Dog trains man

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Revenge of the Shih Tzu

"Woof, woof!" Both Tilde and Zerline were barking at the little Shih Tzu who passed by the fence.

We are in our second place in Zealand for some holidays, adjacent to a path that leads to the beach where people and their dogs regularly pass by. I welcome it. It is good for Zerline to be in a place with a lot of life around her for a change.

Of course we had a fence set up to keep our two escape artists inside, and with the good weather we soon found ourselves in the garden where I was doing my best to "desensitize" both of them to people and dogs walking by the fence. We were playing "Look at That," which gave good results with Kenzo back in the days. As far as the girls are concerned, well let's say I am just getting started.

The little Shih Tzu didn't liked to be barked at, and objected against their rude behavior. I was standing right behind them, rewarding them with treats if they ignored the Shih Tzu and started to talk with the Shih Tzu's owner in the mean while, who appeared to be our new neighbor who I said hello to a while ago. She wasn't too worried about her new loud neighbors, "She is a special lady," and indeed the Shih Tzu didn't seem impressed at all by the two dogs towering above her. She could probably also see Tilde and Zerline had no bad intentions after all. After their first rude reception, tails were wagging and sniffs were exchanged through the fence.

That was more like the Zerline I know. She has always been very happy for small dogs. She likes to play with them and interact. I think her fondness goes back all the way to puppy class, were most other dogs she met - and also some of the first she met - were all small dogs. Tilde not so much, she rather ignores them, and play with someone she can roughhouse.

The next day, after playing "Look at That!" with not much results to show for, I sat down when a car drove by. It was the neighbor's. "Woof! Wo-wo-wo-woof!" The sight of the car had sent the girls in a frenzy, and they were both galloping to the fence while barking at the top of their lungs. Before I could stand up from my chair, I could hear a third barking dog, approaching very fast and very angry. It was the Shih Tzu. The neighbor had let her out of the car and she was determined to stop this behavior once and for all. After all it was her hood and these newcomers needed a lesson in who was Queen around here.

Seeing the lunging Shih Tzu, barking at the top of her lungs, while bouncing on her small frontlegs and attacking the fence, made me worry what Tilde and Zerline would do, but to my surprise, Tilde turned around and had developed a sudden fascination for a tree close by. Zerline retreated two steps, started a tail wag and tilted her head low, in attempt to make up to the Shih Tzu, "I didn't mean it. Really!" Tilde was still investigating the tree.

With order in her kingdom restored, the Shih Tzu returned home leaving me baffled behind. I need to have a serious talk with my security team. What should our sign read now? Burglars beware, unless you bring a Shih Tzu?


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