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Saturday, February 27, 2016

The R Factor

Our dogs have such incredibly different personalities. R is exuberant, and almost nothing curbs his utter enthusiasm for every tiny thing in life. We've been letting him run a little bit, under controlled conditions. We know it's not "total rest" but R wants to live with some verve, even while waiting for surgery.

His recalls are amazing during my evening outings with the Duo. His only off-leash time is when we are training.

When Shyla is solo with me, her recalls sizzle with enthusiasm.

Yet, when she and R start a recall side-by-side, she seems afraid to compete with him most of the time. She sits back and lets him get a head-start when I call them. After he's taken a few steps, she starts a slowish recall to me. I think that R's intensity scares her - a notion that is supported by the big tongue flick she did as I called them in the next photo.

She didn't start moving until a few seconds later.
I remind myself of how much Shyla needs solo attention whenever I get tempted by the possibility of adding another dog to our pack - like when I see an adorable photo of a dog who needs a home on the web. Two is the perfect number for us because it means that Shyla gets daily time with all my attention on her. That quality time seems to build her confidence more than anything else.

Of course, I still adore the time I get with the Duo together. I just wish I could figure out how to draw Shyla out of her shell when they are training together.
On another note... I'm working on a video of the bear den activities. I'm sorry for the delay but making videos seems to take forever! The developments at the den, and the possibilities for the spring, are more exciting than I dared to dream over all the many years that I have quietly monitored this den. This year's events make all the measures I've taken to avoid ever disturbing a bear there seem incredibly worthwhile.

Happy Saturday!


  1. We love seeing the Dynamic Duo together. Maybe Shyla is just showing respect to R as the older member of the pack.

  2. I have loved everything you have posted about the bears and especially the den. Can't wait to see what's in store.

  3. They are both so beautiful. It is so funny how their personalities are all so different. Wonderful in their own way!!

  4. They are both so cute! That's awesome that R does get to run a little bit!

    Zoe is similar to Shyla with being weirded out by Phoenix's intensity. Sometimes she hangs back and waits too.

    I am so glad you got the coat! :D

  5. It is very interesting to learn about the duo's different personalities—they are both gorgeous. And we are so excited to see that video!

  6. I think Shyla knows her big brother is the boss,, and its best to let him win!
    Your video will be wonderful!

  7. If we could only understand what goes on in their heads. Juno is confident in soooooo many ways. And in other ways really relies on Loki's presence for confidence. I have to keep loki home lately due to inflamed knee (cruciate ligament) and she is at a loss on our walks together w/o her "man" (Loki). Yet when they're on a walk, she's way more confident than him in trail running etc. I really have to use a happy voice to convince her to do her walkies w/o Loki! She does but i have to work her a bit. And she does the same thing Shyla does when recalling near Loki especially if MWD is around, she's even more shy! I think crackers like Loki and R just sort of have an energy around them that other doggies let them lead or they fade back a little. Juno does the same thing at times around Loki. Sometimes I think their personality is what it is and your alone time w/her is probably all she needs to feel good. She probably doesn't "need" to be confident with R around (maybe she lets him take charge). All that matters is that they are great pals which they are! :)

  8. Love, love, love seeing pictures of the two of them together♥

  9. they are a super team :o) Oh a bear video? how great I can't wait to watch it... many thanks for all your work, it's great to watch wildlife via your blog...

  10. When I get the twinge to add a 3rd, I too am reminded that we have the perfect balance here. I find it interesting that Shyla can be so different when with R. Looking forward to the bear video!

  11. I've found Jack to be a great help in getting Maggie out of her shell. When we doing something new, it's always easier to get her to do it if she sees him doing it first.

  12. They make such a great team!! I think Shyla is looking up to her brother! Such beautiful dogs...they really enjoy living where you live!

  13. We're excited to see that video! Maybe Shyla is honoring R's standing as the boss?

    Keep Calm & Bark On!

    Murphy & Stanley

  14. I think one day Shyla will be a very loving big sister.

  15. Such a proud duo - they always make me smile :):):)


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