|Nessie, Malcolm and McKenzie|
Masters of all they survey.
So when I started having these issues with Malcolm, I was freely given advice by others. Some of the advice conflicted. I sorted through what people were saying and I tried to pick what I thought was reasonable and go with it. After all, that's all anyone can do right? I also did a lot of research. I read lots of books related to the subject of dog behavior and dog training. I even hired a professional trainer way back in the beginning who gave me some good advice. I put all this stuff together and came up with a plan that until now, I would have told you was working.
As I've posted previously, Malcolm is now suffering from fear. He is afraid of going into any new place. He loves the Dog Club but hates Pets Mart. He trembles in fear at Lowes. He cowers and hides if a person he doesn't know wants to pet him. This is my big tough guy! It's terrible to see him like this! I took him to the Doggie Psychiatrist the other day. No. I'm not kidding. She's worked with my dogs before. She's the lady I called early on in Malcolm's history. She has a Diploma of Canine Behavior Counseling from American College of Applied Science. She studied Biology and Psychology at Oklahoma State University. So I was again, given advice from members of the Dog Club about how to desensitize Malcolm to new situations. But this time, I thought I'd call in the experts.
I made an appointment with Tiffany and she promised to bring along a dog. She observed him for a while and we talked. She asks a lot of questions. And she can really really read dog body language and translate it! Remember that book I read once? I'll have to re-read. But she was saying everything that I had read about in that book by Turid Rugraas called On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals. She really knows what she's talking about and with much questioning and answering, I realized just how sensitive poor wee Malcolm is. He's big and tough looking and very very strong. He doesn't pay much attention to a mild correction and if I let him get away with mis-behavior, he could really K.O. me or some one else. And I don't know what he might do to a poor wee little fluff ball dog if he ever got there. So I've corrected him. And I've corrected him hard. And he's translated that correction to mean that strange people are really really bad.
You see, it all happened that day that we met Piper his first girlfriend, at the dog park. I don't usually like dog parks but we went of a morning and no one was there. ..... for a while. It was Malcolm's first and last experience in a dog park. Some idiot let 3 mini schnauzers come barreling into the big dog section and they ganged up and charged Malcolm. He put his tail down, tucked his head and ran away. It was Piper that came to the rescue. She intervened and herded the schnauzers off in a different direction and told them to leave her bo' alone.
|Malcolm and Piper that terrible day.|