I worked on muzzling the boys, Mak was pretty good about it but I can’t remember the last time he wore his. Rollo, as usual, was ultra wound up and hated his.
We were making some teensy weensy progress but I made an executive decision that the long term stress of being chained was counter productive. Combine that with the stress of a first interaction concomitant to muzzle wearing would make their first real encounter quite unpleasant.
Instead, I gradually lengthened their chains, often by only two links increase at a time. I kneeled between them petting, baby talking and monitoring body language very closely. By my side I had a fight disrupting device which I cannot name, but between their very limited reach and my device, I was confident.In the background I had the soothing and hopefully calming notes of Enya, one of my favorite musicians. I apologize as I’ve posted this song before but I feel it’s integral to the fabric of this post.
When that went smoothly I continued to extend, link by link, their lines. Mak is a sensitive and quite intelligent dog, I think, and he was savvy at managing all interactions.
It’s my experience working solo with multiple pit bulls that the best way to ensure an initial smooth transition to together-time is to walk them. Smelling is a consuming activity for them and particularly dogs who’ve been caged all day, going for a walk is utterly engrossing. I feel this is safer than releasing them with while their most arresting other object is each other.
At point I donned the horse girth with Mak’s longer line. Mak was definitely intimidated. Rollo is bonkers and twice his size at 2 years of age to Mak’s 10. The longer line would enable him to escape Rollo’s attention when it became to much. I also put a second cow strap around my waist and brought my “fight disruptor” with me.
As a very well-timed reminder of a possible unaccounted variable, a woman passed my house at that moment with a leashed dog. Didn’t want that loose cannon rolling around the decks. Better to keep that first foray on my own property.
Then, without muzzles we stepped out the door.