Siblings and Lead or Get Out of the Way

Neither Bandit nor Chase has been a counter surfer or a thief, which may surprise some of you. Bandit is a purebred Australian Cattle Dog and Chase, we think, is an ACD-Collie mix. Cay, on the other hand, is getting bolder and bolder around our house. She has taken to checking what is on the kitchen counter (if she can get the chance). The other night, I was sitting around the corner at the dining room table and I saw Bandit hustle Cay out of the kitchen. Apparently she had gone in there to “surf” and he had rounded her up and herded her out of there. A perfect use of his herding abilities and “dog police” personality! And this time, he was working with me, not against me. Good dog! It’s nice when the new dog learns how to be good from the others, not just bad!! Today I noticed Bandit staring pointedly at something on the living room floor. It was one of my gloves and he was trying to tell me that Cay had stolen it and left it there. I guess he didn’t want to pick it up and give it to me, lest I think he had stolen it himself. So he sat there and stared at it, but wouldn’t touch it!

You know that saying that goes something like, “Lord, make me be the person my dog thinks I am”. Well, when he was younger, Bandit thought I was a doormat and he could walk all over me, especially when we were learning to herd sheep. He had a natural instinct for it and I did not (in spite of my Scottish heritage). So much for the saying. In my case, it was “Lord, make me the person my dog needs me to be”. Or “Lord, make me the person who can provide leadership for this dog.” Or “Lord, make me a person who won’t keep getting run over by this dog and his bloody flock of sheep”. After a few years of training in agility, obedience, Rally, canine good citizen, acting class (tricks), and herding, with a little bit of tracking thrown in, I’m finally starting to measure up. He’s respecting me more and more. Now he’s even helping me train the new dog!

Our TTouch friend “Scottie Carol” came over today. She had worked with Chase as part of her TTouch training. He had not seen Carol for a long time, but he was so excited to recognize her. He is a sensitive soul who bonds well with people (and doesn’t steal from the counter or run sheep over me). And to think that a violent man stuffed him in a tiny chicken crate and threatened to shoot him for chasing sheep. Good thing our friend Sarah was there to rescue him.

When Carol came over, Cay first met her in the house. I was caught off guard and should have had Cay meet Carol outside. I didn’t think enough about this in advance. When Cay saw Carol (a stranger to her) in the house, she got scared and defensive and peed in the house (which she hasn’t done for a while). I forgot how intimidating each new person can still be to Cay, especially if it’s a new person in our house. We need to work more on this!

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