Glencadia Blog

Life in the country... with lots of dogs

Dog Management

Not every dog has the same experience at Glencadia. We want all of them to be outside, playing, having fun, and socializing as much as possible, but these activities do not all happen instantly for every dog in the same way.

There are many variables that determine somewhat what the day of a dog here might look like. For example, some dogs have been here many times, know the ropes so to speak, or are just very comfortable in the new setting right away even though they have never been here. Other dogs are comfortable but have some health concerns. Some are nervous around new people or frightened by big open spaces or more than one dog at a time. Others, for whatever reason, do not seem to want to be with other dogs in a new setting. Others are young, excited, but maybe overzealous from the point of view of another more sedate dog.

There are dogs that come here for the first time and seem nervous. I can tell this is a great, friendly dog who will be a great buddy in a while, but isn’t sure about this new situation. This attitude might mean the dog is smart. I remember every one of these types of dogs since it usually takes some work, patience, and time for them to come around, and then when they do, and suddenly become friendly and ready to socialize, it’s a relief and feels like some kind of progress. Other new dogs show up, see the big fields, the other dogs, and are ready to party the first minute they show up.

Most of the dogs here at any given time have been here before and we know them. Vern has worked here for 10 years. I’ve been doing it for about 14. Garry, Julia, Aenne, Brooke: they know a lot of them too. We know that Woody likes to be in the front room and is fine right there. We know Bohdi likes the spot under the stairs. Some like to make a big hole in the yard. Ace gets jealous if you pay attention to KZ. Mystic likes to be sprayed with a hose. Clover loves the treats but doesn’t eat the kibble. Seymour doesn’t like new people coming to visit and has to say something to any new dog as well. Mickey will wreck any blanket you give him. Ginger likes to be the boss and isn’t great with another bossy female.

If we have a new dog that is nervous, sometimes one very relaxed old timer, or my dog Picasso, or Puppe, will help them see that there is nothing to worry about it. There is no doubt that they pick up each other’s moods and attitudes.

Sometimes I say we should all go for a romp by the pond or in another field before breakfast. Sometimes some have breakfast while others are still out with a larger group exploring and playing.

In the middle of the day, after breakfast and a romp around, if possible, some downtime is a fine idea for midday. Then evening, we do it all again.

This little post is far from comprehensive but might help to get a sense of how we interact and organize dogs. I’ll write about more specific issues in another post! Thanks for reading.