Sunday, November 13, 2005
I think my son might become a dog trainer.
So I'm fostering another dog for BADRAP as part of my educational efforts to learn more about Pit Bulls and about the BADRAP process. The new dog is named Cleo and came from Oakland Animal Services last week. She is doing well and will get into Pit Bull Hall next week sometime.
Today, as Cleo and my 11 month old were hanging out in the living room, completely supervised of course, my son did something that cracked me up.
He went over to Cleo, stuck out his little hand, pulled up her lip and then swiped her muzzle a couple times. Then he turned around and grabbed her tail. He laughed with delight and Cleo, the perfect Pit Bull, didn't care one bit about this type of handling.
The funny thing about this is that this "handling" is part of our temperament test at the East Bay SPCA. We call it "teeth level 1" and "muzzle 1". We submissively, like a child, lift up the lip to see the dog's teeth, making cooing and ooohing sounds as we do it. Most dogs don't mind this in the least, but there are some who take this behavior quite badly and will snap back in an aggressive way. Same with muzzle 1. Three small swipes on the muzzle with just two fingers tries to mimic what any child might do. And before we do all this, we touch their paws, body and, yes, tail, to ensure the dog can stand to be handled in these ways.
So, even though I haven't ever seen this before, I got validation tonight that our test certainly does have real life meaning. I also got validation that Cleo is an absolute temperament correct pit bull. And lastly, I think my son might become a dog trainer.