How Not to Play Tug With a Dog
This report from WRCB Chattanooga brings us the amazing story of a dog that attacked a police car.While the officer was trolling for speeders, Winston decided to have a go at his cruiser. As the dog attacked the tires and bumper of the car, the police officer hit him with pepper spray and even tased him. Nonplussed, Winston simply pulled the electrodes out and went on with his ‘work’.
Here’s another view of the attack:
A few things stood out to me. First, notice how the officer moves his cruiser slowly back and forth as Winston tugs on his bumper. About 0:45 seconds into the video, another officer tells the driver “Keep your car still man.” I’m not sure if he was worried other guy is going to run over the dogs over or if he has realized that the back and forth action of the other car is just egging the dog on, but I like this guy’s instincts a lot better than the other fellow’s.
Dog training 101 – when a dog is pulling or tugging on something you don’t want him to – DO NOT PULL BACK. When you pull back you’re playing the dog’s game and engaging his oppositional reflexes. Engaging in a series of interactions where you pull, then stop and then pull again is an even worse idea. In effect, the police officer was playing a rousing game of tug of war with a very driven dog and letting him win.
Also, shocking a dog who has little or not prior training and is fully engaged in attacking or tugging on something without giving the dog direction on what to do at the same time often gives on the result apparently seen here: it just makes the dog go at it with more gusto.
This was probably the most fun Winston (who has a thing for power equipment anyway) has had in months.
Notice that at about 1:15 a siren temporarily stops the dog. If the tug toy car was put into park and both cars let their sirens blare, they may have been able to stop the game.
At about 2:00 dog pulls the shell of the bumper completely off and struts away with his prize. The officer almost escapes at this point, but because he does it cautiously, the dog gets a chance to go after his tires.
The first time I saw a clip of this episode I assumed the dogs were running loose. I was wrong, the dogs escaped from the welding shop where they’re kept. I’m glad that was the case. And while the officer involved didn’t act like an experienced dog trainer, I am completely and utterly thrilled that he and his fellow officers reacted with restraint so that Winston and his canine buddies weren’t shot. I’m also relieved to hear that animal control has no plans to euthanize him.
The Calgary Herald reports that Winston has been placed on probation and ordered to complete obedience training. I strongly recommend that his owners also invest in a more secure fencing option.
His owners said they had no clue why he went wild that day, chewing through two fences and attacking four cars.
He’d never shown any aggression before that day, owner Nancy Emerling told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Here’s your clue: A wonderful, strong, smart, high-energy dog with a history of going after lawn equipment and hasn’t received enough mental and physical exercise – or proper training – was left unsupervised in an inadequately fenced area, got bored, found a way to escape and discovered a ‘buddy’ who played a wonderful, rousing game of tug of war with him. Fortunately, his buddy didn’t run Winston over or shoot him.
I hope Winston has the same kind of luck with his owner’s new training program…