When Chunk came to us from the crap-ass breeder in Ohio, we knew that he'd most likely been used as a stud dog for much of his life. He showed the classic behavior that's so common with puppy mill studs; one track mind with no idea how to relate to dogs outside of, well, you know. A neuter helped curb some of the reproductive drive, but he didn't have a clue as to how to play. Since most homes want dogs that can have one or more dog-friends, it's important to us to socialize our charges as much as possible while getting them ready for adoption. This is where having a group of well-socialized, known quantity dogs is such a life saver. Chunk needs to learn 1) not to hump and 2) how to play. And since he's a rather low-key, middle aged guy who's never done either, it will take very tolerant dogs to bring this out in him. We grabbed video clips of Chunk's progress during short, well supervised play sessions. Here are some of our favorites. With each clip, he learns something new from each dog.First, Elliot
. The loose-bodied malberian's been great for teaching Chunk that dogs are safe, but he's too young to teach him not to hump. That's fine. We wanted some of Chunk's first experiences with dogs to be happy, even if altogether frustrating.Next, Sally.
She takes great pride in correcting dogs that offend her, but without going overboard. We don't employ our senior as much as we used to to socialize dogs since she tends to throw herself into these sessions with so much gusto that she sometimes throws her back out (!) But she told us that she thought Chunk was uber sexy, and was game to teach him some new moves. Immediately, she gave Chunk a few VERY loud and scary corrections for trying to mount her (not shown).
Once he showed a little more respect, in classic Sally fashion, she invited him to play. Chunk's not quite sure what to think of Miss Sally now - which is fine. Being confused at this point is a good lesson for the former stud muffin. We want him to think rather than fall back into old patterns (FYI, We're giving Sally LOTS of praise in this clip because she hates the camera and tends to go on strike when it comes out.)One Caveat: Here's our "don't try this at home" disclaimer. Every dog - especially every under-socialized dog - is going to be wildly different in how much he can tolerate from new dogs. If you've never done new dog-intros, you're wise to mentor with someone who knows how to do them before tossing dogs that don't know each other together. It's not rocket science and it's really fairly easy to read dog body language, but experience is SO much kinder than blind experimentation. So be smart, k? EDIT BELOW
Below - finally - a decent play session with Lola. He's still trying to mount, but he's also starting to try out some new moves. A few more sessions with a variety of dogs including helpful teacher Lola, and new doors will open for this boy. For now, Chunk will also be getting verbal reminders from us when he falls back into humping, but the dogs are giving him the opportunity to learn and develop a real play style. What would we do without all these wonderful dogs to help us out?
...and finally, Chunk starts to play. Whew.