Weatherman Mike Sobel is an animal lover, advertising dogs up for adoption on his weather slot. Ripples the bull mastiff cross lived up to his name on the show, Mike handles it in good humour. Now we all know lead chewing is a terrible thing at all times. Why? Because a frayed lead leads to a broken lead, watch on…
Ripples really does like the game of tug. He is so gentle initially and when he does it, Mike pulls on the lead to manoeuvre Ripple around the floor. Ripple takes this as an invitation to pull /tug back and the game is on! Poor Mike, he had no idea that this was what he was communicating to Ripple. Now watch, it gets more exciting.
Ripple is distracted by a colleague and leaves the lead, what a great lad, but when he is given no reward or alternative object to play with. What does Ripple do? He just goes back, gently, to his old ways. So does Mike.
Mike shortens or wraps the lead around his hand just a few more times so allowing Ripple to squeeze anymore life out of it and Ripple is left with a change in the game, chew since the lead is too short to share tugging.
Ripple really is fond of Mike by now, watch carefully and you will see that every time Ripples pulls more vigorously on the lead, Mike laughs enthusiastically, so marking this behaviour as one that gets a change in Mikes behaviour/ or play style.
Then the chewed frayed lead finally snaps! Does Mike stop? No, he tries to keep going and gestures with the end of the lead still in his hand, waving away in front of Ripple. What does this mean to a dog? He thinks that Mike still wants to play. Ripples decides to embrace this invitation and considers the best way to do this is, you guessed it, Ripple jumps up to try and catch the lead.
I love is Mike, he is so happy and trusting throughout the segment. Ripple absolutely cannot be encouraged to play like this unless it is on command. But Mike’s demeanour did not state at anytime that Ripples was a bad dog, just a dog looking for fun and one that needs training.
Mike, thank you for using your public profile and weather show to support animal rescue and adoption with the Edmonton Humane Society. Ripple, enjoy learning more in your new home!
If like Mike, you are in need of some help understanding how dogs learn and what your present actions may be teaching them. People like Mike and dogs like Ripple are welcome anytime in our classes, we love helping people and dogs learn to communicate with each other and get a better relationship (with no chewed leads!).