So I have been to classes, and read the books, and post here, and learn new techniques in an effort to live in harmony with the mangies. At present, I am not at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to leadership, but I am not yet where I would like to be (visions of Ceasar or Jan Fennel walking in high grasses with a troop of off-lead dogs having a blast).
I realized that I could not even list the house rules. My pack is pretty good, so they must be there, just not outwardly apparent.
So in an attempt to clarify for myself as well as for them, I made up a list of rules or rather COMMANDMENTS for THEM to follow (phrases and words are the words I use when I am reminding or correcting them):
1. <u>DON'T HURT MY BABY.</u> "My Baby" refers to the dog in question. They are not allowed to do damage to themsevels, excessive licking at bugbites, wounds, etc.; injuring themselves; shaking their heads; running into the unknown (out of the front door) or out of my car.
2. <u> DON'T HURT THE SUSIE. </u> This is really a no-brainer. If they hurt me, then I may not be able to take care of them. Reminders of this commandment are usually made after they plough into me at top speed in their quest for something else. This rule extends to my guests, or anyone I am visiting with in public. Another form of this command is DON'T JUMP ON THE SUSIE, and if time does not permit, simply OFF! is used. (What actually happens is a strangled OFF! command followed by the rebuke, DON'T JUMP ON THE SUSIE! (Obviously, the juveniles and one or two of my more exhuberant adults still need work on this one.)
3. <u>NOW! </u> When I give a clear command, which the HAVE been trained in, i.e. COME, HEEL, DROP IT, LEAVE IT, DOWN, STAY, OFF, QUIET, ENOUGH, then they had better do it RIGHT NOW. The NOW! command is not yelled, but rather given in a gutteral menacing tone, so it is not mistaken by the stream of talking and cannot be overlooked by the offender. This prevents nagging.
4. <u> EH! </u> This simply means stop whatever crazy thing you are doing and look at me for direction. It is ALWAYS followed by a secondary command, such as DROP IT, WAIT, or MINE.
5. <u>NO FIGHTING. </u> This law includes dogs within the pack and strangers. It includes fence fighting, making faces at one another from across the yard, snarling, sticking the tail up and scratching their odor into the other bitch's face, slights in doggy etiquette, and retaliation for these slights are not tolerated.
6. <u>THAT'S NOT YOURS.</u> This is sometimes followed by the exclamation MINE!!! This includes my dinner plate, unless it is set on the floor. This includes the garbage can at all times. This includes doggy items that are NOT currently located on the floor. This includes non-doggy items that ARE currently located on the floor. There will be NO eating, shredding, slobbering, moving, or touching in any way of these items.
For the most part, my lot follows the rules, but we work on the fighting rule quite a bit. Not that they fight quite a bit, just the faces and carrying on by the peanut gallery when another of my dogs is running around the yard.
Anyone want to share their top rules?
Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.