Friday, 26 April 2013
Leader of the Pack episode 3 - Dora the Yorkie cross.
For those avoiding watching this but wanting to know what happens...
This week we meet Dora, a 7 month ish Yorkshire terrier mix, this time from Birmingham Cats and Dogs Home. Shame, I thought better of them, oh well.
Dora's problem in their words is that she is highly aggressive and dominant to all dogs she meets, and we see a delightful scene of her being allowed to rush, bundle and pin what looks to be a spaniel puppy type.
She is VERY full on and they say she was found as a stray - my personal opinion is that she has missed out on some vital socialisation, either by being taken from a litter too young or because she was a singleton pup, or the stronger pup of a small group.
In my opinion, she doesn't appear 'aggressive', she actively wants to interact with other dogs but she has NO idea how to do this, she rushes at them, pins them down and mouths at them - it all seems to me like play that has never been modified.
With larger dogs she is a bit fearful and likely to bite harder.
The very first thing Cesar does when she arrives, is to ask the person to put her down on the floor with Junior.
Very predictably, she rushes Junior and leaps at his face and ears, growling and he ignores her in favour of staring at Cesar. He doesn't look comfortable but this discomfort seems more directed at Cesar (very 'what do you want me to do boss, I am being good boss') and pretending Dora doesn't exist, than a dog patiently ignoring a horrible puppy and trying to teach it anything.
Cesar keeps Junior interested in a tennis ball with a chuckit.. which again makes me think Junior wouldn't be ignoring Dora if Cesar were not there.
Poor Junior, Dora flings herself at him a few more times as he chases his ball.
Then we meet the prospective adopters - one family includes a girl who has just finished her zoology degree, one family is a vet and his wife and their poor old dog they have dragged out to Spain, and the other family have brought their first dog, who seems to be a young terrier x.
Ms Zoology Degree proudly proclaims she'd like to be a dog behaviourist.. as, despite NEVER having owned a dog before, she knows that you don't need any skills to be a behaviourist.....
PARDON ME? Lemme hear that one more time...
YOU DON'T NEED ANY SKILLS TO BE A DOG BEHAVIOURIST...Yeah. Thought thats what she said, so it turns out, you don't need any fecking brains to get a degree either.
Moving on, they didn't win. Good job.
In one test they put Dora on a slip lead - she fights like a crazy shark the second it tightens under her chin.
We see a LOT of Dora flopping down on her side, which someone described to me today as a 'tap out' behaviour like a wrestler on the mat asking for time out, when trapped in a situation where fighting isn't working, she just hits the deck, all whale eyes and refusal to partake in whats going on.
Cesar tells us shes being submissive and picks her up and forces her onto the treadmill, then turns it on and makes her run. She does eventually grasp the idea and run.
His reasoning for doing this is because she has too much energy, which is apparently also why she flings herself so rudely at any dog she sees.
His other answer to that behaviour is to take her into a run with some of his 'pack', though the little flash up notices state that this is the 'soft' pack, and harder members of the pack have been removed (because presumably, they would eat the little squirt).
Predictably, flooded by so many dogs she doesn't try it on with them. Hey presto, she is cured.
Then she meets Charlie, one of the families dogs (the family who weren't the vet people). Charlie is a youngish Cairn x Pomeranian (thats what they think, god knows!).
The two dogs are let off lead and they race around like mad things play fighting and humping each other frantically trying to pin the other one down. Cesar proclaims that they are in love, how wonderful.
Neither dog looks remotely calm or happy about the other dogs presence and they continue to test one another out - there isn't any real aggression, YET, but the constant play fighting suggests to me, that neither one is mature or well balanced enough to tell the other to back off and be respected, and neither dog really knows how to communicate with dogs that well.
The vet people with their dog, who was rescued from Tobago (i think), Arthur - they think he is a terrier. I think hes a very low-wheelbase spitz mix. He looks like a Corgi x Shiba Inu!
He is clearly old, and he is not remotely impressed with Dora. He doesn't want her near his people and snarks at her. He waits for her to be trapped at one point, when she is lying on his owners chest (the guy is laying on the floor and she snuggles into his arm to get away from Arthur) and then has a pop at her.
Most of the time he ignores her, when she gets too close he tells her to get stuffed (fairly politely).
Cesar proclaims that this is just what Dora needs (granted, its better than the match between her and the other terrier!).
Theres a lot of pointless waffle - the vet bloke went up a lot in my estimation when he tried to push a point about rewards and how he uses them. Cesar moved him on from that quite quickly!
Cesar makes both remaining families groom their dogs - ie, force Dora to be held and groomed. Again Dora does a lot of flopping over, belly up, which Cesar thinks is an awesome display of her submission and I think bloody well isn't she just doesn't know what else to do to make it all stop and isn't given towards aggressive reactions to people (yet).
Tellingly, vet bloke is MUCH nicer about this - his own dog likes being brushed and he only tries to get Dora to accept it for a few seconds, and he doesn't jerk or punish her when she tries to nip behind him to escape.
Cesar yanks her out though and forces her to be brushed, whereupon she flops over again (and he says shes submissive and she likes being groomed - her whale eye and desperate attempts to avoid looking at him say different!).
The other family try this too - THEIR dog doesn't like being groomed (and yet is freshly scissored.. methinks a trip to the groomers before their jaunt in spain).. Dora doesn't like being groomed by them either - cue a flop over and whale eyes 'get me outta here'.
The other test both families do is to feed both dogs food from a bowl - vet family put the dogs fairly close together but not too bad. Both dogs eat food and then, whilst talking, the old boy has another pop or two at Dora telling her to piss off away from his folks. Cesar again just states that this is necessary and fine.
The other family put the bowls ridiculously close together, with the result (phew!) that Dora won't actually eat that close to Charlie. Even Cesar spots this is a recipe for trouble and steps in and moves the bowls apart and then Dora will eat (I was watching through half shut eyes here!)..
Then he does some blather about having them look at him not each other with some pieces of cheese and fortunately they do both sit and look at him... but then again when he isn't paying attention to the dogs, Dora batters Charlie and pins him upside down and lies on him (I thought they'd cured that!)
In the end, vet family and Arthur win Dora - Arthur looks over the moon, not. I think this was the right choice though, as these people do not actually look totally enthralled with Cesar and his methods.
Sadly, by the time Dora actually arrives at this family's palatial home (BOY did she land on her feet, if dogs care about multimillion pound houses, shes just won the lottery!)... poor Arthur has gone to meet his maker, dying suddenly from some respiratory ailment (what, shortly after visiting Spain... mm!) I feel sorry for them and I do think Dora has got very luck with this family. She is shown getting on nicely with the daughters JRT.
One thing I noticed but can't remember where it fit in - at one point, zoology girl goes into the run with Dora. Dora is jumping at the gate and girl slams the gate shut in her face (which hits Dora in the face quite hard). Then shes jumping up at the girl and girl ignores it for a bit until it looks like Cesar is prompting her to do something.
She bends down and delivers a very slick 'tssssst' and jab in the neck with the fingers and Dora displays a super well conditioned response, FLYING away from the girl at a million miles an hour and looking very bloody worried.
Just idle conjecture, but I am positive he conditions that with a shock collar.
So to sum up - more bollocks, no real insight into why Dora really IS the way she is, just claptrap. Lots of force and risky things done and I think Birmingham Dogs and Cats Home are a bunch of bloody idiots!