Tuesday, 24 December 2013

GSD Riley - the fastest gun in the West

We’ve all seen Westerns where the cowboy with the reputation for being quickest on the draw from time to time has ‘young guns’ come looking to challenge him to a fight to prove they’re faster. Our hero -  usually with some reluctance - is drawn into a gunfight and that’s the end of the young pretender.
At this point I’d be surprised if you are not asking yourself ‘What’s this got to do with Pet Sitting?”  Well let me introduce you to the magnificent Riley.  Riley is a handsome, particularly large, long haired German Shepherd Dog.
Riley at home


Being so large he is an imposing figure, but a particularly lovely aspect of Riley is his easy going and placid nature. He loves his two walks a day and once back home settles happily with his feline pals, Lynx and Willow.
When I was looking after him and taking him for our walks at North Harbour Reserve, being so eye catching he got lots of admiring comments from people. But with dogs, out of the blue some want to put up a challenge to him.
I saw this happen. Walking up some steps waiting at the top was a dog who I saw curl his lip and in the same instant (and completely unprovoked) he went for Riley.
Riley stood his ground and, being quite a lot bigger than his attacker, could probably have inflicted a lot of damage had he wished. Instead Riley's behaviour was the closest to assertive I’ve seen in a dog. He did just enough to deter the other dog – including using his strong and large right paw to swipe the aggressor a couple of times. This was pretty much enough for the impudent attacker to realise he was no match for Riley and he could not win this bout, so he backed off. Riley regained his composure and off we went.

This altercation was pretty typical of dog fights – a lot of bluster but more bark than bite. But the best thing from my perspective was the way Riley – our confident and experienced Cowboy if you like – handled himself. He resisted the urge to put an end to his attacker, but taught him a valuable lesson, don’t pick on large German Shepherd Dogs that just want to mind their own business!

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