Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Requirements (Supplements to the 30-Day Regimen)

I added two things to the 30-day regimen: muzzles for them and a daily bicycle ride for me. Here's where that comes from:

In addition to the 30-Day Regimen the trainer suggested I get a muzzle for B-dog to relieve myself of anxiety during trial periods of letting the dogs be in the same space.

She said it's not a good idea to keep them totally isolated from one another, so the muzzle is intended to help me give them that needed time together. Additionally, I'm trying to mostly gate them in areas where they can still see one another.

During my research on the muzzles I spoke with several people who suggested I muzzle both dogs, not just the bigger one, because the smaller dog (P-dog) appears to be initiating most of the fights. She is definitely fear-aggressive (in addition to whatever else might be going on here) toward B. So the muzzle on P would: (a) prevent me from giving her an unfair advantage over B, should she initiate a fight in which he wouldn't have his mouth to defend himself; (b) level the field in general (making both less likely to severely hurt one another--so far P's worst was a puncture to B's paw pad but still . . .); (c) perhaps help me strengthen my position in their eyes as the leader of the pack (something I evidently need since everyone agrees I've let P-dog feel like the alpha--not just alpha dog, Queen of Everything--all these years).

The muzzles haven't arrived yet. (I'm relieved about this because I'm dreading the muzzle thing. But will do it.)

The trainer added the periodic-muzzle requirement.

I added an exercise requirement for myself: an hour per day of me-time on the bicycle to help me begin to feel stronger inside and to clear my head so I'll be less anxious around the dogs.

It's very clear that the dogs' problems won't be totally resolved until I fix myself. So much of this is all about me and my laxness and anxiety and overall feeling of vulnerability. I know I need a "30-Day Emergency Regimen" for myself as well as for the dogs. But I'm only requiring myself to do the 1 hour of bicycling for now.

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