Friday, December 24, 2010

The Ox's Dog Steals the Whip

Harry the Dog's allegiance is more to Scout the Ox than it is to me.
That seemed more evident than ever as he pranced before me with my whip firmly grasped in his powerful jaws.

Scout the Ox had been refusing to respond to the get-up command.
 A perhaps too sharp lash to his rump got his attention and he then wasted no time moving things forward. At that moment Harry the Dog surprised me from behind when he leapt up and grabbed the whip from my hand.

The dog trotted ahead of Scout the Ox, and me,
keeping the whip well out of my reach. 
I've been experimenting with using treats in Scout's training,  and I was becoming increasingly frustrated with him. The treats seem to encourage the attitude that he's working for wages --- and he expects frequent payments! If he thinks it's time for a payment he refuses to go any farther until a treat is proffered; this is when I used the whip. I don't want to be stuck half-way from a destination and then become stranded, because I ran out of treats. A treat or none --- he's got to move forward.
Now, about the whip; it looks like a fishing pole because that is what it is. I cut off the reel portion and removed the eyelet on the working end. Over this I slipped a small rubber hose to protect every one's eyes. It works well for guiding the ox and is much less tempting to an adolescent dog than a leather whip would be; he'd have that chopped up in little pieces in a manner of minutes.
I believe a whip should only be used for getting an ox's attention, and for guiding him; it should not be used for "giving a whipping" as that would only serve to confuse the ox and make him fearful. Christopher Ostby demonstrates the proper use of the whip in these two videos

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