December 2, 2016 by The Dog Rules
It dawned on me that Drift was going through all the puppy stages even though he was an adult dog. He began to challenge me and, briefly, became nippy with me. When he found that I was having none of his sass he changed his tune.
Some of his behavior concerned me. He had made friends with a couple of neighborhood dogs that we met on walks. Initially, Drift had been polite and playful. Then his behavior changed suddenly. He lunged toward them like a wild thing, growling and appearing anything but friendly. The owners of these dogs kept a good distance from us thereafter. I couldn’t blame them. The most difficult part was that his behavior had become unpredictable – like Jekyll and Hyde.
Fortunately for me, I bumped into behaviour and training consultant Chirag Patel, owner of Domesticated Manners. Dear Chirag spent about 30 minutes with me discussing Drift’s behaviour and making many useful recommendations to manage Drift during the final stages of his recovery.
Drift’s stamina had increased to the point were he needed more exercise than I could give him on-leash. Because he had absolutely no recall, I needed to find a secure area where I could let him burn of some of that excess energy and still catch him if necessary. I took him to an out-of-the-way off-leash park at times when I was fairly certain that there would be no other dogs around. We worked in the small dog enclosure where I could see the approach of other dog walkers. I didn’t want to take the chance of Drift “acting out” on another dog.
He loved galloping around the enclosure chasing his ball. We were fortunate enough to have other dogs use the big dog enclosure. There was a fence section between the two enclosures where Drift could walk up and sniff the other dogs and not get into close contact with them. When Drift displayed his annoying, bossy puppy behavior the other dogs would simply walk away from him and play with each other.