Calming The Group Down!

Lately, I have had to separate some of my dogs and keep them apart. Miranda and Emmett are the two energetic youngish (7 years) dogs who roughhouse a lot and cause everyone else to get energized. This has caused, in the last year, an injury for Emmett – a slight tear to his ACL.

Emmett is our 62 pound dark blue merle Aussie who loves playing disc and running as fast as possible. He has been to the vet and has been examined, but there is nothing we can do to fix it other than time and rest if possible.

I had noticed that Miranda and Emmett LOVE taking off at a high rate of speed when they get out of the van at the running yard when we go for exercise. They feed off each others energy and have so much fun. But this causes injuries, and I have seen this numerous times with other dogs I have had. Roughhousing causes injury – at least at our place it does!

Emmett and Miranda Running To Disaster?
Emmett and Miranda Running To Disaster?

So my remedy for this is to stop letting Miranda and Emmett run together to break the habit of fast, out of control running. They learned to do that by repetition of the behaviour, and now they are unlearning it. But the learning has to be done separately.

I am now walking Emmett over to the running yard on leash to warm up his muscles BEFORE he runs on his own. With him goes Tommy, the very laid back Aussie. This change has made an immediate difference. Both Miranda and Emmett are more relaxed and less focused on tearing around. They are still able to be together (they are buddies), in our smaller backyard, and have horsed around there before too, but that has stopped.

So, a simple change in management of the dogs has made a great difference. Emmett’s knee is healing and with more walking and strengthening exercises, I feel certain we can eliminate most of his knee pain.

While this isn’t really active training, it is a plan to change behaviour, which starts with the human cluing in on what is happening and starting the change.

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