Alex and Silver
The first thing I noticed was their size. Alex was a rather tall and long dog, but I couldn't get over how long the wolves legs were. These wolves were more the size of an Irish Wolfhound. In fact, they almost looked like Irish Wolfhound with their shaggy fur and square muzzles. The woman explained that this was their summer coat and when their winter coat came in they would have the traditional wolf look with their thick mane and bushy fur. The second thing I noticed was that all three wolves began to furiously marked their territory when we walked up. And the third thing that stood out was, what was in my opinion a much too small pen for three wolves. In fact it rather bothered me, knowing how wolves roam and wander. I don't remember if these wolves were born in captivity or not, though I would suspect so, judging by the way they interacted with the woman.
A picture of no relevance, except for being a cute pic of Brut about 9 weeks old.
One bit of knowledge that I walked away with from that experience was how to "trade." The woman told us that one thing you never do with a wolf is take anything away from them, you trade for it. No matter what it was, food, bone, toy, etc. And while I didn't have a need for this info with Silver or Alex, when Brut came along several years later, I found it to be a life saver. Trading with Brut for anything his little heart deemed absolutely his, changed one of the ways I handled his possession nature with respect and care. I have traded with Brut anything from food, toys, bones or even his fresh caught squirrel. Which I still find to be a miracle to this day! I've found that while it works best to trade with a high value treat, once it is practiced enough, even a lower value will work. Brut learns he is rewarded for giving up his prize and I am able to get whatever he deems of utter importance out of his mouth. It has been a valuable tool when working with a possessive and protective dog. At least it worked for us. Learning from the wolves.
Simple, yet amazing how a tidbit of info can make such a difference in the world of Brut.
And for all of our Pitty friends we are dedicating this past post to you and for changing our minds and many like us.
Oh Brut what a cute picture of you an interesting post that was.
Best wishes Molly
Great post! I trade with Fred all the time and it works great for us! That baby picture of Brut.....how could you not post it! :)
Oh, I'm so glad you joined in on the pitty post day! I just read your previous post, which I somehow missed then! What a wonderful post, it really warms my heart, and my momma's heart, to know that what we write really does reach people. It's stories like yours the keep me blogging and give me hope that someday, the world might be BSL free and pitties will be welcome pups everywhere!
When it comes to resource guarding, you can't be too careful. It sounds like you got some great advice from a source you never expected. Isn't life weird the way it works out?
Brut was an adorable puppy. From that photo, it's hard to believe he turned into... Well, Brut. ;-)
Great post! Trading is such a wonderful tool, thanks for reminding about this. I use to do this when the boys were puppy but then it faded. I am going to get back to it!
That's pretty interesting. I think trading works pretty well with kids, too!
Your pal, Pip
Wow! We did not know about wolves and the idea of trading. Funny thing is that Siku "trades" items for treats...and she is particular about what she will accept in return for her treasure.
When she was younger and discovered she could trade sticks for treats I discovered her one morning with a branch to large to bring through the dog door. She was patiently chewing off smaller pieces and creating a "stash" which she used for several days worth of trading.
Glad you didn't take a break from blogging
When we went through training classes in the fall, trading was something that she introduced to us as well. It works wonders, even with my admittedly laid-back dogs. Far less sulking!
Wolves have always fascinated me (not that I'd necessarily want to raise one). I guess trading is instinctive in many animal species.
Yes, trading is a great tool. Humans are the same way. I think that's why dogs fascinate us so much.
I hope you'll forgive the self-promotion but I think you'll find this really interesting: On Thursday at Something Wagging This Way Comes, I'll be reviewing the book Three Among the Wolves. It's the story of a couple and their dog who travel to the Yukon and Arctic to observe wolf families in their home range.
Their dog, Charlie, helps them earn the wolves trust. I think you would love this book.
Thanks for posting for Corbin...and WOW! I'm going to take that lesson with me forever. I think it might work with my kids too.
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