Sunday, December 18, 2011

ViVi meets Quinn

ViVi, our "Mongoose" x Lazer girl, is home for the holidays while her handler, Sam, is off cavorting in Europe.  Today she met Quinn for the first time and I documented their introduction.  Quinn has random tufts of blowing coat and wasn't groomed for a photosession, and ViVi is wearing an e-collar because the dogs were going to be running loose in an area where there are deer, in case I needed to absolutely stop her.

I let Quinn out of the kennel first so that it was ViVi who came into his area, not vice versa, giving more power to him via possession of territory. I did not want her to ambush him and have the element of surprise.  I didn't have the camera in position at that point, as I wanted to be able to react if there was a problem that required interference.  ViVi apparently can be somewhat dog aggressive.  Previously she has been good with Roya, her surrogate mother but today was getting a little out of hand, wanting to play too aggressively with the old girl.  I haven't introduced her yet to Cooper, whom she likes to act more aggressive toward in his crate or kennel.  I decided that a good first step would be to let her run with a totally confident adult dog who would not hesitate to smack her down if needed, though I have never seen him have to do that.  His posture alone has always been enough to gain respect.

When Vivi met Quinn, she was hackled from neck to tail and held a very low posture.  She didn't engage him, but rather skirting around submissively. She would follow but jumped away if he moved toward her. I called Quinn and Vivi followed and she started to loosen up a little.

Off we went to the field and acreage behind the house and this is what it looked like:

Then Quinn needed to take a potty break, which allowed Vivi to get a little braver.

hey! hurry up! wanna play now?

uh-oh! I'm not sure you have good intentions!

This is a good photo showing the calming signal of licking, communicating to Quinn to calm down, she's no threat

getting to know you......

getting to know all about you....

playing around

now let's get our positions straight! YOU go on the bottom!

and the walk ended with the two of them running down the trail and through the fields.  Quinn pretty much just ignored her, and was more interesting in coming back to me for treats.  That worked out well because she would follow him and they would both be rewarded.  Vivi was relaxed enough to try to engage him with some "hit and run" play but Quinn neither responded aggressively nor played interactively with her.  I know now that I can run the two of them together without problems.

Happy Trails to you!