Dog trains man

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Socialization With A Twist


In the middle of Summer all the rentals are occupied. Although I enjoy the emptiness of the West-coast during Winter, the tourists bring a special vacation atmosphere with them I have come to appreciate. People are happy and wear smiles, they have time and are not busy, or try their best not to be.

It couldn't have been a better time for Zerline's socialization. Tourists enjoying their vacation interrupt what they are doing and come over to pet her, drawn to my blond bundle of cuteness like bees to the honeypot. Doesn't she beat The Little Mermaid? -Denmark's top tourist attraction - I ask, about which they all have to agree.

We lack no attention from dogs either. Although we might not attract the kind I was hoping for. Tilde, with her undeniable skills to give an unexpected twist to any story, decided to start her heat-cycle, and we regularly find ourselves under siege by testosterone-ridden admirers.


The faces of the owners of these runaways are priceless. They arrive at the start of the trail which is right next to where we live. In the view of so much wild and beautiful nature and assuming to be alone, they put their dogs off the lead, who instead of happily running ahead down the trail in a sense of freedom, make a u-turn and rush towards where we live. They certainly didn't expect that to happen in the start of what should be a memorable with-the-dog vacation.

It sort of complicates taking walks together, but on the bright side, the fence is for a change making itself useful to keep Tilde's admirers on the outside, not only keeping Tilde on the inside, which is our usual fence-challenge.


We have plenty of dogs left for socializing. It's our third year on the West-coast and I start to recognize the tourists who visit every year with their dogs. I know which are outgoing and gentle, which have received the "Kenzo approved" badge by the aforementioned almighty himself, and those who rather like to be for themselves. I can make my pick who I think will be safe for Zerline to meet alone.

The Summer brings out the farm animals from their Winter quarters too. Having learned our lesson with Tilde, we hope introducing them to Zerline will at least suppress her instincts to chase them, especially horses. Who knows Tilde could benefit from some re-socialization as well. Although I don't dare to come as close with her as I already can with Zerline right now.


Zerline's curiosity still proves to be insatiable. Most of the time, she quickly approaches everything new she notices to investigate. While some things do need a little bit more courage for our bold girl, she remains curious, and just observes these things from a little further away. We re-visit it on another day and let her decide the pace.

Socialization is an enjoyable process, I love doing it. I remember when Kenzo was a puppy I also enjoyed it, but was many times in the dark of what exactly to do as he was my first. With Zerline I can relax more and I feel because I know - or at least think I know - what I am doing, I am more aware of what is happening with Zerline when she works through her experiences, which is a wonderful thing to witness.

There is something mystical about the whole process too because there are no quick returns. First in months, maybe even years from now, we will reap the benefits of the foundation we are building together today. Building on something durable with her, without being able to predict its final shape, already gifts a deeper and more enduring bond, than any quick return could ever give to both of us.



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8 comments

  1. Such great experiences for her. My biggest mistake with Clover was that most of the people she met as a puppy had dogs with them. I never really noticed ... until later she began to see people who do NOT have dogs with them as weird / scary.

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  2. Keep on going on this way Leo.

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  3. Socialization is such a fun challenge. I only wish I had known we would some day living on a sailboat when I was socializing Honey.

    You can never introduce Zerline to too many new experiences. So have fun.

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    1. Good idea. I'll visit some marinas and RV sites too, just in case.

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  4. I'm concerned- wasn't Zerline born in May? So she's not even 3 months? If so she shouldn't be having a heat cycle yet. A bladder infection, extremely common in female long haired pups, can be very enticing to some male dogs. Painful though to the individual with the infection.

    As a side note- typically the growth plates of the "long bones" (legs) close with a heat cycle. Closed growth plates mean the legs don't get longer- she'd be stuck at the size she is now!

    I'd recommend a veterinarian check soon.

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    1. Thank you for your concern Any Mouse, it was Tilde who started her heat-cycle, not Zerline. Tilde is 4 years old. I am sorry I made you worry.

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    2. I was so focused on New puppy! New puppy! that I forgot about Tilde. Poor Tilde. She deserves some special treats just for her.

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