LIFETIME LEGAL CONCLUSION?
In childhood, dreaming of a dog, I often imagined myself proudly walking with a dog on a leash. When I got the dog, I didn’t need a leash. Dinara, a one-year-old boxer bitch, picked up by me on the street, affectionate and obedient, was so afraid to get lost again that she did not leave me a single step without a leash. She did not pose a danger to children, nor to small dogs, nor to cats. Well, why such a good girl led on a leash? So it turned out that the leash in our relationship was purely a formality, resting during a walk somewhere in my pocket – contrary to the rules of keeping dogs in the city.
Relationships with my second dog, a rottweiler bitch named Bianca, also naturally developed. The leash has nothing to do with affection, I decided, and the puppy would grow without a leash. Weeks went by, then months, and I kept putting off the day when, in obedience to the demands of the public, I would have to take the child under arrest. But even then, when Bianca grew up and people began to fear her, I took every opportunity to pull her off the leash. She never failed me, she was perfectly obedient, controllable in any situation, striking me (and not only me) with the adequacy of reactions to any unforeseen situations. Even then, I wondered: is not its beautiful character the result of democratic education without endless restrictions and prohibitions?
Bianca became the basis of my pack. Then came Stavi (also a rottweiler), the Bern Sheepdog Arletta and the American Cocker Verka. And, after the death of Bianca, another Rottweiler, Frank. With the number of dogs came and experience. Mostly positive. As it turned out, taking care of two dogs and walking with them is no more difficult than with one. But much more interesting. Later, three, then four dogs (and more) easily got along with each other and with people, giving me a great many interesting and funny observations. Houses and on the street. As my friend put it, we have a free circus at home. Submissions today and daily.
EXPERIMENT SUPPLIED BY LIFE.
At first, we didn’t even think about the fact that we were actually conducting an experiment. They just lived their dog life: the life of dogs and dog lovers. Watching the dogs, how they find out the relationship, quarrel and reconcile, make friends and quarrel, boast, cheat, exchange information and courtesies, call for help, organize intrigues. And, of course, we walked with them. Often, for a long time, everywhere – and without a leash.
Our place of residence is Izhevsk, a large industrial center, a large and lively city with a population of about 700,000 people. Lies among the beautiful and relatively untouched nature. Therefore, of course, we often went for walks beyond the city limits, making many kilometers of hikes. But, unlike many dog breeders, they did not avoid the noisy streets. We and our dogs felt equally well in the middle of the forest and in the urban jungle. Of course, we did not get to all remote districts, but most of the city repeatedly passed from end to end. As otherwise, without a leash.
Talking with many dog owners, I learned about things that were incomprehensible and unfamiliar to me. About how dogs (animals with outstanding indicative instinct) manage to get lost less than a block from home. How to run away from their own owners and catch them stretched out for whole hours (being on my overexposure the same dogs did not show any wandering inclinations). As dogs with diplomas in the training of the highest degrees, they do not fulfill the most elementary commands of the owners, when they are out of the leash.
In turn, many owners of dogs were surprised to see how we walk through the crowded streets with a large pack of dogs, driving it without any problems, and the most frequently asked question was: -How do you cope with them ?!
To which I usually replied: – I can not cope with them, I bring them up.
It was not entirely true. Reflecting on this question, I was aware that I really raised only my first dogs. Then, when the pack was formed, the need for my constant intervention disappeared: a new pack brought up each new member. Regardless of whether the new member was a puppy or teenager, I no longer needed to teach him to stop in front of the road or stay close to me in a thick crowd. He acted as the rest of the pack did. If, before crossing the road, all the dogs huddled around me and no one at the same time went to the dreary part, then the three-month-old puppy copied the elders and did the same.
At first glance, the paradox: the more dogs I had, the easier it was for me to cope with them. Apparently, the correct upbringing of my first dogs, the basis of the pack, was crucial. By itself, permissiveness and lack of control could not lead to trouble-free behavior of dogs. Here was the reverse process: the problem-free behavior of well-educated dogs allowed them to be given maximum freedom with a minimum of control.