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Sunday, 24 January 2010

MY take on Milan & Shadow...

0-15 secs: 
Shadow is actually facing away from the Border Collie.  The Border Collie turns and directly FACES Shadow which is challenging for ANY dog, let alone one we already know is reactive.  Also, the Border Collie is FAR too close.

18 secs:
Shadow merely raises his nose in response to the Border Collie’s close proximity and body position (head on, direct eye contact).

19 secs:
Cesar taps the dog’s rear quarters with his foot.  As the dog is already aroused, he is startled more than normal by this unexpected tap and re-directs his agitation towards CM.

22 secs:
CM’s reaction is to tighten the leash and string Shadow up by the throat onto his hind legs.  As this is a slip-leash it tightens around the dog’s neck, instantly cutting off it’s oxygen supply.

26 secs:
Instead of releasing the pressure on the dog’s neck, CM has sustained it so Shadow, now in an instinctive state of anxiety, tries to free himself by jumping up again at CM.

26-35 secs:
CM STILL retains the pressure around Shadow’s throat so he feels he has to fight against it.  Most enlightened handlers here would realise that this dog has now gone into a state where it’s in ‘survival mode’ and not actually learning anything other than ‘humans mean pain’ so would have released the pressure on the dog and ended the session there and then.  There is NO POINT in continuing on after this.

35 secs onwards:
CM has now turned this into a fight.

As Shadow becomes more and more panicked due to asphyxiation (as any living being would) and more desperate to free himself, sensing his depleting oxygen levels are soon to render him helpless, he continues to lunge at CM, who continues to strangle the dog.  The situation is on a rapid downward spiral.

1:14 mins
CM knows that Shadow’s depleted oxygen levels are rendering him physically weak so he pins him to the ground.

Note the discolouration of Shadow’s tongue along with his open-mouth as he tries to get oxygen into his lungs after a whole minute of having his airway closed.

The dog tries to adjust his rear body position, possibly to roll over and expose his stomach as an appeasement gesture, but CM still pins him.

CM states that the Border Collie was showing anxiety because he doesn’t like Shadow’s ‘energy’.  However at the beginning of the session, the Border Collie wasn’t at all anxious.  CM then hypothesises that the Border Collie’s anxiety could have been Shadow’s trigger.  The video clearly shows that it was CM’s tap behind with his foot that was Shadow’s trigger in this case.   CM labels this dog ‘dominant’.  The body language and circumstances clearly say ‘panic’.  We are not allowed to watch the rest of this session and observe Shadow’s behaviour when allowed to get up.

Words fail me sometimes (believe me, that’s rare) and this is almost one of those times.  CM is a good talker and talks himself out of many of the disastrous situations he creates on camera.  Take away his ‘narration’ and all you see is cruelty that would be a criminal offence anywhere else…