Ever since D and I became involved in rescue, we’ve been fortunate to have a great group of dogs. There is usually a core group of three or four, and they have always been tolerant and accepting of any foster pets or new arrivals. Even when we took in crazy Ben, our core group kept the peace by giving him a wide berth. Except Dillon, who always had to be in the middle of everything, and who tolerated no nonsense from anybody…including me!
None of them have ever had obedience training, although I’ve felt like certain of them should have.
We’re having some behavior problems with Waldo that we are completely to blame for, though I point the finger at D, who lets him get away with everything, and won’t discipline him, nor will she let me discipline him. D does a lot of complaining about the dogs’ bad behaviors, or rather, she complains about the girls, which she refers to as my dogs. Only, my girls are good. They mostly follow me around and sit quietly when we are watching TV. It’s her boys that make all the racket; constantly barking for attention or treats…Waldo has even taken to kicking the trash bucket in a demand for food. We call that “beating his drum”. Just to shut them up, or make him stop misbehaving, she reinforces the bad behavior by giving in. I can’t make her understand that she is just making things worse.
It’s a good thing we never had human children together, they’d be delinquents.
At least our dogs don’t fight with each other. They do a fair amount of complaining to us about one another, but there are seldom, if any, skirmishes. Once in awhile, Waldo will make a gesture at one of the girls, just to mess with them, but it’s very much a big-brother-pretending-to-be-a-monster thing. “Rahr! I could eat you up if I wanted to, but I won’t because you probably taste like caca! ”
Our most recent core group is made up of five quirky individuals, each with their own unique traits, personality, and, for lack of a better word, weirdness. Dogs have come and gone, and they’ve remained steady…until now.
Suddenly, we have trouble in the dog house. By “dog house”, I don’t mean an actual dog house. Our dogs do not live outside, nor do I believe that any dog should. By dog house, I mean the three room log cabin we share with our dogs, which is essentially theirs, we just happen to live here too.
Last summer, we took in a new dog. About a month after that, we began having a behavior problem with Maria (of the core group). She is normally a very sweet girl, kind of paranoid, but affectionate and obedient. However, she started being a bully, not to the new dog, but to Taco (also of the core group.) Maria is 8 years old, Taco is 15. Maria bullies by posturing at close range, cutting Taco off as she is walking, and growling and jumping on her pushing her down. They are the same size, but Taco has a bum knee, and she is also the most passive, goodnatured dog in our group, which makes her easy to bully.
I won’t stand for bullying. Maria’s behavior is unacceptable.
Our dogs get a lot of one-on-one attention. They get cuddled and kissed, petted and fussed over. They sit in our laps, beside us in our chairs, and sleep in our beds. They are talked to and played with. They are loved, and they know it.
But lately, Ri doesn’t want us to give Taco any attention or show her any affection at all. Last week, when Taco followed me into the bathroom, I picked her up to give her a cuddle. Ri came down the hall to the bathroom, and when she stepped inside and saw Taco on my lap, she had an expression of such fury on her face that I had to laugh. Her eyes absolutely blazed. If she could speak, she’d have shouted “just what in hell is going on in here?!”
I finally consulted with a trainer about how to give Ri an attitude adjustment. I’ve been instructed to give her a ‘time out’ when she picks on Taco. Additionally, I’ve been told to make sure she is fed last, and that she does not pass through any doorways ahead of Taco.
The behavior hasn’t stopped completely, yet, but it’s become less frequent.
Do you have similar troubles in your dog house? If so, how did you deal with it?
We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for the dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons, Busy Bone coupons, or Cesar coupons that you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send.
There are also items that we just can’t afford, but that would make life a whole lot easier.