On a recent birding adventure at Assawoman Wildlife Area, we were surprised and honored when our 2 Plott Hounds received a hearty round of applause from several other visitors.
We have worked hard at training our Plott Hounds Morgan and Otis to be good travelers (and welcome return visitors to our friend’s homes) and they accompany us on many of our birding adventures. They really love to do some sniffing in new places, and the woods are especially wonderful to them.
Morgan is a 6 year old female, adopted from the shelter when she was 5 months old. And Otis is an 8 year old male adopted a year later from the same shelter when he was about 2 years old.
Morgan was a happy go lucky dog with no serious issues. She was eager to please us and very easy to train at our obedience school lessons. Otis had obviously been seriously mistreated, and he came to us as a fearful dog who would submissive pee on the floor if we reached out to pet him. It took 6 months of him feeling safe enough with us before he would come to us and ask for pets on his head.
Because Otis was so nervous we never specifically trained him. He accompanied Morgan to obedience school, but commands were never given to him. He just mimicked whatever Morgan did. “Sit” “Stay” “Down” “Come” He learned all of those commands and more by copying what Morgan did.
Morgan is a people lover. She loves meeting new people, and is especially good with young children. She’s not so fond of other dogs. They scare her. Because of some chronic pain issues Morgan has become more and more guarded and protective of her space with other dogs.
Otis on the other hand is the life of the dog park. He’s the mayor. He loves to run and play with other dogs, and every new dog he meets is part of his play group.
Because Morgan sometimes gets a little snappy with Otis, our trainer taught us to have them do a “Sit. Stay” on top of small items, like packing pallets, benches, or other similarly sized objects.
So when we’re off on one of our birding adventures and pass a bench in the woods it’s a good place to practice our skills of getting along with each other in a small space.
That day at Assawoman Wildlife Area, we came across a pretty concrete bench, so up the dogs went to sit beside each other. The sunshine was so pretty on their fur I began to shoot some dog portraits with my camera.
The Plott Hounds sit and stay in place until they are released. We had dropped their leashes and I walked around them taking their photo, and they never got down off the bench.
All of the sudden, we heard loud clapping, and Morgan and Otis turned their heads to see what was happening–but they did not leave the bench. Good dogs!
A group of women was watching us from across the parking lot, and were so interested in how well behaved our dogs are. They gave Morgan and Otis quite an ovation. And we are so proud of our 2 Plott Hounds who have learned how to be such good travelers!
Portrait session done, we released the dogs from their spot on the bench and they got to meet their new admirers. I am one proud dog mommy