About flock reuniting problems!
When you have been out all day doing some activity or other with just one or two of your dogs and you arrive home again all tired and needing rest, you are met by the other dogs who have had a totally boring day just waiting for your return, who are refreshed after sleeping most of the time, so that it CAN be difficult to reunite the two groups.
On the one hand you have the "privileged" dogs, the ones who were chosen to spend an exciting and maybe long day away from home and together with you, the loved one, and who are now tired, hungry and only want to rest and get some peace and quiet. On the other hand, you have the "left behinds", who are all now extra fresh and ready for pranks, overwhelmed and thrilled to see you again and who want to greet you excitedly and are badly in need of exercise after the long day alone at home.
Such situations can easily lead to fighting, as the flock's natural balance (and hierarchy) is temporarily thrown into disorder. Small nags and quarrels or dominance difficulties can suddenly flair up far worse than ever before. Misunderstandings between the tired "privileged" dogs who wish to relax and the over fresh and playful "neglected" dogs, can easily lead to jealousy, threats, snarls and maybe even turn into a really nasty situation.
Just a trip to the vet's with one dog can lead to problems getting the dogs together again afterwards, especially if the chosen one has new strange smells and resents the way the others seem abnormally interested in sniffing him/her all over!
Well in our house, we have developed a sure fire way of getting them all together again with no problems of any kind: When we return home, we first of all hold the "privileged" dogs back, on the leash and somewhere where they cannot be seen or heard, perhaps still in the car. I go inside the house and warmly greet the "left behinds" who are so thrilled to see me, very hungry and badly needing to go outside to relieve themselves. As fast as I can, I lead them all out into the garden.
On the way outside with them, I grab up a plastic bag I have already prepared before I left home, filled with several handfuls of dry puppy food. (It must be puppy food as this has the smallest segments and smells a bit special and different compared with their ordinary food!)As soon as I get outside, I throw a big handful of the puppy food all over the grass like I'm scattering seed in as wide an area as possible. Best spread thinly over a huge area. At the same time I tell them all to "seek"! These poor "left behinds" now have dreadful problems with both trying to relieve themselves (they are usually pretty desperate, no matter what time of day it is!) and at the same time finding and eating as many of the small puppy food particles that they can, hidden in the grass. They are very much aware that speed is the essence, if they want to get the most food particles before the others get there first!
At this point we release the "privileged? and say "seek" to them too and they also race forward only intent on finding as much food as possible, completely ignoring the others. Matters of the stomach almost always take priority with dogs ! An extra handful thrown about and they are all so busy that they simply haven't time to greet each other or sniff possible strange smells. Their heads are simply filled up with the job of getting more tid-bits than the others! When they are finished searching and some give up before others, one can just pet them calmly again and they have now forgotten how long the day has been, who left who behind and they just resume their normal rank order, as if nothing had happened!
Somebody asked: Don't they fight when they are all dashing around trying to be the one who gets the most? Well, this doesn't happen if you use the tiny puppy food pieces that they can swallow instantly and you throw the handfuls thinly over a large area so they really have to work hard to find them. They cannot "fight" over such small pieces that they can hardly see them, only smell them! This scattering of puppy food also works well when we get guests!
CLICK HERE for more tips. This time about letting your dog run loose in nature.
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