I *may* have mentioned this before, but Wootie and TWooie are like one dog, same dog.
If ever anyone has doubted their relativity, all they’d need to do is watch them WooTWoo in action and their doubts will be erased.
They have the same feet, the same tail and pants, the same mannerisms and carriage, and lately, the same Very Bad Habits.
TWooie’s newest bad habit is to pretend he does not hear his recall. Sound familiar? It looks like this:
I am standing 20 feet from you, and I am wagging my tail, but I’m not looking at you, nor am I heading in your direction.
Moreover, when I start walking him down to remind him that he should come when The Food Lady calls him, he waits until I am just out a smidge of grabbing distance, goes into a play bow, and then takes off!!
Is this a genetic trait? Holy cow, it’s exactly the same move that Wootie pulls on me! Even worse, I have exactly the same reaction – I LAUGH. I can’t help it. The WooTWoo family tickles my funny bone something fierce. No wonder I can’t train either of them to do anything.
But the Really Really Bad Thing Behaviour that TWooie has started to pull is a move that Wootie has busted out in the past as well. You may remember it as RUNNING AWAY FROM HOME whilst walking on the property, and scaring the bejesus out of Food Lady. This behaviour makes me cry and panic and get mad all jumbleduptogether like that.
We were strolling around the acreage yesterday, meandering through the blueberry fields and slogging along the riverside. Then I realized that I *really needed to pee* so we hotfooted it back in the direction of the homestead. As we headed back toward home, Piper scared up an heron. Piper, for reasons that remain known only to her, HATES herons with a passion and she took off in one direction – coincidentally, Wootie discovered a rabbit and went in another with TWoo in hot pursuit. Amongst all the confusion and flying dogs (and the fast, knees together powerwalking I was doing) we made it back to the house where I solved at least one of my immediate problems. The next was to go back outside and stomp my feet on the porch and demand that Wootie Come Here Right Now as he didn’t make it through the door with us. Then I went to sit down and realized we were short one TWoo.
TWooie tends to panic when left outside – when I invite the dogs in one at a time to get their paws wiped, TWooie can’t be last or he does laps around the outside of the house barking in a mad panic, trying to find an alternate way inside. So I wasn’t immediately worried – I figured he was probably on the other side of the house. When calling did not make him appear, I went and looked for him, and found nothing at all resembling a TWooie.
Long story short, I had to suit up again and take all the dogs and wander the acreage for nearly an HOUR looking for the TWoo. We did the whole pastures, blueberry fields, river walk *again* and still nothing. It was only when I got back home to call some people to get a search party together that I found TWooie playbowing at me from the porch.
I don’t need this kind of stress! Again!! I know from experience that when members of the WooTWoo clan discover the joys of running off after their hunty-little noses, it just gets worse from here.
But then I remembered my secret weapon.
A couple of months ago my friend Alaska sent me a gift in the mail.
It was a present to curb the wayward habits of Mr. Woo, but upon its arrival, Wootie curbed his own habits and became a model canine citizen – or at least, he stopped running away from home. Maybe he is psychic, or perhaps he just wanted to pass the torch to his brother. Either way, the box has remained unopened, because I had no need to put the contents to work. But today, I opened the box.
Mwa ha ha ha. Take that, TWooie.
And so you should be!!
This, my friends, is a GPS for dogs. All I need to do is fit the collar on the TWoo, carry the little handheld doohicky with me on our walks, and I can find the little meatball no matter where he goes.
See the little anti-run-away antenna peeking out there?
I cannot thank Alaska enough. Twice today on our walk, Twooie vanished into the ether in pursuit of something small and furry. But no worries – he was very easy to find.
If dogs can register surprise, Twooie’s face was full of it every time I parted a clump of swamp grass, or pokey bushes, pointed the handheld unit at him and screamed “Ah HA! Found you, Meatball!”
I’d like to go frog hunting right now.
Oh. You still have the Find Me device. Damn You.
Ha ha. Nanner nanner Twooie, you just got pwned!
Poor Tweed, he couldn’t run away even if he wanted to, because he’s still relegated to on-leash walks only. We are both getting very frustrated with this. It seems like he’s good during the day, but as the Deramaxx wears off in the evening, the limp comes back something fierce. It looks like we are off to the vet again, probably for x-rays this time. Ironically, it’s the not the original leg that is bothering him, but rather the opposite one. I could kick myself for not resting him more religiously sooner.
It does not help that Piper keeps showing off her four perfectly functioning legs.
She’s being very ungracious about it.
It looks like Piper’s going to Regionals, since Tweed’s agility future remains up in the air.
Wootie can’t believe his ears. Although why would he? He’s never used them for listening before, why start now?
As for TWooie’s future – I know you all want me to keep him. Even I want to keep him … but I just don’t know. I am smitten with the little guy, but his dog aggression really cramps my lifestyle. We haven’t been to a dogpark in ages because I can’t bring the TWoo, it’s just impossible at this point to do that. We’re lucky that we have all this acreage, but we want to get out there and mingle some. I can’t even invite people here to walk with us – last week The Boy came by with Hayden and Cooper and Twoo and Coop nearly killed each other. Twoo’s got some holes in him, but he started it.
If it weren’t for the aggression, and the spats he has with Dexter, he’d be basically perfect.
She said I’m perfect. That’s because I am.
“Egotistical family genes?” What on earth does she mean by that? Why don’t you admire the dashing figure that is me while we mull that over…
Life in Vet School says
I LOVE Tweed sticking his tongue out!!!
And the GPS is awesome! I want one (well, four).
Sux about the dog aggression. I’m having a serious problem with one of mine right now; she freaks out over absolutely nothing occasionally and attacks one of my other dogs, and then will. not. let. go. Seeing a behaviorist tomorrow about it, hopefully she’ll be able to help!
This is the first time I have heard you suggest you might not be keeping Twooie. If his dog aggression is too much for YOU to handle, what are his chances of getting adopted? Do you really get in his face when he attacks another dog? I mean really let him know it is “SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT” time?
I have an 8 year old BC/ACD mix I adopted a while back who has been ruling the roost by throwing hissy fits whenever he didn’t like something, like having a vet examine him. A friend remarked that he had learned how to make things he didn’t like go away. Hmmm, I thought, maybe he can learn he CAN’T make things go away. At the last vet visit, I got in his face (he was muzzled), gave him a good shaking, and told him to “KNOCK IT OFF”. Amazingly, he settled and the vet was able to examine him for the first time. I know dog aggression is different but Twooie has learned he can get away with it – maybe he can learn, he can’t.
Until the bit about Twooie’s dog aggression and your doubts about keeping him, this was a wonderful and hilarious post, both commentary and photo wise.
For the time that it takes to rid the Twoo of the aggression, is it possible to do trips to the dog park or beach without him? Just pretend he has a hitch in his giddyup and needs to stay in his crate for those particular trips?
D’awww, Twooie, why you gotta be so fierce? Sigh.
There just /has/ to be a way to get him to be a bit better. I mean, he’s already improved and relaxed so much with you, it’d be a shame to ship him out just now as he was getting comfortable with you and the other dogs.
At the very least, there are those muzzle-esque type things, or the head-leads that prevent the dog from biting. I dunno, it’d just be so sad to see him go after all this trouble getting him comfy.
Poor Tweed! Still limping? Hope he heals. *Maybe* you need to leave him home and skip leash walks, too?
Love Tweed’s neaner-neaner tongue shot! Cute use of the photo! What the heck, I love all things Tweed…
Regarding Twooie – could you send him to one of your super-duper turnaround foster homes? Maybe he’d respond better to a male (or at least to someone that doesn’t laugh when he’s bad). I can imagine that with not going to a job everyday and with living in the sticks, the FL can feel pretty isolated, even with agility classes, etc. — especially when she can’t do social hikes.
Hope things work themselves out.
The Food Lady says
“For the time that it takes to rid the Twoo of the aggression, is it possible to do trips to the dog park or beach without him?”
It is, but it’s not really the answer … I don’t know that one can “cure” aggression so much as make it manageable and that’s a long process full of work and desensitization that I’m not sure I’m up to.
“If his dog aggression is too much for YOU to handle, what are his chances of getting adopted?”
Well, and therein lies the problem.
” Do you really get in his face when he attacks another dog? I mean really let him know it is “SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT” time? ”
No because I don’t think that will help. I think he’s terrified, and believes a good offense is the best defense, and I don’t intend to terrify him even MORE.
“Regarding Twooie – could you send him to one of your super-duper turnaround foster homes? Maybe he’d respond better to a male (or at least to someone that doesn’t laugh when he’s bad).”
I don’t think he’ll respond better to a man, and I would feel very badly about pawning his problems off on some other foster home to deal with – plus they’d have the same issues re; other dogs and not being able to take him anywhere.
“I can imagine that with not going to a job everyday and with living in the sticks, the FL can feel pretty isolated, even with agility classes, etc. — especially when she can’t do social hikes.”
It does get kinda lonely out here. Mainly though, since the passing of Briggs I have really enjoyed being able to go out and about with all my dogs and not having to worry about other dogs and aggression etc. Shift work walking is not really what I signed up for, and I like to be social with my dogs. I don’t really enjoy leaving anyone at home :( It’s kind of a conundrum for me.
Cricket Mara says
Enjoyed meeting your dogs :-) There IS help for aggression, and I fully understand how limiting it can be to your life. Try this for starters… http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/bat/
Not to harp on an already talked about subject, but just wondered if you ever started the ‘look at that’ game from Control Unleashed with Twoo? Not that it would be an instant fix or anything….
Love the picture of Woo and Twoo trotting along in tandem.
The Garmin is cool! You would almost want your dog to disappear (in a safe place of course) to have the fun of tracking them down:)
Hey, a real country girl would find a private bush or tree instead of trekking all the way home, when nature calls:)
I was under the impression from some earlier posts that he was doing better.
I suspect moving him woould put im back at square one.
does he mix it up with Piper/other females or is this an “I used to have testosterone” thingy
The Food Lady says
“Not to harp on an already talked about subject, but just wondered if you ever started the ‘look at that’ game from Control Unleashed with Twoo? Not that it would be an instant fix or anything….”
Yes of course we play the LAT game but you’re right, it’s not an instant fix. There is no instant fix for aggression, despite what Cesar Milan pretends on his tv show. TWooie needs a long desensitization process and as I said, I’m not sure I’m up for it.
“I was under the impression from some earlier posts that he was doing better.”
Yes he is doing much better in many ways, but the dog-on-dog thing is not one of those ways.
“does he mix it up with Piper/other females or is this an “I used to have testosterone” thingy”
NOBODY mixes it up with Piper – they are not stupid. Everyone is scared of her. He will however attack males and females with equal ‘gusto’ if you will. On the weekend he went after Ginny, whom he previously liked. We no longer introduce TWooie to new dogs at this point as it’s clearly over the threshold of what he can handle.
I too am a huge twooie fan, but I don’t think you should feel too bad about looking for a nice home for him either. I carry this observation over from the horse blogs I read: if the one extra horse/dog prevents you from taking top notch care of the others its not really fair to anyone involved. If the aggression cuts down on dogpark time and therefore quality of life for you and the woofs/woo, I think that qualifies.
As for the “chances” of finding the right home for him, chance really isn’t involved. Its not like you’re gathering a group of people and flinging Twoo at them and the first one to grab him takes him home.
Personally I would enjoy it if you held out for a knowledgeable single dog home with a blogging photographer. Maybe that’s a little too specific, but hey, we can all cross our fingers anyway.
Awwww… that sucks! Stupid Twooie!!!! :(
Well, I guess selfishly I DO wish he gets to stay because really, what are his chances of surviving out there in ANOTHER home? (I tell that to myself when my D-to-D Aggressive dog sometimes act up and I’m SO TEMPTED to throw him away!!!) But having said that, I know how yucky this whole Dog to Dog Aggression can be too and it’s not easy especially if you have an entourage of your other dogs with you and you DO want them to go out there and meet some friends and you know… lead a normal doggy life – because they deserve it?
So yeap, I hear you FL. But I don’t know what else to say. Desensitization for fear aggression works in my experience but it’s an AWFULLY painfully slow process. Having said that, maybe it’s because I’m NOT THAT GOOD a fear desensitizer – I DO lose my patience at times – so yeah, maybe it’s taking a much longer time for me, or maybe it’s just my dog torturing me on purpose. Whatever.
And yes, I hate shift dog walking and leaving selected dogs at home when others are out having fun too! :(
Oh. And that Garmin ROCKS!
He seemed great with Bandit and Cassie. I don’t recall any issues at all. Maybe TWoo is a border collie snob like me :D
That garmin thing reminds me of a cheesy 80s movie where prisoners wore an electronic collar and if the prisoner went outside the range of the electronic fence, the collar would explode.
Please FoodLady, don’t blow TWoo up. We like the TWoo.
At the risk of suggesting spending money, have you had a full thyroid panel done for Twoo? There is a connection between thyroid and aggression, and I’ve seen many dogs helped with dog/dog aggression when they started taking thyroid meds. Given Twoo’s weight issue, unpredictable aggression, and evidence of fear, it’s worth a vet visit if you can swing it.
This is also a good website: http://www.k9aggression.com
Have you tried any of the exercises in Click To Calm? You’re right about desensitization. It takes as long as it takes. Click To Calm is a great book on the dog/dog aggression issue.
We’re all full of suggestions because we hear your frustration regarding Twooie and would love to be able to fix it, since your blog has led us to care about both of you. But we don’t need to second guess you; you know rescue and all it entails better than 90% of us! Gillian does say some wise words, though.
“if the one extra horse/dog prevents you from taking top notch care of the others its not really fair to anyone involved. If the aggression cuts down on dogpark time and therefore quality of life for you and the woofs/woo, I think that qualifies.”
It is easy to fall into the trap of “if I don’t do it, how can I expect someone else to?” or “if I don’t do it, nobody else will do it, or do it well enough”. Being a *reformed* Igottadoitcauseimresponsibleand/orilldoitbetter type, I will say that when I don’t do whatever, I give other people the chance to grow and excel, and often learn a lot from them! And it sure is freeing to not have to be THE one to do things (especially things I’m really not up for). I guess that was my life lesson during my late 30s and early 40s…
So I guess I’m saying to be true to your inner voice about what you’re up for, and let universal abundance (providence, grace, doG) find the right situation for Twooie.
I have a suggestion for Tweed. When you talk to your vet ask him for a prescription for Tramadol. It has very few side affects and works amazingly well with the Deramaxx he is already taking. One of my Border Collies has (had) crippling hip dysplasia. He was diagnosed at 6 months and was basically immobile by a year. He had surgery at 14 months and is doing well on one pain free hip. The Deramaxx helped with the inflammation but the Tramadol is what helped with the pain. My poor guy was on 50 mg. Tramadol twice a day (breakfast & dinner) combined with the 50 mg. Deramaxx in the morning. It is a nice combo. It may help Tweed through the evenings.
I don’t pretend to understand your health care system, so I am not sure how your pharmacies work, but here in States is Tramadol is CHEAP! A 30 day supply is 4 dollars at Walmart/Target.
I don’t have anything to offer about TWoo. Like you did with Briggs, I lived 13 years with a BC with “issues”. He has been gone 5 years and I miss him everyday, but I do not want to go back there. I have peace in my house. Even my cats are happy.
I hope Tweed feels better soon.
One way to look at things is that Twooie staying home when you go to dog parks or being kept inside when you have company would still have a good life with your pack and a better life than he has had. And maybe that time w/o incidents would give him time to gain more confidence. I also think that if you decide you can’t keep him you would have nothing to lose by telling him to KNOCK IT OFF to see if it works. Sometimes a dog can find a kind of security in limitations. I held off doing anything with Patch because I thought his behavior was fear based but he seemed to accept the new rules w/o feeling threatened. If he had responded with increased aggression or fear, I would have stopped and never repeated it but I have judiciously applied KIO at various levels since then and he has responded well. I know dog to dog aggression is much harder to deal with and wish you – and Twooie – well.
Poor Tweed! I hope his leg is better soon — and that Piper doesn’t end up behind a dumpster after Regionals. :)
Also, perhaps one good thing about Twoo learning bad habits from Woo — all that running away will probably help him look less like a furry meatball and more like a real dog. :) Good luck with him and his issues. From what I know about you via your blog, I know that you really care a lot about your dogs (and the dogs in TDBCR) and you’ll do what’s best for them.
Yeesh, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place with Twoo. I wish I had solid answers/advice, but of course there aren’t any instant solutions. I can only imagine the relief you have been feeling at having a some what normal dog situation recently. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my looney girl Ceana for anything, but I cannot say I do not wish for a time when aggression doesn’t limmit what we do and where we go.
What I can do is remind you of something that you and many other people on the boards reminded me when I was at wits end with Ceana. (Not that you are at wits end yet with Twoo) There are a lot of people out there with aggressive and reactive dogs. There are other wonderful people out there who are willing to love and work with problem dogs, just like you. I am heavy into rescue now as well, so I know how difficult some dogs can be to place, but just maybe if your home is not perfect for Twoo there is another home out there that is.
If he is not meant to be yours, someone will step up. If he is meant to be yours I would like to be the first to pre-order a coffee cup with a Laughing Dingo Studio portrait of both Woo and Twoo in/on and agility tunnel that says “Woo-Twoob.” ;)
Well, if you want some Tramadol, I have a bottle of that I can send you too.
I also have a foster dog we love dearly who is nonetheless cramping our style (I can take him anywhere and mingle him with anyone, but he always ALWAYS has to be on the &^%$ leash, and it WILL take a good while to fix this). Sux.
Anyway, great post and great photos.
Arwen Lune says
TWooie tends to panic when left outside – when I invite the dogs in one at a time to get their paws wiped, TWooie can’t be last or he does laps around the outside of the house barking in a mad panic, trying to find an alternate way inside.
Oh geez, my heart just broke a little for him. Poor Twoo, so much fear and worry in one cute fluffy package, and such a poor way of expressing it.
Yikes, pwned indeed, Twooie! I love the GPS solution!
I know that dog aggression is very nuanced and complex topic, but I have a simple mind, so I will ask: have you tested Twooie’s thyroid? Low thyroid in dogs can and does contribute to a sort of Grumpy McGrumpypants state and increase the dog’s want and need to snark at other dogs. I know a couple of people who, along with behavior mod programs, have treated low or low-ish thyroid numbers with thyroid hormone and found that the behavior — bullying other dogs in the household, looking for fights with other dogs — improved 99%. Cheap to try and worth a shot, I should think? Given that TWoo is not exactly a model of canine health, odds are that at his age his thyroid’s not doing the job it should.
I also wonder about the thyroid…my little meatball, Rip, has thyroid issues, and the ONLY symptoms he had at initial diagnosis was unexplained, sudden aggression towards strange dogs…(and sometimes towards his siblings too) and anxiety. Tested that thyroid, and he’s on meds. I can always tell when it’s out of whack again, and the dosage needs to be changed because he becomes snarky with everyone again and gets *worried* about simple things like going in and out of the door to the outside.
And for the record, out of six dogs…I have one that stays behind for most things…because he’s just not as social (okay, he’s an asshole in large groups of dogs). He gets to do different things with me instead. It does suck to some extent…but we’ve adapted!
But anyway…I do so love the pics of WooTwoo…simply priceless. :)
I would be sad to see Twooie go (’cause we’ve all grown to know and love him through your blog) but you have to do what’s best for everyone involved (yourself included).
Thanks for sharing your dogs with us!
Are you familiar with Constructional Aggression Treatment? http://www.behaviorlogic.com/id160.html. I have studied it, but haven’t used it yet. I’m told, though, by other trainers who have used it that it’s much faster than traditional desensitization/counter-conditioning. Although, no amount of behavior modification will work if Meatball has a thyroid issue.
Plus just look how right he looks added in!: http://i42.tinypic.com/ao8755.jpg
xD Nah, what other people have been saying is just as right – if Twooie’s attitude makes it hard to give him and the other dogs the full extent of your care and affection, there are other homes where people have more time and patience to devote.
However, what people are saying about this thyroid business is mighty interesting; it sounds like it could be worth a look.
Sorry Tweed is having difficulty still. I love his face and eyes and he looked so relaxed and calm in the raised bed you were building….maybe he was just enjoying the warmth of the sun and a pain free day. Was today the day he was going to the vet?
Love the idea of the tracking device, especially since you are on acreage that makes searching a long process.
I have to admit Woo & TWootie are my favs and I loved the “I am your shadow” pic of them. I think TWoo would not be happy if he wasn’t with you, but I know dogs have this amazing ability to adjust, so guess it is a guilt trip and it shouldn’t be put on you…but I would put it on myself as well.
I have a snarky little Aussie female, Abby, and at times she makes it a trying day for her larger brother, Merle, but she knows NOT to inflict her snakyness on my “little old lady” Britt, Zinna. Zinna is very “easy” and doesn’t do anything to “rock the boat”, but get in my face you little snarky Aussie girl and I will let you know that I don’t stand for your “issues”. Merle allows Abby to be snarky, soooooooooo she takes advantage of it whenever she wishes. She does back off quickly when I address “her issues” with knock it off, but I sometimes feel like the evil Mother. Abby is so sweet to me, the grandkids and others, but she does not do well with other dogs at times. My fault….I’m sure.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful dogs and thoughts with us.
Geez, I want your friend from Alaska to send me presents. I just went on their website and that thing is $600!!! Well, maybe next year’s tax refund…
I think some of your newer readers don’t realize you’ve BTDT with DA with Briggs.
I think having tasted the freedom of being able to be ‘normal dog people’, it’s hard to go back to that constant horizon scanning for potential problems and the “do I need to call this dog back now/or leash the dog now/or muzzle the idiot now/or give up and go home now/but first give out my phone # so they can bill me for the vet” outings.
OTOH, he does look cute in the header that Quinn did http://i42.tinypic.com/ao8755.jpg
And if you’ve done it once, maybe you can do it again…..
Wow, Twooie sounds so much like Skye (adopted from TDBCR 2004) I was very upset finding out he had dog aggression issues, as I had high hopes for him being a sport dog. Tried agility and flyball, herding and even rally’o. I wanted to foster for TDBCR as well, but with him I cannot as it would be too much strain on him and the foster dog, I’m sure. So it does limit you. Skye has a fear of other dogs approaching, but once he is introduced properly and the other dog is not in his face all the time he gets over it. Also male / female it does not matter to him. He will pick out one dog from a group and that is the one he will pick on.
I go out of my way everyday to make sure he is excersised properly, I hate leashes, so we go to deserted places for runs, bike rides and swims, so his life is very full, but it is a hassel for me sometimes, as like you say you just want to go to the dog park and hang out while the dogs play and you can’t with this type of dog. He has a group of friends, whom he is comfortable with and I try to make sure we all walk together as much as possible, so he does get used to other dogs being around. We got a female BC puppy 3 years ago, and they get on great together. She fulfils my desire for dog sports and is on a flyball team, so Skye’s life is filled with lots of activity, but not necessarily sports. He seems to be quiet happy with that!
I know how you feel and I also thought maybe I was not the right person for Skye, as I know Reudi (his foster home) did not have so much of these problems with him. However, we deal with his problems, we love him to bits and would not have it any other way. He has taught me so much about dog’s body laugauge, so all I can say is I’m wiser for having him.
So to cut a long story short, Twoo is having a much better life than he could ever hope for with you, and I’m sure you will make the right decision on his future. He is beautiful!
The Food Lady says
“I think some of your newer readers don’t realize you’ve BTDT with DA with Briggs.
I think having tasted the freedom of being able to be ‘normal dog people’, it’s hard to go back to that constant horizon scanning for potential problems”
Hornblower, you’ve hit the nail on the head. It was maybe a year after Briggs had died and I was at a dog park and I realized suddenly how *relaxed* I was. It was an immense feeling of relief, to not be worrying, watching and waiting for trouble. To be very very honest, I LIKE that feeling and I’m not sure I want to go back to the old Briggs-feelings again. I love the TWoo a whole lot, but to do this again is kind of overwhelming. I feel like I’ve paid my dues, and I’m reluctant to go down that road again :(
I have two Border Collies with leash aggression and have to walk them separately. It’s a lot of work and I feel that they sometimes don’t always get the amount of exercise that they should have. I have come a long way with them and they no longer get aggressive towards other dogs when I walk them separately. If I walk them together, they “explode” if they see other dogs. It’s very frustrating and I sometimes wish I only had one dog to deal with.
That’s why I think you should find a new home for TWoo and enjoy the 4 dogs you have. It’ll be much easier for a person with no other dogs to deal with TWoo’s dog-aggression problems. I did have success with my two dogs, one at a time. If I only had one dog with aggression problems, I’d have success much sooner than I have had with my two dogs.
I fully sympathise with the Twooie problem. I’ve had the dog agro dog in a multi-dog household and it is time-consuming and stressful to rehabilitate them and meet their needs. I’m reluctant to take on another dog with the problem already in existence. I hope you find a suitable home with a patient and dedicated owner for Twooie, who can provide the environment that he needs to be comfortable.
Love the K9 GPS – what a great idea! I’d feel a lot happier letting my beagle offlead in the country if she was wearing one, so I’ll definitely be checking them out.
This is specific to the door thing,b ut have you tried specifically TRAINING “run in the door”? I had to do this when Kaylee (Lassie-type collie rather than BC, and hence less prone to random neuroticism (or highly intelligent reasoning processes) than BCs) got her tail shut in a door that swung close behind me. I specifically shaped a door behavior that I wanted and it really cut down on her doors-are-going-to-eat-me panic. Thresholds are hard for a lot of dogs, especilaly when there’s social pressure of a group of dogs just inside or just outside in th emix.
The Food Lady says
“I know that dog aggression is very nuanced and complex topic, but I have a simple mind, so I will ask: have you tested Twooie’s thyroid?”
I have not, no, and this is why – TWooie has lost about 6 lbs since he arrived a month ago, through the magic of diet and exercise. I doubt very much he ever got exercised in his previous life, and here he gets quite a bit, so he is steadily losing weight. I can feel his ribs now, which was not possible just a few weeks ago. He has a beautiful haircoat and lots of energy, so I would be surprised if he had thyroid issues.
Everyone has covered pretty much every response to the dog aggression with Twooie, so my two cents is probably not needed, but you can have it, anyway. :)
I work with owners and their dogs with a variety of issues, ranging from fear aggression to housetraining to impulse control, etc. And I think that one of the biggest things that affects the prognosis is how much time and energy the owner has to deal with their dog’s specific issue, and how honest with themselves they are. I really don’t think that an owner should be guilted into keeping a dog that is going to drain their emotional reserves completely, especially when they have other dogs they have to worry about.
I have my own Project Dog, and one of the biggest reasons I don’t have more than the one dog is that she takes all of the training energy and patience I can muster. From reading the blog, it sounds like poor Twooie is probably someone else’s Project Dog, and I don’t think that being honest with yourself about what you’re prepared to take on is something to feel guilty about at all. If you decide to keep Twooie, you will go down as a saint in my book (and probably everyone else’s). If you don’t, you’ll go down as a rational human being who knows their limits. It’s a tough, tough decision, but either way I don’t think you’ll go wrong. As an only dog, maybe he’ll have a better shot of getting comfortable around other dogs, with someone who has only him to worry about.
Best wishes from me either way.
This post made me sad. Sad because I understand your dilema. I have given up on the social aspect on having dogs since one of my border collies is aggressive. I have been told by many trainers that border collies don’t need to go to the dog park. I know he doesn’t need too, but I like too. Recently, we were kicked out of agility class, cause he couldn’t handle it with the other dogs running around. I started bawling in the class, cause it was another thing we could no longer do. Sheep are the only thing that he is a perfect angel around (he could care less about other dogs if he has a job to do) and hope that we can continue to herd.
As for the Cesar Millan insto-fix – He came to work with us. There is no instant fix. The episode that aired makes it appear that Cesar worked a miracle, but really, he just man-handled my dog into submission and then flew back to Hollywood.
Good luck with your decision with Twoo. It is a hard one, but I am sure you will make the right choice.
That GPS thing is awesome, I want one. Well, not that Grady is all that inspired to run *anywhere* but it’s still pretty cool. I hope Twoo’s dog aggression calms down, he’s so cute!