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Halti From Hell

I intentionally gave him red eyes

We bought Rio a halti today, apparently it was made by the devil himself as it turned Rio into a raving lunatic.

He HATED it! He slung his head around, he swiped his face with his paw and even rubbed his face against me and other people trying to get it off. He eventually got use to it, or so I thought.......

We're walking down an aisle at PetsMart when a dog walked across the main aisle in front of us (a Boxer to be exact) and he EXPLODED!! He's jumping. He's barking. And he's growling. John ended up grabbing his collar to hold him back. It was completely out of character for him. Shockingly so.

It was embarrassing. Everyone turns around to check out the "vicious" dog and I'm having to explain to them that he's NOT mean.

So, red-faced, I head down another aisle, he's calming down and I decide to swap his leash to his prong collar (that I had left on for those just-in-case moments....good thing I did!) but leave the halti on. I'm looking at the treats when John calls him over b/c someone wants to say hi.

We're standing there talking with this couple as someone walks by with a little Chihuahua mix. What do you think happens?

The Chihuahua barks.

What does Rio do? Does he embarrass me and act a fool again? Or does he behave himself?

Eh, he kinda goes in between. He barks back BUT it was pure playfulness this time. He's play-bowing, acting playful and not pulling towards the Chihuahua (the exact opposite of what he did with the Boxer a few minutes earlier).

Of course, people HAVE to come check out the big dog (never a dull moment). Every one's acting a little nervous, not sure if he's mean or what (and probably questioning us for bringing in a "vicious dog"), when I yell toward the Chi owner "My bark is bigger than yours!". That relaxed the crowd and brought smiles and more people wanting to come and say "Hi". Mission accomplished! :-D

We're still dumbfounded about his reaction to the Boxer. Maybe he's racist and doesn't like Boxers (don't laugh, dog's have been known to not like certain breeds)? WE feel that he was frustrated about the halti and took his frustrations out on the Boxer (it was the first dog we saw at the pet store). IF he'd gotten loose from us and made it to the Boxer, I don't think anything could have come from it though.

I did have a <headdesk> moment while there. A woman and her family are petting Rio, he's calm and relaxed, enjoying the pets, when she asks "Does he bite?" I look at her rather oddly (head cocked and all LOL) and she points at his halti. Oy vey. No, he doesn't bite, it's not a muzzle. I open his mouth to show her that he can in fact open his mouth all the way.

Yay! We go from he's vicious b/c he's on the prong collar to he's vicious b/c he's on the halti. <headdesk> I can't win for losing.

(I've been wanting to wean him off the prong collar he normally uses. I don't personally have an issue with using prong collars, but a lot of people think it's some sort of torture device and that's he's mean or something and don't want to approach him. That couldn't be further from the truth (on both counts). Prong collars are a training tool and are NOT torture devices and when used correctly, don't cause any pain.....that's not their intentions, their purpose is to basically say "Hey! Remember me?" When a dog is wearing a prong, it does NOT mean they are vicious either. They are a TRAINING tool and shouldn't be used indefinitely. That's my goal; to get him reliably walking on the halti and no longer needing the prong collar.)


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