Saturday, June 9, 2007

Getting over stimulated

Over stimulation doesn't just happen to dogs. It happens to people too. I know because it happened to me the other day. I am pretty sure I made a complete idiot of myself. So what caused the commotion? One of these:

This is a Dogue De Bordeaux, also known as a french mastiff. You may recognise them from the movie Turner and Hooch with Tom Hanks.

There is one of these in my town and I ran into him on one of my daily exercise walks. His name is Moxie and he is only 6 months old right now. His owner said he was about 75 lbs. They get BIG.

I had seen this dog on his walks before and was so happy and excited to finally get a chance to meet him in the flesh that my brain went on vacation. It isn't everyday that you see this breed after all.

He was a typical puppy and was jumping around to say hello. The owner was trying to hold him back from contact (appropriate) and I said, "That's ok, I'm a dog trainer and am used to it". (doh!) First mistake. It isn't ok if he doesn't want the dog to be rewarding for getting over excited. I know better than that! Then he tried to get him to sit and I said "Oh don't bother" (Doh!!) Yes he should make him sit! That is basic training! And here I was petting him and rewarding all that bad behavior. (hanging head in shame)

My second mistake was giving unsolicited advise. I have learned over time that it generally only serves to make you look like a know it all. It also usually isn't recieved all that well by the owner. Note to self, DON'T! (Especially after you screwed up the initial meeting. Now I'm a know it all that obviously DOESN'T know it all!)

Once I walked away and got my brain back I felt like a complete moron. Not my best first impression for sure. The dog was awesome and I hope I get to see him again. I promise I'll be much better behaved.

So owners take heart, even us trainers screw up easy stuff sometimes. We're only human after all.


Riley said...

I'm getting pretty sad over here without regular updates from you. :]

I wouldn't beat yourself up over what happened. I bet the guy hardly noticed because he was so focused on his dog. I'll have conversations with people when I'm out walking Apollo and forget the whole conversation because I'm keeping such a close eye on his behavior.

Here's an update from us out on VH, if you're interested (lots of pictures):

If you ever just came out for fun and brought Jack, he would have a blast on that little private island. It's not very far off the coast of Vinalhaven, like a five minute ride. :]

Marie said...

Those pics are awesome! I am going to share a couple here if that is ok. I posted an update but it hasn't hit yet for some reason. The island looks like a blast. Nice to know they really can't go anywhere even if they blow off a recall! LOL

Anonymous said...

I can understand your lack of decorum. I have wanted a French Mastiff since I saw the movie (years and years ago) and settled instead for a Fawn with black mask Bullmastiff as French mastiffs were very hard to come by (and I was younger and poorer). Three bullmastiffs (one was a rescue) and 13 years later I can tell you that the bullmastiff is an awesome breed. Sigh***yet and still I have at long last purchased a French Mastiff we named Tank (aka, Baby). He gets lots of attention out on the street and at the vet. He is now 3 months old and at 36 lbs he has gained 11 lbs in in the last 2.5 weeks. He is great and gets along well with my 7 y/o male Bullmastiff. He is trained to go on puppy pads and newspaper when inside, can you give me any pointers on when he will be able to control his bladder for longer than 1-2 hours? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

hi , my bordeaux's were week bladered though well toilet trained , until , mirraculously , almost over night they were perfect , and managed to go the whole night without any mess .... they were about 16-18 weeks when this happened , hope that helps .