Upepo (née Monsoon) Diaries – Part II

The story of an adopter

I’ve learned that children and dogs are not the most natural of bed fellows. Children like to pull tails or ears or give out unwanted cuddles which may make a dog feel uncomfortable. Children can’t always see or understand a dog’s warning signals showing they feel threatened – which can then result in a nip or a bite. People often forget that it’s equally as important to train children how to behave around dogs as it is to train the dog’s themselves.

Her mother was a street dog, and extremely nervous – and Upepo was equally as wary, especially of strangers. She barked at the staff constantly which became annoying.

By asking them to drop bits of chicken or cheese on the floor around the kitchen where they worked (for her to gobble them up) she slowly began to associate them with delicious treats. They are now all very tolerant of each other.

She still barks at strangers, but I don’t mind that. She’s a great guard dog – giving out lots of warnings to people she doesn’t know. But to stop it becoming annoying or developing into aggressive behaviour, instead of telling her off, I call her to me and give her some tasty chicken treats to distract and encourage her to settle under my desk and give her a tummy rub. She wants to protect me and my family because I’m the source of all things good!

And that’s the other thing…she loves my children because she’s learned they’re messy eaters and if she hangs around at dinner time, food falls from the table to the floor. My children are another source of good tasty treats – and she’s a great hoover!

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