Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Waiting to exhale

Saturday I took these two cuties to the prison to be the new dogs for the K-9 Corrections program. This is Brody. He is a 6 month old sibling to another puppy we had on the program named Russet. He is a 1/2 German wirehair pointer, 1/4 Labrador retriever and 1/4 Chesapeake bay retriever. He was returned to the shelter for being unruly and for house training issues. It turns out he is a submissive urinator which is NOT to be confused with house training, though it can be as frustrating. Submissive urination can be managed easily once it is identified as such by a few things. One is to ignore the dog when you meet them. They are usually not confident and therefore putting any social pressure on them will cause the peeing. It is a body signal to you that they are not a threat. If you yell at them for peeing they will misread that as you having missed their signal so they will pee even more. Once you build up the dogs confidence they will usually outgrow it. (another management tip is to do greetings outside the house so they pee on the ground and not your floors)

And this puppy is Rocko.

He is a mixed breed of unknown origin. We think he could be a Jack Russell/Beagle mix or possibly a Bull Terrier mix due to his behavior and head shape. I learned long ago however that trying to guess a dogs genetic makeup based on looks alone is a crap shoot. (I saw a video presentation a few years ago with slides of puppies and dogs with known parentage and most of the time our guesses were quite wrong!) Because he had been labeled a pit mix by the shelter the previous owner adopted him from I had to get special permission for him to be on the program. Once a dog is labeled a pit that's what everyone assumes they are. Regardless of the truth he is the very first pit mix to be allowed to participate in K-9 Corrections. That means I am on pins and needles hoping he makes a good impression and that no one complains and gets him booted. He needs to "win over the masses" so to speak. An awfully big job for such a little guy! He is super smart though so I think he can do it.

So far everyone is doing very well. After the first day they haven't had any more submissive peeing from Brody and no one has freaked out about Rocko being there. (there has been one negative comment but not worthy of sharing) You can see video of them playing together on the facebook page. So think good thoughts that this might help be the beginning on changing some minds about what a pitbull really is and can be.


jen said...

I hope Rocko knocks it out of the park!

Ashley said...

Prudence used to be a submissive urinator, but oddly only when Angelica either visited, or we visited her. This was during the time that she didn't really have a lot of confidence. But, like you wrote, once I started building her confidence, she hasn't done any submissive urination.

I wish Russet and Rocko the best of luck during their schooling :) I am so sure that they will get through the program with little to no hitches.