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Day #11 of Conditioning Month

July 31, 2013

Mixed-Messages-1I have to admit – there are times when I wonder if I’m ever going to get anywhere with Nacho.

Ok, I understand. Nothing happens in five minutes. I’m trying to undo five years of who knows what, and that’s going to take time. But all the same, I’m simply cannot deny that now and then little moments of doubt don’t come creeping into my head.

To be fair, I can’t really read the signs with any level of accuracy. I do not speak woof, so I have to go by the few phrases I’ve picked up from my doggie phrase book.

I mentioned how I’d come across Nacho playing one evening – just for a few moments, but unmistakably playing. Tonight – while I was eating my dinner – I noticed what appeared to be play between Nacho and Jasper. They stood looking at each other for a while, then Nacho chased Jasper and Jasper ran away. Nacho’s tail was up and wagging all the time. His ears were up and he seemed happy. Then they swapped places and Jasper chased Nacho. This is always where the problems set in. I think Nacho just feels really threatened all the time – which would probably make sense – but particularly when he’s got The Mighty Jasper bearing down on him at a hundred miles per hour. That’s when Nacho gets all growly and snarly, baring his teeth.

The confusing part is that he doesn’t back down, and sometimes can even be wagging his tail. He’ll raise a front paw and maybe pat Jasper with it. I’ve even seen Jasper lay down in a submissive position at this point, but immediately afterwards Jasper will stand up and dive back into the mix.

I’m of the opinion that Jasper is just really poor at picking up the social clues, and so doesn’t realize that he’s pissing Nacho off. But surely the growling and snarling stuff is pretty easy to understand, even to a socially inept puppy like the Japst? Or is this some sort of confusion/power play about who is the alpha between the two of them?

Everyone is very clear about my position as pack leader – I get all the right signs most of the time. They wait for me to lead them out of the house when we go for a walk. At mealtimes they’ll sit and wait until I tell them they can start to eat – even though their full bowls are right in front of them. They both walk pretty well on the lead – ok, Jasper still likes to run about and do his own thing, and I don’t really mind that too much. Hey, he’s only a pup. But perhaps there’s still a little jostling going on between the two of them for their respective ranks.

I placed Nacho ahead of Jasper in the pack simply because he’s much older and really reserves the respect. So Nacho gets fed first – for instance – but in many other respects it’s hard to see Jasper showing a great deal of subservience to the other guy.

Really it’s difficult to keep a handle on what’s going on when there’s just myself and the two of them in the house. It’s hard enough to keep a handle on everything that needs doing to keep the house in order and get my job done, without also having to try to remember to scrutinize those two, and trying to get any meaningful training done when they’re both clammering for my attention.

This stuff is going to have to wait for a while I think, until I’ve another pair of helping hands.

Nacho is due back at the vets next week to finish off his top-up injections and also to get a new chip. His old one has either died or it’s a completely different type that our vet cannot read.

part_logo_hidInterestingly, I remember way back in about 1991 I had a bunch of RFID animal tags that I was given by a rep during a visit. At the time this guy worked for Hughes (as in Howard Hughes’ corporation) and they were about to get into the field of identification. As I recall, they bought up an animal tag manufacturer for their technology, then went forward with their own range of products. At the time, they really did not have a clue what to do with it, and they were searching for applications for the technology that they’d bought…although clearly not in the field of pet tagging.

Shortly afterwards they formed HID (Hughes Identification) and to some extent the rest is history. HID are now owned by Assa Abloy, but they’re also probably the biggest in the field of RFID readers and credentials in the security market, and really have been for quite some time.

There are a lot of parallels between HID and their RFID technologies and Assa Abloy and their many traditional lock companies, both relying for their security upon a single piece of hardware that can be lost, stolen or used by unauthorised users. Do you think they’ve consciously decided to buy up all of the inevitably obsolete identification technologies on the planet for some reason?

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