Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Mina's Bad Behavior
When Celeste and I play tug-o-war, if Celeste starts growling, this gets Mina amped. She gets in Celeste's face. This results in Celeste dropping the toy and nailing Mina with a loud bark, snap and nip. Mina acts quite surprised that her behavior would result in such a response. She always backs down and finds her own toy. She also comes back five seconds later, undeterred.
Of course, I've been trying to avoid that whole scenario, because it annoys Celeste and leaves Mina confused. It means watching Mina and diverting her attention before she gets all excited. It's easy to tell - she stills herself and stares really hard at Celeste. She's waiting for the growl and then she will pounce.
There are several solutions. One is I tell Mina to get her own toy. She is greatly impressed and acts as if she thought that one up herself. Two is to invite Mina over and give her my half of the tug. Mina and Celeste take tugging very seriously. That really is a rabbit between them that needs eviscerating. What is interesting is Mina loses at tug of war every single time. She may have a strong grip, but when Celeste is determined, her bite is stronger. Three is to keep them separate, which I can do with a baby gate, but this really offends Mina sense of pack-hood. She'll give me the sad eye. I try to avoid the sad eye. Four is to tell Mina "leave it", but I like to save "leave it" for important situations like dead fish on the sidewalk. Fifth is just to stop playing tug with Celeste before she starts growling. This appeases everyone, except Celeste, who wants to play tug.
Dogs make life interesting. Some say they make life simple. I disagree. My life is way more complex with dogs in it. As it stands, I would not have any other way.