Kamp K-9 has been busier than ever! But I would like to share two notable events with you. The first is Lucy, a Great Dane/Lab mix who has energy issues; this means that she doesn't get her entire energy reserve depleted and this can result in anxiety or becoming way too mischievious in her effort to burn off the excess energy.
I bike rode her back to the house and then decided to put her on the treadmill -- her first time. It took her less than 30 seconds to get the idea that the ground was moving and that she had to concentrate on propelling herself forward., and she did quite well. During the taping, which I did to show Lucy's owner that she would do it since she was considering buying a treadmill for those occasions, two other dogs named Piper and Brandi were with us at Kamp K-9. Of course Koa was there and I had all of the dogs in the Florida Room to create a little distraction so Lucy would work through the challenge.
While editing the video, I noticed something I had not previously seen on the tape and certainly didn't see when it happened: Koa intentionally and subtlely moved Piper out of the way from in front of the treadmill, which is a dangerous place to be since the dog may move forward and through the front to get off if they are suddenly distracted -- which actually happened one minute later. When you watch the video, I slowed it down during that time so you can see it in action. And you'll see that it was a pack leader behavior on Koa's part since I was unable to see it. I'm not saying that he knew it was going to happen, but he's been there enough to know that's not where you want to be when something happens.
And, a week later, another dog named Lola, got on the treadmill for her first time and inside 20 seconds was walking on the treadmill without the leash attached for a total of almost an hour! When I sent that video to her owner, she thought that I had doctored the tape somehow but I'm not that good. Just remember that if you are working with your dog on a treadmill, the introduction has to be calm, assertive, and supportive of the end result -- one that has your dog being mentally challenged AND successful in that challenge, which only improves your status in the dog psychology aspect of their life.
Until next time, challenge your pack to become better -- that's what a true pack leader does!