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    « Winter Sun Dog | Main | My silent retreat with Maydel »
    Wednesday
    Jul122017

    Skunk Whispering

    This week I am boarding a 75 lbs dog that I’ve trained since he was just a pup.  He’s older now and maturing like a fine wine, but he’s also very powerful and has a few sensitive triggers outside.  The kind of behaviour that could really frighten another being...

    My routine this summer has been waking up with the sun, going into the backyard and meditating.  When I’m finished I walk Maydel and any other dog that I’m boarding / training.  

    Yesterday morning a skunk wanted to join our pack.  Yes... a skunk that came within a few feet of me and my unleashed dogs.  Maybe he felt the love and wanted some... I don’t know.  I didn’t ask.  

    When a skunk sprays he does it out of fear and I wasn’t comfortable with the risk profile I was finding myself in.

    Instinctively both dogs were commanded down and leashed.... I positioned myself ahead of the dogs and kept my eyes down but maintained awareness of the skunk while maintaining a vulnerable stance... I was going for a set of gestures that communicate control, compassion and friendliness.  In other words, our pack gave the skunk ‘space to breathe’.  Space for him to view us and make a decision.  

    He lingered a good long time while giving me the curious eye.   I suspected he wanted to stay.

    I wanted him to leave so I changed my posture... Tall spine, direct eye contact, calm-assertive tone... I said, “skunk be gone” and pointed where I wanted him to go.  

    Yes... it totally worked.  It worked so well that he joined us again the next morning too!

    This motivated me to offer private lessons in dog whispering.  It's time to share the wisdom.

    If this interests you, contact me via email.


     

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