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Toki & Arya finally got pretty damn close to Damien today. First encounter was just Toki noticing him, barking, then running away. Second encounter was a little bit different because Toki & Arya were moving as a pack. When they do that, they stop listening to me & go Full Dog Mode. They got Damien to jump out of the chicken yard onto the gate between the pony paddock & our field. If Toki had stood upright on his back legs, he could have easily snapped at Damien. Luckily, they he didn’t & Damien flew from there directly back towards my head & landed safely in the chicken yard.

I’m very lucky with these two dogs. I took Toki to puppy training early on after I adopted him because he was very smart & very wilful & very independent (Zelda is exactly like this, as much as my brother wants to deny it). He learned very fast & I learned less quickly on how to work him so he listened to me even when he didn’t want to. Arya, on the other hand, is also very smart & very wilful & very independent, but she’s also exactly like her namesake. As much as I’ve tried to figure out how to work her so she’ll listen when she doesn’t want to, I have not been successful thus far. So, when she goes Full Dog Mode & hones in on something she’s considered prey, that’s it for verbal commands. If Toki is near her when this happens, it triggers the exact same response in him, they pack up & work together on their target. This hasn’t been a problem with the chickens, so far. I think hatching & brooding the chicks this spring helped with that. Toki still just licks them in the face & Arya never goes FDM on them. I wish that would translate to their preferred prey of choice: the ponies.

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