For those whom I totally confused with the previous post, Jackson is William's ten month old Beagle. Well, after last week's event between Jackson and Benjamin, my 8 yo son, we were in a quandry as to what to do. We had always stated that we would never keep a dog that had bitten someone. However, nothing is ever that easy when you are in the middle of it. Beagles are not generally aggressive. Headstrong, yes. Aggressive, no. So what really happened? With no witnesses, it's impossible to know.
So, we decided to have someone evaluate him to see if they could provoke a similar response. I called a friend, Amber, with lots of dog training experience to do just that. She saw nothing that gave her concern. I called another trainer (who helped train the previous trainer) who had several recommendations, one of which was to give him lots of exercise. Aha! I can do that! I wanted a canine running partner anyway!
Ha! Beagles and running. Well, they love to run, but they love to run after something...something with fur and a really good scent...and I don't mean Shalimar! If it's a dead scent, all the better! Definitely not my scent of choice. Since I don't generally smell dead (at least I try not to smell dead), I have hair and not fur, I am really not all that attractive to this beagle. So, a lovely little training collar is used to make my presence known and, more importantly, to make said beagle realize that he is not alpha and doesn't call the shots...or the pace!
So, Jackson works with said trainer, he runs a few miles with my 15 yo, Andrew, and now it is my turn. Amber works with me, showing me what to do to encourage good running partner behavior. Got it. I practice at home. I even run a few tenths of a mile. Cool! This is working!
So, today, KT and David came over and off we went for a nice slow three miles. Slow is the operative term. I have Jackson fully under my control with his training collar and leash. Kt gives in to Savannah's tail wagging and sad eyes, attaches a snoot loop and leash to her, and we are off. Off our rockers!
We get maybe a tenth of a mile down the road, and my shoulder already feels like it has been lifting weights for half an hour. I have to constantly pull on Jackson's leash to remind him that he is supposed to follow, not lead! The dead rabbit in the middle of the road is way more interesting than my attention-getting tactics. He finally settles into a rhythm. Then we hit the first hill. I slow down but Jackson is so not interested! He decides that the former pace is much more desireable. After stopping to make him sit, I get his attention again, and off we go.
Now for the fun....at the top of the hill, a bird has the audacity to wing itself across the road, right at Jackson's eye level. What is this stupid bird thinking? Doesn't it realize that this dog is a force with which to be reckoned? Apparently it decided to tempt fate...and we were off to the races.
How is it that a 40 lb dog can actually make a grown woman feel like she is in a cartoon as she is being literally dragged down the road, both hands holding onto the leash, and pulling with all her might! It was like being on the back of a sled and a team of huskies was pulling me across the frozen tundra! I wanted to yell, "MUSH!", but figured that if I did that, I might end up in North Carolina. While Caty is hysterically laughing at my comical adventure, I am looking at David, going, "Uh, could ya help me out here?" Fortunately, he did not find it nearly so comical and added his much stronger muscle mass to the effort of stopping this run away sled.
Needless to say, I have decided that my 6 foot son whose biceps are twice the size of mine will have the distinct privilege of running with said beagle while I enjoy his lab who adores placidly trotting along beside you... The beagle gets exercise, I get a lovely running partner, and all but Andrew are happy. :) Sorry son. Rank doth have its privileges!