Dog trains man

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Beauty and The Beast

I can see most dogs think twice before they approach.

On one leash I have the Beauty, wriggling like a worm, bouncing as much as the leash allows, while the smiles on her face work like a magnet, "I want to lick you up!".

And on the other leash I have the Beast, sizing you up, to determine if you are worthy of approaching his awesomeness. And not in the last place, approaching his Beauty too.

Kenzo doesn't surprise me. It was to be expected, he would do that, like he did for Viva. Although the dynamics between Kenzo and Tilde, are totally different from the dynamics between Kenzo and Viva.

Viva was only a few years older than Kenzo, they were both adults, and Viva was not in need of social contact with other dogs. She quickly enlisted the younger Kenzo as her private body-guard army. Also, Kenzo's job description was easy. Herd any dog away from Viva, no exceptions.

This time Kenzo is the senior. And he clearly again feels a responsibility for Tilde, but he doesn't just herd every dog away like he did for Viva. Neither is that necessary for outgoing Tilde. She is younger - barely an adolescent - and no doubt a lot of what I am seeing Kenzo do is more like coaching or mentoring, maybe even parenting, and not so much protecting.

What happens in short is, if a dog wants to greet Tilde, he will receive a short and clear message to behave by Kenzo, her private approval committee, but after that, the dog is basically good to go - if approved of course.

It didn't take long, before I recognized Tilde started to copy this way to greet (among others). Her first attempt to copy was so clumsy it made us all laugh, "now we got the formalities over with, let's play!", she seemed to think.

For the record, the first approval committee, is of course, still yours truly.

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