Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Don't Think So!

It is certainly not news that basenjis can be stubborn, but with my two it certainly is not equal.  With Shaka it's usually trying to convince him not to do something he is intent on doing -- lunging at trash on the street, not jumping on the table (a big one with me!), not counter surfing.  Hard as we have tried with "leave it", when he has a chicken bone is halfway down his throat in a 10th of a second, I have to resort to physically removing it from his mouth since no amount of "leave it" is going to work at that point.  His other big one is being bothered when he's sleeping.  He loves to snuggle,  jumps on my lap for hugs throughout the day.  But if Audrey or I come even close to him when he's in the crescent roll position, a slow brewing near snark starts rising as he clearly is saying "Can't you see I'm sleeping!"

Audrey, on the other hand, is less prone to such assertive but will often stall on our walks.  Not just stop, but pull back in he harness and give an expression of "You have got to be nuts if you think I'm moving ahead."  Some of it is definitely fear based, and she has a short list of stall-inducing things:
* Garbage trucks
* Construction sites
* Loud doors closing or people (especially men) shouting
* People walking behind her
* Aggressive dogs and sometimes even the place where she met an aggressive dog months ago even when there is no dog there

* People wearing black clothes

And then there are times when she just stalls for no reason.  It could be some fear trigger that I am not seeing, or it could be just plain stubbornness.  Typically, if I just give he a second to stop, let her gain her composure and assure her it's okay in a happy voice, she's fine to go ahead.  When someone is walking behind us, especially with clackety-clack shoes, we just need to pause and let them pass.  The same with people in black clothes.  I had the same issue of stalling (but from different triggers) with my first female, Bow.

Shaka, however, will charge ahead into anything even if its danger.  We manage to find our balance, but there are those moments of feeling like Silly Putty when one is lunging ahead and the other is pulling back full force refusing to inch forward.

1 comment:

  1. Another staller! My 12.5 year old Kenji started stalling on walks a few months ago. His pattern is to walk slower, slowerrr, slowerrrrr, and gradually come to a standing stop - sometimes acting like he is interested in something "out there" but clearly eyeing my reaction in his peripheral vision. Sometimes it has seemed he was just tired, e.g., going up a steep hill with 1/2 mile left to get home after an hour-long jaunt around the neighborhood. Other times, he clearly thinks the walk has been too short, so he will "stall out" near the bottom of our steep driveway or try to pull me over to the other side of the street and past our home. I see no fear prompts. If I switch off with my husband, he can sometimes inspire Kenji with talk on the order of "C'mon dude! let's be macho men." But I think Kenji's stall behaviors are efforts to train "mom" and "dad."