Meet Fly, the newest member of our family.
I have no doubt that someone paid a lot of money for her 2 years ago, but as of last week, she was a cast-off for a second time.
Pine River Fly is a registered Black Mouth Cur. Both her Dam and Sire are titled champion hunting dogs. The only thing in her life that makes her happy is the chase. It’s in her genes.
In her case, the chase revolves around squirrels, but any other creature she can get her mouth on is just fine too. Unfortunately for Fly, her last family preferred Guinea Pigs and a young, high energy, stubborn, smart dog with desire to chase rodents just wasn’t working out.
She’s with us because we have experience with Cur breeds. We usually rescue Catahoulas, but when we saw Fly’s story, we knew that she’d be put to sleep, bounce in and out of shelters or get a bad rap if an all breeds rescue group took her.
Catahoulas and other Cur breeds aren’t your typical house-pets. They haven’t had generations of breeding to select traits marketable to modern families. The breeds are rare and those that are breeding aren’t trying to make lap dogs.
So it’s not a shock that Fly was trying to eat the other house pets. She’s not a bad dog. She just doesn’t know what to do with herself and the families she lived with just didn’t take advantage of her innate abilities so they became a problem.
The making of a happy Cur
Our technique for turning a nutty dog into a productive member of a family has 2 main components – Exercise and establishing the Alpha.
Exercise is important for the Curs because they have a lot of energy. If you want them to pay attention to anything, it helps if they’ve gotten the ants out of their pants first.
This, of course, is always easier said than done.
Right now, the exercise portion of the plan is kicking my butt. Fly has been here 3 1/2 days and I’m worn out. My legs are in pain so I’m seriously lacking positive reinforcement to continue running her.
Fly might force the change in my exercise attitude as well as my body in the next few months. While I might be aching and struggling to get my lead legs to carry me home from a full speed bike ride, the alternative is living with a wild beast.
Lead, Follow or Get out of the Way
The role of the Alpha human is to ensure that you don’t end up with an alpha dog. Cur breeds embody the phrase “lead, follow, or get out of the way.” While all breeds have a similar mindset, Curs are more likely to make your life miserable if you can’t stand your ground.
It’s also the foundation for loyalty and training too. Curs want to please the Alpha and they usually show it by doing what they’re asked.
Even if you do establish yourself as Alpha, your dogs will still train you to do a few things their way. Let’s just hope Fly trains me to do something benign.
This week, we’ll get Fly to the vet and make sure she has a clean bill of health and find out when she can be spayed. Although she has the potential to be a champion in her own right, the reality is that we’ll never competitively hunt with her and we don’t need to make puppies while there are dogs being put to sleep simply because they’re misunderstood.
So a big welcome to Pine River Fly. Good luck with your training, little miss. Let’s hope you like it here as much as we like having you in our little pack.