Dog trains man

Monday, March 25, 2019

To Wart Or Not To Wart

As soon as Zerline noticed the group of people she was away, loudly barking at the approaching "threat". Tilde was right behind her, equally displeased it seemed. A Hovawart arrest was eminent.

But I knew better than that in Tilde's case, my Hova-not-so-Wart. Tilde just followed Zerline without knowing what the commotion was about. Like when it would be the other way around and Tilde would start a chase, Zerline would just follow in a heartbeat, unaware of the why for that particular chase. Unless it concerned seagulls ofcourse.

We made a short trip to Kenzo's valley that day, like we do almost every day at least once.  I already had my duo off the leash before I checked if we were alone. We hadn't seen another soul there since last Summer. It had made me sloppy. Now I was too late, they were both rushing to the group of people, one man and two women.

The group halted, alarmed by the sound of the barking dogs, looking around to see where the noise came from. When they spotted Tilde and Zerline approaching I could see the worry on their face. I recalled them with the lightest voice I could muster, while saying, "oh look, such nice people!" It helped, Zerline stopped and looked back at me. She gave it one more thought and then decided to come back to me.

Tilde had no such plans though and rushed forward without Zerline. Her barking had stopped. I know her good enough to realize there was not much to worry about now, she had only followed Zerline and was now more interested in to make some new friends. Tilde circled the group a little with a wagging tail and wiggling body, waiting for an invitation to come closer. The man in the group, who seemed relieved, reached out his hand and petted Tilde, who was delighted with the attention she was getting. My Hova-not-so-Wart in a nutshell.

I approached together with the Hovawart of my duo, Zerline, who had calmed down in the mean time. I let her greet the people as well and she was as pleased as Tilde had been before her to receive some cuddles. I realized how lucky I was that this particular group wasn't afraid of dogs. So much could have gone wrong if they were. I was relieved it ended in a good note and that Zerline shed her suspicion so quickly as well.

I wondered what had triggered it. Zerline in general loves people as much as Tilde does. Even with Kenzo, who took security quite serious, I could have walked through the group without him giving them as much as the blink of an eye. First if one of them would have approached me trouble would have started. I did remember some other events with Zerline though and I can clearly notice that she has a whole different concept of what her territory is and what is allowed to happen on it. Some clever minds had also warned me about this, and that Hovawart's raised on farms turn out quite different than Hovawarts raised in cities.

Kenzo and Tilde grew up in the city, busy with people and dogs everywhere, as soon as we left the front door. It was their normal. Zerline has grown up in a more rural setting, and she knows very well on what places we meet other people and where not. Those places she never meets people she seems to have claimed as her own. Her extended backyard. Which would explain why we can pass people without her even noticing them in town, or on the part of the beach where it is always busy with people. Just not on the places we walk regularly and where we always are alone, like the forest adjacent to our house, or Kenzo's Valley for that matter.

Either way it is good I am equipped with this new knowledge about my girl. The leash will first go off in these areas when I am sure we are alone.


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