Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Shunning

I'm shunning my dogs. For at least another 2 minutes.

They've gotten into two big scuffles during the last day or so, one inside and most recently one outside. After pulling them apart (as I yelled for them to stop fighting and they ignored me) I held them apart for about a full minute without talking. Both dogs sat. The lab lay down. Then I gave them one command to go inside. That's when the shunning-as-punishment began.

A friend said she shunned her dog for about a half hour and he spent the whole rest of the day appearing to be devastated. So I'm trying to keep my own shunning down to about 10 minutes. It's eerily silent. I also removed their special vanilla-infused cow cheeks (uber treats). They know they're in trouble and I think they also know why. I hope so.

The consistent elements of their big scuffles are:

* me
* a highly desirable food item (usually my own dinner but occasionally a precious treat like the cow cheek)

Today I was carrying P-dogs cowcheek in from the damp grass when somehow the dogs collided. If I could slow it down frame by frame I'd say P-dog initiated the fight by warning B-dog away from me and the cowcheek and then B-dog refused to back down and growled back.

The fights happen so fast. I know that B-dog is powerful enough to seriously hurt or perhaps even kill P-dog if he wanted to; since that doesn't happen I'm concluding it's a sibling scuffle (possibly a a hierarchy test now that B-dog is an adolescent/adult). Mostly I just see a little fur fly. But still the scenario is troubling.

OK thanks to the distraction of blogging I've now shunned them for about 15 minutes so I'll stop now.

By the way I'm noticing I haven't posted to this blog since Sept. I got divorced and traveled to Singapore, blogging much of that elsewhere. But I'm planning a return to this blog in the new year.

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