The Best-Behaved Miss-Behaving Dog in the World

Just when I think I have run out of things to write about, Shiva provides me with enough fodder for a month’s worth of posts.

I’ll set the scene for you:

It’s six-thirty in the morning and I wake up in my sleeping bag to hear Shiva whining from her tent. (Yes, my dog has her own camping tent – that’s another story.) My practically husband shows no sign of consciousness. I realize I’m going to have to get up. Not a fun realization. After pulling on a jacket and my sandals, I blearily step outside. I can see Shiva pawing at the door to her smaller tent and know she must really have to go. Un-zipping the door, I have to move quickly to catch her by the collar before she tears off.

The last thing I need this early in the day is my dog running wild in the campground.

We go on a short walk up a nearby trail so Shiva can do her thing. Once she finishes, I know I am going to have to walk up the road to the human bathrooms.

Unfortunately, in this particular section of the park, the facilities are rather far away. At least a few minutes walk. Since it is so early in the morning and all the other campers are sound asleep, I contemplate taking the dog with me. She hates being left alone, especially in new places. I’d hate for her to start barking and wake everyone else up. However, after pondering over it, I decide to leave her at the campsite. My PH is still there and if she goes nuts, surely he’ll wake up to calm her down.

Foolish woman.

I connect Shiva up to her long line. Grabbing the container of kibble, I scoop up a handful and toss the small pieces into the bushes. Shiva immediately leaps in the direction of the food and I take the opportunity to head back down the road.

Walking quickly, I listen for any sounds of distress and am surprised I don’t detect a single whine. Shiva has been a lot more relaxed in general this trip. Much more so than last year. Perhaps the last of her anxieties have fallen away. I couldn’t be more proud of our girl.

The campground is still. I enjoy listening to the sound of the ocean waves mixing with birdsong. If I have to be up early, at least it’s on such a lovely morning. I finish washing up and open the bathroom door, planning on a light nap once I return to the campsite.

Oh, look, a dog, I think as I step into the sunglight. I wonder where… Oh, crap. That’sΒ MY dog!

There stands Shiva in front of me: tail wagging, eyes bright, tie-out line no where to be seen.

There’s nothing to do but attempt to get us both back to the site. I take her by the collar but it’s too far of a walk to hold her the entire way. Amazingly, Shiva is just so happy to be with me, she doesn’t attempt to run off. Heeling nicely by my side we walk down the road. It’s really hard to be upset with her for escaping when she’s behaving so well. We get back without any mishap –Β she doesn’t even attempt to jump on any food-strewn picnic tables. I have never wanted to praise and scold her more in my life.

I do neither but I let her go back to searching for kibble as I try to figure out how she got loose. According to my PH, she didn’t make a sound.

Yet, somehow, she was able to rip the D-ring off her collar, find out which direction I had gone, follow me all the way to the bathrooms, and then wait patiently for me to emerge. My dog, my crazy, wacked-out destructo dog, completely ignored the massive opportunities for scrounging her lack of a leash provided. Not only did she not run amok in the park, she also didn’t bark, or harrass the many other dogs camping in the area. She has never been so bad and yet so good at the same time.

What can you say? What can you do but laugh?

Needless to say, in a few short weeks she has broken both her collar and her leash. I am starting to understand why people buy so many. You never know when you will need a spare!

32 thoughts on “The Best-Behaved Miss-Behaving Dog in the World

  1. You have just achieved Dog Trainer Nirvana–Shiva wants to be with you more than she wants kibble–more than anything else, in fact. And she’s willing to be a good girl to get it!

    Congratulations! I think a broken collar is a small price to pay.

    I laughed when you wrote, “Oh look, a dog…”

    I did the same thing when coming back from the grocery store I saw a lovely dog sitting calmly on the front porch. I said to myself, “That dog looks like just Agatha” before realizing it was Agatha.

    And that my reactive dog who couldn’t stand to be in the presence of other dogs was sitting calmly on the front porch as dog after dog walked by just waiting for me to come home.

    Isn’t it great that our dogs can fool us no matter how well we think we know them?

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  2. Well, all I can think was “Good Girl Shiva!” Even if she might have willed her D ring to break so she could join you at the restrooms.

    We have lots of collars. They get dirty, wet, frayed. I always keep extras for both the girls around. Of course, I’m also a collar nut and would do well having a new one for them to wear everyday if I could. LOL

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  3. She love you enough to come looking for you.. just in case you got into any danger you see.. dogs are like that. Mine does that too πŸ™‚

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  4. haha… I have two collars… but only because the first one I bought turned out to be for the dragon-beast sized dog I apparently thought I was getting… at a medium setting, I could put it on Gwynn as a belt. At its smallest, it slides easily over his head. I might be screwed royally if he ever breaks his ‘fits’ collar!
    I am impressed that she handles having her own tent… and kind of curious about the backstory there!
    good for Shiva – she didn’t do anything bad after the initial bad thing. that cancels it out, right? lol.

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  5. Shiva is always thinking up great stories for you to tell ;-).

    I want to take our dogs camping bad, but since we didn’t even manage to camp one night yet (long story) it may be a while before we do so.

    As far as collars go, Leather ones are great usually.. but if you want a more ruff and tuff collar for when you camp etc check out some we use here with the hunting dogs..

    http://www.canadiangundogsupply.com/Biothane-Safety-Collars.html (I found you a canadian supplier but the collars are minimal)

    We use the above type here a lot and it’s thinner than the other I will show you. But very strong, waterproof/ stink proof/ and tuff

    http://www.lcsupply.com/LCS-LeatherFeel-Collars/products/112/
    These actually are mock leather, thicker and a bit softer. They do ship to canada and are a wonderful company overall I have dealt with them a lot.

    http://www.lcsupply.com/LCS-Day-Glo-Collars/products/110/

    Here are more of the thinner collars in quite a few collars. And the ones with the reflective stripe are thicker versions of the thinner ones. Having an O right is how people tie gun dogs out as it’s very sturdy so that might be a good option too. Like I said we have both of these types of collars here and I have yet to ever have one break no matter what we put them through. And you can easily get a brass nameplate on them too which is always good when you are out and about in the wilderness.

    Hope she quits breaking equipment, I personally love having lots of different collars. And I plan to start making some light ones for Luna soon.
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

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  6. OMG I laughed so hard, I love that Shiva gives you trouble like Fred does to me. I hate those moments where you want to scold them but they also should get praise haaha. damnit fred does that to me all the time!!!

    I got your message about commenting on my page, do you use wordpress? I have other wordpress people that comment so im trying to figure out what I can do to help πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for the kind words about Fred. Im glad you read our blog we are honored πŸ™‚

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  7. So glad I put my coffee down before reading this. Oh Shiva, you always make me laugh.

    Reminds me of my teammate’s mini schanuzer Benny. He does not like when his owner trains with other dogs (After all she might be giving them treats instead of him!). He somehow manages to open his crate and appears on the field numerous times. We still have no clue how he does it!

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  8. Yeay Shiva! I was surprised after having Charlie for 2 months his colar broke when he was outside alone on a tie-out and I opened the door and he was sitting there patiently waiting for me to let him in. I was so happy he didn’t run off that I went and bought a new collar without a problem!

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  9. What a bad dog! What a good dog!

    My Jack Russel broke two Military Check Chains (the sort that have webbing round the front of the throat and a chain at the back of the head).

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  10. Well, she wasn’t technically bad; the collar was. Everything else was very, very good. She clearly adores you.

    On the collar note, I just invested in a martingale for Dewi. He cannot be trusted to behave in a buckle collar. Just ask the buck he chased into the woods in the pitch dark the other night. 😦

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  11. You can never say she’s not smart! It reminds me of the time Sadie wiggled out of her harness and collar & leash (both attached to the seat belt) in the back of my husband’s jeep to sit and wait patiently outside the store he had stopped at to get camping supplies. Gotta love ’em!

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  12. That is so great she’s sticking with you! Of all the places a little sniffer could go when loose in the wide world–at an exciting campground no less!–the fact that she sought you out is so wonderful.

    I had a similar breakthrough this weekend camping with my “foster” (maybe foster failure?) Fozzie–makes him feel even more a part of the family.

    Congrats and you did the right thing erring on the “praise” side of the praise/scold conundrum!

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  13. Yes, we have many leashes too, collars, not so much.
    I am so proud of Shiva. She was so good to find you and behave so well. Can’t blame her for wanting to be with you.

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  14. I think one thing you can guarantee with Shiva is that she’s never going to stop surprising you:) Hopefully it’s mostly in a good way, like this! I very much doubt Frankie would have been able to resist the temptation to explore the camping ground.

    He once went into a little patch of bush on our walk and came out minus his new harness and new collar:( I couldn’t find either of them when I went looking! So now he wears martingale collars and no harness. I hope you find a collar that is ‘Shiva-proof’!

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  15. Yay Shiva! What a smart girl πŸ™‚ I’ve had that feeling before, so mad about one behavior, but so happy about another – so much better than just being mad πŸ™‚

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  16. BAD dog for breaking your collar!

    GOOD dog for going right to your Mommy and waiting patiently for her! Maybe Shiva has some nosework training in her future πŸ™‚

    *please* contact me thru Facebook with your address so that I can send you a new collar & leash. Don’t make me drive to the East Coast to go looking for you!

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  17. Shiva’s SO GOOD!!

    I can only imagine the thoughts going through your head as you walked back to the campsite. Haha.

    Elli’s done this before, several times, she just waits for me to come back to her unless she can figure out a way to get to me before I come back. And she often does figure out a way — whether it’s squeezing through a hole in a fence or opening our gate with her nose (I taught this, with a door INSIDE THE HOUSE lol — the irony) or, her favorite, jumping a few 6.5″ fences. Nothing stands in her way, haha.

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  18. I think the obvious message in this whole story is that Shiva has connected with her inner Greyhound and this was her way of sending you the message that she needs lots of pretty collars and that she does not want to wear the same old plain collar every day! πŸ˜› The girl deserves some kind of award for her good behavior! Since nobody heard anything, are you sure some squirrel didn’t chew the D-ring loose?

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  19. Tracking dog. Shiva is a tracking dog!

    Our dogs have broken more than a few collars. Once at a hunt test Storm broke a metal training collar. Not the ring…the links…cracked right in half. It was a good quality training collar at that. The bird was thrown, she heard the bang, one pull and snap–she was off! I saw a brown dog running toward the test field and thought, “Who is that dog?” “That is my dog!” Luckily she stopped and came back when called. Running onto the field is an immediate DQ. Needless to say, we got a thicker collar for the next test….lol. Hard to believe she heels like a dream off lead at a test now. But with training anything is possible as you have found with Shiva!

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  20. Not gonna lie, I am super impressed by what a bad-ass Shiva is. She *broke her collar*, got losse and non-Chaka toy waited for you? High five Shiva.

    Felix is notorious for chewing through leashes if you aren’t keeping and eye on him. Someone ought to come out with a line of leashes made from that bullet proof jacket material.

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  21. What a great story – and I’m relieved it had a happy ending! Something similar happened with Ty once – Rod and I were going to brunch at a restaurant just down the street. We walked out and were standing in the foyer of the diner waiting for a table. I happened to look out the window and there was a dog crossing the street heading right for me … it was Ty!! Either he managed to open the levered door handle and the wind blew the door open, or when we left we didn’t get the door shut tightly. Either way, he crossed two streets and attempted to join us for brunch. We took him back home, but I was so scared that I couldn’t eat. That was one of the luckiest days of my life.

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  22. Pingback: Imagine Life with a Well-Behaved Dog: A 3-Step Positive Dog-Training Program | Dog Care Alert

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