team drifting

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“Church was in the drift, Church was in the drift. If Caboose could go back into the drift, he could get Church back, and then everything would be okay again.” -I’ll See You in the Drift by Hinn_Raven

My submission for the RVB Reverse Big Bang, which I partnered up with @secretlystephaniebrown on! @aquaberri and I originally started talking about an rvb/pacific rim au a while back, where Church and Caboose were drift partners until Church dies in battle and has his consciousness lost in the drift. @secretlystephaniebrown teamed up with me to write a really amazing fic for this prompt, so please check it out! 

EDIT: Now updated with third page! 

It seems the topic of the week is aggression, and as the owner of an aggressive dog (15 years November 15th!), I feel I have a bit of experience there. Yanno, beyond the whole, mentoring under someone that worked with aggressive dogs for like two years.

Anyway.

First up: aggression comes in many forms. Aggression is not just a dog that bites a person or another dog. Predatory drift is a type of aggression. Hard stares, hackles up, etc. – it’s all signs of aggression. This doesn’t make a dog bad. It doesn’t even mean they’re wrong. Sometimes, aggression is the right choice; a dog that is trained to protect is making a conscious decision to move into an aggressive state in order to do a job.

Let me repeat: aggression isn’t always bad. Sometimes, aggression is a valid response. A dog that has not been proofed to being climbed on by children may respond with a snap (though, if it goes all out first go, there’s some stability issues). The dog is not bad; the dog is doing a natural response to something being uncomfortable.

However, this behavior is never allowed for a service dog. A service dog that will attack a person, regardless of why – protection, being stepped on, etc. – is not a dog that needs to be doing service work. I have seen far too many dogs that are highly uncomfortable in public spaces. I’m a dog trainer and service dog handler; I can’t help that when I’m in a store and I spot another team, my eyes drift to the dog.

It isn’t just about ‘is that a fake SD?’ though it kind of is. I’m not going to judge someone’s dog on their training. My SD acts like a total fucking fool for my Literature teacher and forgets his damn name if she’s looking at him. However, if their dog spots mine and raises its hackles, I’m going to avoid them. Hell, I’m probably going to avoid them anyway, but it never fails that I will get caught somewhere close to them. That dog should ignore mine.

I get bad training. I get in training, too. I’m training my younger BC and he’s a bit of an asshole sometimes. He’s a teenager and sometimes he’s unruly. But I will never be caught with him acting like a jerk in a store unless I am on my way out to go home or throw him in the car to finish my stuff. I will suffer the panic attack if it means other people do not see a service dog acting like an ass.

A service dog should not have a bite record, period. There are no buts, no ifs, no ands. Period. A bite record is bites unprompted via a command; a service dog must be stable, must be bomb proof. A service dog snarling at a child, regardless of why, is not a candidate for SD work. It sucks, but washing a dog is what is best for these dogs. There are always other dogs. Stop forcing it.

A service dog that protects it handler to the point of biting is not ‘protecting.’ A dog should not need to protect a person. But what if said handler needed medical help? What if said person needed to be pulled out of the way of an oncoming car? What is that person passed out, fell down, something, and the SD wouldn’t allow help near them?

In America, it is very likely that dog would be shot.

But that brings me to another topic: predatory drift. As the owner of BCs and Goldens, this is a bit foreign. I guess I could say, since herding is an alternative form of hunting, I have experience with it in that manner. My dogs herd other dogs. My dogs are pushy as heck when they do it, as well. They nip. They stare. They get into other dogs’ faces, block them, etc.

They are not dog park dogs. It isn’t for the safety of my dogs.  It’s for the other dogs.  My dogs will cause a fight being themselves, even if I know the younger ones are not aggressive. But they don’t know how to act differently, because instinct tells them to gather, and dogs are just another stock when they enter that mode.  It sucks, because I love some of the dog parks I’ve visited. But it doesn’t make my dogs bad, and a muzzle doesn’t help them. A muzzle isn’t going to stop my dogs chasing, cutting off, and hard staring at dogs.

But what if a dog wants to chase down other dogs with the intentions of treating them like prey? I don’t care if it is a Dachshund or a Kangal, that behavior is not okay at a dog park. Ever. It isn’t even about how much damage they can do – though I’ve heard of a dog get killed in seconds from exactly that, a single bite is all it takes – but also about the fact that chasing behaviors, especially those that aren’t play, incites other dogs. If the dog being chased starts to scream, other dogs react. It can cause a chain reaction to where a huge dog fight breaks out sometimes.

My pack is relatively stable now. I remove the problem factor (Daedra) and I have a pack that has quirks but they rarely, if ever, fight. Scuffles, sure, but fights?  Rarely. But when they do? They all gang up on one dog. Even Vivec, my elderly Golden, will join in to gang up on whoever started shit. Valyria, bless her heart, is a shit stirrer, but usually KPop and Gallifrey settle whatever spat they had in seconds. If I manage to beat the other dogs to them, it’s over. If the other dogs get there first, it escalates, and someone gets hurt. Never badly, mind you – just a scrape here, a cut there. But it’s still damage.

It isn’t some huge thing that sets these fights off, either. It can be play that turns too rough. It can be a dog that’s tired of being stared at or nipped (Gallifrey is notoriously bad about this; he does drive-bys). It is rarely over food, or a toy, or some other high value item. It’s always during play.

Imagine that but with dogs that aren’t as well trained as mine. I can break up most fights with some snapped commands while I’m stepping in. Imagine that with dogs that haven’t been trained to reliably fuck off (yes, that’s our command that basically means ‘get the hell away from me’), in a space where dogs can’t be quickly separated. I’m that owner that’s up my dog’s ass if I’m with them somewhere. Offleash doesn’t matter to me, I’m usually within fifty feet of my dogs. But what if the owner of the other dog is across the park? What if they left?

It sucks having an aggressive dog. It sucks having a dog breed that’s just bad at being doggie playmates. Sometimes I want to take my dogs to the park, let them off the leash, and tell them to fuck off. But I can’t, because my dogs pose a threat to other dogs. Those other owners trusted me, when I brought my dogs in, to be bringing in dogs that won’t upset the dynamic of a park. But I know my dogs will.

So we never go to the park, unless it’s with my big, goofy Golden or I’ll keep them on leash. I am blessed to have a yard and woods for hiking behind my home, but those weren’t always my options. I trained agility. I did mental exercises, like puzzle toys, or training tricks. We played in the house. We played tug on the bed. We played hide and seek and whatever else my mind could come up with. There are always other options, and if you know your dog is a dangerous, please, seek them.


And for the love of god, if your dog has bitten someone, it shouldn’t be a service dog. Protection is not a task. A dog that bites is never stable enough to be considered public access worthy, and therefore, not a service dog.

Hmm. Here are a few points I wanted to note.

Keith has canon abandonment and attachment issues. When Lance went to Keith’s room to talk about his insecurities, the first time we probably see Keith’s face is right after Lance tells him that he wants to step aside. This is the face we get.

I’ll put the rest under a read more because it got long

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