but Duke would growl and snarl at Tyron anytime he came up to sniff Duke. ( as for anyone who's ever owned a boxer, myself included knows how playful and silly they are) Tyron just wanted to constantly play and would try to jump on Duke and play bow however for the first few days Duke completely ignored him and would snap or snarl when Ty got to close for his comfort.

Duke loved their 7 year old female altered Golden retriever who wasn't extremely fond of him and would let him lick her but wasn't really interested in playing with him.

The first night was pretty bad as my uncle is a volunteer fire fighter had two calls and Duke was scared and barked and growled every time he heard the pager go off and my uncle run down the hall to get to the fire hall as well as when he came back which was pretty much all night long as he got one call right after the other at 3 am.

On the second day everyone had work and my cousin had her last day of exams so I was home alone for the first half of the day with the three troublemakers. They live in a gorgeous wooded town up north and I decided since I couldn't handle all three dogs at once offlesh in the woods that I would take them individually on walks around town which was pretty much cottage country. Tyron, the boxer is as most boxer owners know very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very hyper and walking him was interesting for the first 5 mins until I could get him under control thanks to his choke chain and lots of treats. As we continued along our walk I soon realised I should of gone another way as it seemed around every corner someone had decided that leaving their dogs offlesh, unattended to guard their houses was perfectly acceptable.

The first such dog we encountered looked to be about 65lbs and possibly a yellow lab mix. I stood my ground as he approached with hackles raised, stalking towards us and started screaming in a deep voice for him to go home, this worked thankfully and we continued on not knowing this was the norm for the town and that he would not be our only encounter of the day.

As we continued down the road and turned a corner I again saw to my dismay that an additional two dogs were coming up from their door steps growling. This time I decided to back away while facing them as I was scared they might feel stronger in a pack type mentality and not back down. The Shepherd began running and barking but thankfully was on a chain that I didn't see at first and the poor guy almost killed his neck when he met the end of it. The second one looked to be a 70lb black lab maybe a mix but looked mainly labish and was not on a chain and began proceeding towards us in the same manner. I again began to scream in a deep commanding voice for him to go home but he continued to advance, it wasn't until he got really close that Tyron began to bark and growl back that he decided he couldn't win against two of us and ran back home.

We backed away while facing both just incase they had second thoughts until we were far away and proceeded home to go into the woods instead and I made a mental note to not walk down that way again.

I later learned this was the norm around town and virtually every street had at least one unleashed guard dog that was left unattended during the day. Besides the fact that they had a good foot of snow and it was around -10 at all times which is terrible for the dogs I'm amazed their aren't daily mauling’s their. My relatives said ACO's were constantly called but yet nothing seemed to change.

By mid week Tyron and Duke seemed to warm up to each other a lot and played a lot of tug of war, though a few non bloody dominance scuffles broke out ( all barking, mounting and growling) they did seem to warm up to each other. I began letting them all go out in the backyard together to play and was relieved to see them have a lot of fun with no serious fights ( again a few dominance scuffles but no blood or actual mouth contact). We took them offlesh hiking in the woods and Duke had an absolute blast. I was happy to show off Duke's excellent recall as he came immediately when called where as Copper and Tyron took much longer but eventually came.

I also tried to build Duke's confidence by letting him go out to the bathroom alone without me and just with the other three dogs. The first few times he just sat by the door staring at me looking miserable as if to say," Mom why aren't you out here to". Eventually he wandered off with the other two and went to the bathroom all by himself at which point I ran out and gave everyone treats.

By the last day Duke seemed to be a lot more relaxed and him and Tyron though still didn't seem to accept the others higher or lower place in the pack played together nicely and even learned to share toys and the water bowl with out snapping at the other. They were still mounting each other and we still had one last dominance scuffle but Duke seemed to gain a lot more confidence around two foreign dogs and went from a nervous defensive pup that would snarl, growl and snap and Tyron if he came to close to play bowing and following him around everywhere. He also seemed to gain more self confidence and will no go out to the bathroom all by himself without me

Though it was a bit scary to watch their dominance scuffles mainly because they both seemed to be screaming bloody murder even though neither was actually physically biting the other I'm very happy that Duke gained some more socialization lessons on how to act around adult dominant dogs and that he doesn’t need me to come everywhere with him like out to potty to be safe.

Anyhow enough with the rambling here's the part everyones waiting for the pics

The three rascals

Me and my big lover boy

A game of good old fashion Tug

Outdoor playtime

"WHEEEEEE you can't catch me"

February 2nd, 2007, 02:19 AM
Passed out after playtime


February 2nd, 2007, 02:36 AM
nice pics.good looking boxer.i would say walking and all those dogs off lead would be a little worry some good thing you weren't attacked or any dog fighs.i miss getting up north.sounds like you had a good trip.

February 2nd, 2007, 06:42 AM
Nice pics. They look like they were having a blast:thumbs up

I like the one with Duke and Tyron where Tyron has the football, Duke looks like he is stretching, very cute:)

February 2nd, 2007, 07:09 AM
Nice pics,it's great to see dogs running free in the snow.
It would scare the heck out of me if there was dogs loose while I was walking Bailey(Cocker),she's such a bigmouth:) growls at any dog passing her,not very socialized:sad:

February 2nd, 2007, 07:00 PM
Wonderful pix ~ but, your blood pressure must have been throught the roof !

February 2nd, 2007, 08:22 PM
Great pics! Sounds like a pretty stressful but fun time. :)