Monday, September 14, 2015

Stoic: Explode the Code

Two months ago a terrier showed up on our front door.

An intact male, he followed the scent of Sparta, who was in season.  Only by trotting her outside, was I able to get a leash around his neck.

No collar, no microchip, and unrecognized by any neighbor we visited within a three mile radius or vet office
A happy Stoic who didn't even know to ask for a French Fry.
within six miles.  One guy at the library had seen him trotting down the road about six miles from our house two days before I picked him up.

He was great with kids, other dogs, and domestic cats.  He did fine walking in crowds and was a natural taking a rest on a patio while I enjoyed a brew.

He could pass the therapy dog test in a second, only his sit/stay needs a little more work.

I suspect he was someone's house dog who got out of hand.  He demonstrated some marking behavior that we were able to rectify in a couple of weeks.  He has a desire to chew and lick obsessively, this seems well on its way to being regulated to the past with adequate toys and exercise.

His chest was spannable.  I guess I'd call him a rat terrier mix.  Still, he's built like he could still "go to ground."

He did not seem to have any experience in hunting mice or rats, but he killed them with a rapidity that seemed to confuse him. He air scented and would follow a trail, though both of these seemed novel to him.
"Explode the Code"

He didn't know what he was doing, but he liked it.

Patrick Burns over at Terrierman's Daily Dose coined the phrase "explode the code" to describe what has been happening since he arrived.  His inherent desire to hunt and kill has found expression.

Sparta will give voice, even if she suspects there might have been prey in the area sometime within the last 12 hours.  Stoic is silent unless there is something that needs to be killed right now.  So I got out of bed when he barked out the screen door thirty-minutes before my alarm was to go off this morning.

I've never had a dog catch a pocket gopher above ground before; but then again, I never had a Stoic standing guard before.

So I will continue to expand Stoic's skill set.  We will start some formal track training this afternoon.  Using the other terriers as mentors, I'll introduce him to larger prey: groundhog and raccoon.  I may even visit a few of the artificial earthdog events in the Twin Cities.  Sparta grew bored with them when she realized she was not allowed to kill the rat, but it is a good way to introduce dogs to underground work.

Sparta is great and the most enthusiastic hunter I have ever owned.  Stoic has the possibility of being even more gifted, if maybe a little less energetic.

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