Is that a squirrel? A bunny? Nope, it’s just a hose.

Ah, the advent of summer and all that it brings – longer days, warmer weather, and, at least for me, numerous trips to the hardware store to replace or repair pierced hose lines and chewed up hose nozzles.  Our dogs love the hoses, and the kiddie pools are an integral part of our day in the summer heat, but if you are the owner of a dog who suffers from some predatory drift, is prone to overstimulation, or one that is an adolescent or a puppy still learning about boundaries and limitations, then the hose, and the added stimulus it provides, can create issues.  This is because the hose acts as an added stimulant in the yard, and the corresponding kiddie pools are a resource that, like any resource, can become the source of resource guarding amongst a pack of dogs.  In order to avoid incidents during hose and pool time, a few friendly reminders to heed (these reminders, used generally, can be applied to any outside stimulus that is triggering for a dog):

Start small and build tolerance incrementally.  This may mean squatting down to fill the pools to limit the length and breadth of the hose stream.  Provided dogs are acting appropriately towards one another, and no dog is attempting to chomp down on the hose nozzle (and/or the hands attached to said nozzle), then the water stream and duration can be increased.

Maintain clear boundaries.  Should any dogs begin to snap at one another, jump up on staff, or bite too close to  hands or the hose nozzles, the hose gets removed.  Dogs have the IQ of a small child and can understand cause and effect and therefore consequences.

Know thyself and know thy dog.  Dogs we know will become overstimulated by the hoses should be separated or put on lead during hose time.  Be proactive, not reactive.

Our hoses and pools provide ample opportunity for fun and act as a cooling mechanism on very warm days.  As with anything of value, this high value requires a high level of responsibility attached to it.  Thanks to our Lead Trainer, Chelsey of K9 Companions, and our Pack Pro training, I’ve full confidence that my Team is worthy of this responsibility this summer.


Spray more.  Chomp less.
Pool more. Guard less.
Wag more.  Bark less.


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