Chronicle of Otis the Dog: Day 19

We’ve now entered the phase where Otis is pretty much getting along with the other dogs in his new pack, but he’s testing the boundaries outside the house.  He’s feeling full of himself because he has new compadres who’ll back him up if he picks a fight.  He’s taken to snarling at any other dog in the neighborhood — though we’re working on the “LEAVE IT!” command very diligently — as well as people.  He sees all dogs and strangers as a threat to him or his new family, and acts accordingly.  I often will make him sit to distract him from his aggression, and then speak kindly to him, explaining why he’s not in danger from these things.  He’s beginning to latch onto these little mini-lessons.  He now knows when to leave a scrap of food on the ground rather than gobble it up (food is still a bit of an issue with him), and only occasionally lunges at other dogs in their fenced yards.  It’s a process, but he’s an incredibly smart and willing pup.  Now that he’s settled in at home, I will begin treat-training him on the streets.

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