OK, when you’re REALLY, REALLY pissed about something, you have to stop and look at it and figure out, is my anger completely righteous, or, did I contribute to it, and that’s why I’m so mad? Well, I was good and pissed. So, naturally the next part of the process was introspection. Mad, is only a good thing, if it creates drive to solve the problem that is pissing you off. Just MAD…… That’s just a waste. Just drama.
So, in that light, I’ve given my incident lots of thought. And, I’ve tried to not just blame it on the other people (my first reaction). I tried to see how I could have done better. Aside from having my dogs so well trained that I can get a down in motion and not have them break while being goaded by an aggressive dog from an inch away, thus allowing me to run the offending dogs away…….
Here’s where I think I really screwed up. I wasn’t running neck lines on their rigs, because I was letting them have a more relaxed tempo. Neck lines are lines that hook collars to the tow line, so if a dog on the team starts to lag, or drift it keeps them in line. But just making the rounds by my house, and not being around other dogs, I don’t use them. This allows one to drift a tad, or drop back for a second. Just a bit less “strict”. Now neck lines per se, wouldn’t have helped with the fight, but it would’ve necessitated collars and collars would have! But, I didn’t have them on. Just their harnesses.
When I take my dogs around other dogs, I always have a slip (or at least a flat) collar on them, just in case shit hits the fan, I can adjust their oxygen, and stop things if I need to. But, I ASSUMED based on a decade of running dogs on this route, that I wouldn’t see anything. So, no collars. Would’ve been the only tool to help in that situation. My two redirected and got tangled with each other. I could’ve ended it quickly, and begin untangling. Repeated as necessary, until they stopped initiating, or I got them untangled and could adjust distance, and bring out of drive, and work my way back to them sitting controlled with each other. Certainly would’ve stopped my bites from the breaking up my two. And probably would’ve avoided the bites from the loose dogs as well, If I were standing tall, and obviously controlling, they most likely wouldn’t have run in for their cheap shots. Certainly would’ve minimized the damage they did to each other, and reduced the time.
But, I didn’t. I assumed.
1. Always, always, always, use the gear that would work if EVERYTHING went wrong. Never assume.
I’m the asshole that didn’t put his seat belt on, because “I won’t crash”.
Won’t make that mistake again. Even if you decide on your gear, and strategy. The walking stick/spray deterrent/slip collar/etc….. won’t work if you don’t bring it.
Maybe someone can learn that from this, without getting a hole in their own face.
2. Working on a variation of a neck line that is rigid. Prototype will probably be PVC over a normal neck line. but will eventually be more sturdy that that. This would allow me to take dogs on a pull, and insure that they CAN’T redirect. Well, they technically “could” redirect, but they couldn’t engage. And that’s gonna make it easier to deal with. I’ll keep you posted, if I come up with something useful!
Really, it all boils down to what you learned as a kid. Be prepared. If something makes you mad, figure it out. Don’t just be mad.