Tag Archives: Dog Behavior

Yappy Hour

Last Thursday wasn’t a good day for me, so after school I fed the dogs and crashed. My alarm went off announcing Yappy Hour, an event that I had programed into my phone earlier last week. I didn’t want to go. I was tired, cranky, and didn’t want to face a bunch of people. Still, I told myself that it might be fun, but if it wasn’t I could always leave and not bother going back to it the last two Thursdays of this month.

So, I dragged myself out of bed, put on “going out” clothes, grabbed Haley, and we drove across town to the dog park. On the way there, I told Haley that I wasn’t sure what the event would be like and that if she didn’t like being there, all she had to do was bark. She looked at me as if she knew what I was saying.

We arrived at the dog park and the event was smaller than I anticipated. I expected something huge, but it was a nice, personable event. The dogs were polite and playing together. It wouldn’t hurt to stay a few minutes.

We arrived at the same time as a couple German Shepherds. A dog barked at the gate. I tried to get Haley to go inside without letting the dog out. Being a princess, Haley feels that the gate or door has to be wide open before she can pass over the threshold. I pushed her through the small gap and tried to squeeze through, but the dog got out. The owner came and retrieved the dog and I walked away with Haley.

Most of the dogs there were big, but there were a handful of small dogs. Haley isn’t prone to interact with other dogs and sniffed around the tables because she knew that there was food on them.

After getting a dog biscuit and polishing it off, she went in search of another place with treats. Then she disappeared behind another table. I thought she was underneath the table, but when I searched for her, I found that she had made herself comfortable in a lady’s chair. The lady was one of the dog trainers and Haley used her charming skills to get several treats from her, even convincing her that the treats needed to be broken up into smaller pieces and hand fed. I just shook my head.

My neighbor’s mom’s dog was there. His name is Tito and he’s a four month old Shih Tzu-Chihuahua and a bundle of energy, never sitting still long enough for a pet. Despite being the same age as the Golden Retriever puppy, Tito quickly became the darling of the dog park, probably because he was so tiny and lightning fast.

There were drawings for prizes and even a trick contest. I thought about entering Haley into the contest, but I felt that her shake and speak were basic tricks. In hindsight, I think Haley would have done just fine. Several of the dogs were distracted and didn’t perform as well as they normally did when they were at home.

The contest winner was the most adorable black and white Pomeranian named Flower. I wasn’t surprised. Her cuteness alone would have won the contest.

Shortly after the contest, it was time to go. An hour and a half had passed that quickly? So much for staying only a couple minutes and leaving.

As we left, I called my mom and told her about how Haley had taken over the lady’s chair and somehow convinced her to dote on Haley. We agreed that it’s typical Haley behavior.

I plan on going back again this Thursday. This time I’m going to take Clara and Molly. I thought about taking all three Shih Tzus, but I decided that I didn’t want to try to keep an eye on three dogs. I just need to bathe them and give them haircuts, or at the very least trim the hair back from their eyes.

I hope this week will be just as much fun as last week. Or at least as relaxing as it was. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time, drag your human to the next doggy event. It will be good for them.

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End of My Rope

I regret this morning. I regret not catching Clara soon enough. I regret dumping water on my dogs. I regret causing them any discomfort.

I regret ever bringing Nia into this house.

Back in December, Nia decided that she hates Clara. I hoped that it would go away with time, but it hasn’t. Things have escalated to the point that Clara no longer is defensive; she’s offensive; attacking Nia before Nia has a chance to attack her. Most of the time it is nothing serious, but sometimes it is.

This morning wasn’t serious, but it made me wonder. Will I ever have the peaceful house that I used to? Does the fact that I’m no longer on my depression/bipolar medicine have any bearing on my dogs’ behavior? Does Nia have a neurological issue which accounts for her constant pacing?

When Nia came to live with me, I realized that she had a bunch of restless energy. She was possessive of toys (something I’ve since worked with her on), she peed whenever someone wanted to pet her (yet another thing I’ve worked with her on), and she paces, never settling down; never relaxing.

She feels the need to keep moving. She doesn’t like being in laps. Human beings are just creatures that make her life easier. They throw the ball and feed her, but other than that Nia has no use for people. She constantly chews; toys stand no chance against her and if she can’t destroy a toy, she won’t have anything to do with it. She also doesn’t like if anyone else has a toy. She’ll gather all of the toys in one spot and lay on them, keeping everyone away from the toys.

As I write this, I’m beginning to wonder if Nia suffers from OCD. That might explain some of her behavior. That might even explain all of her behavior, except why she doesn’t like Clara, unless Clara did something to Nia.

Sigh.

I don’t want to get rid of Nia. I’m her third home. I know why her second home had to get rid of her, but I’m beginning to wonder if her behavior is why Nia was rehomed the first time. I don’t want to give up on Nia, but I have to ask myself, where do I draw the line? This morning’s fight didn’t even result in anything bad. It was actually more noise than anything else.

New action plan(s). 1) Determine if Nia has OCD or not. If she doesn’t, then we’ll go from there. If she does, determine what needs to be done. 2) Instead of keeping the girls in a rotation (Nia inside, Clara outside and reverse) put them in crates and keep them with me rewarding them when they’re quiet and being nice to each other. 3) Now that the weather is getting warmer, start taking them for walks/runs together. Preferably runs because that would keep them from fighting. 4) Resume Mommy-Puppy time where each dog gets undivided attention from me for about fifteen or twenty minutes.

Let’s see…this is the middle of February, I’ll give this until April 1 to see if there are any positive results. Who knows, maybe it was just a weather related thing and now that we’re having 60, 70, and 80 degree weather things might mellow out on their own. Wish me luck.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions, please let me know. I need all the help I can get. Also, if you’ve had this problem before, tell me about it.

Until next time please lay down…you’re making me nervous.