Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cash's first day on the job, do you think he was nervous?

So here we are with my new dog Cash, the Aussie Shepherd, and two of the shelter dogs. I wanted to see how he was going to do, walking and helping to train the shelter dogs and so far he is fine with it. He got along with the dogs and despite his lack of leash training, although he is good off leash, he was able to walk comfortably and help set the pace and relaxed tone. I think he will do just fine in his new role of helping to train and make comfortable the shelter dogs. Both these dogs seemed quite relaxed with Cash although it took some doing to get decent photos of them as they kept turning in different directions, so I kept taking shots as we walked hence the photos of the dogs relaxed in the street as I was not so relaxed but watchful and hoping to get a good photo while shepherding two dogs and my camera hand to safety. The big black dog, Honey was an unusual sort of case. Most shelter dogs can't wait to go for walks, and stay out of the noisy shelter. Honey got about 3/4 of a mile away from the shelter and then made an abrupt turn and kept pulling me back in the opposite direction that we were trying to walk in. At first I thought that perhaps she was spooked by the two male joggers behind us on the bike path so I pulled the dogs aside and told them to wait, but the joggers just passed by and the dog wasn't bothered by them but kept turning back and pulling me. I then thought that maybe she was trying to tell me that she recognized some landmarks and perhaps wants to try and go "home" to wherever she has lived before. I just decided that trying to wrestle a big lab mix who was determined to go in the opposite direction, wasn't going to be fruitful so we turned around and walked back to the shelter. As soon as we headed back she relaxed so I'm guessing that she liked the shelter, felt comfortable there and familiar with the staff and regular feeding. I was thinking," strange, she looks well fed and happy otherwise, why was she so scared to be away from the safety of the shelter?" We took Honey the big black lab out again, a week later, and she was really worked up and pulling while I tried to get her out of the shelter gates and I was using my stern training voice when one of the shelter employees said " you do know that Honey is deaf don't you?" " Actually no, this was the first I'd had heard of it" so that bit of info threw me for a loop. The last time I took her out she seemed fine, listened to my commands and or body language as well as that of my dog Cash's body movements, and we had a nice walk before she tugged and wanted to turn back. Maybe being hearing impaired made her more insecure when she got too far away from the shelter, often times it is the dogs who are super frightened or have been abused that are more comfortable in the shelter than outside of it but for most dogs they prefer to be out walking around.

The yellow Heinz 57 variety dog is Jake
Jake seemed pretty relaxed around Cash as well


  1. ...it must be tough for a dog to be deaf.. our little dog Ziggy, RIP, had become deaf in the last years of his life and he rarely wanted to go far from the house..we always noticed this and commented on it... actually he hardly ever wanted to go off the verandah.. he was a small dog... even when we coaxed him over in the big field by the house with the other dogs, he was always the first one to scoot back to the doorstep.. I always wondered if his deafness made him feel unprotected being that dogs use their ears so much...

    Cash looks like he is in his element training other dogs with you... looks pretty happy!!!

  2. Hi Gwen, yes I think there is a vulnerability with some of the deaf dogs, particularly smaller deaf dogs. It makes sense that they don't want to stray too far from their comfort and safety zone. Thanks for visiting