What We Need Here Is…An Intervention

Of the dog variety.  First of all, let me clarify that I’m not asking for advice.  Surely you learned, like me, at about age 16, not to get in the middle of a bad relationship.  Because here’s what happens:  your BFF  breaks up with his or her significant other and cries on your shoulder.  That b-word,  you say!  You never liked that person anyway!  You can name 15 different reasons why you knew all along it would end up this way!  Fast forward to next week:  BFF is back together with the b-word, and is no longer speaking to you because of all the bad things you said about him or her during the breakup. 

So you learn to put on a suitably sad face, and make reassuringly vague but sympathetic noises. 

So the truth is, I’m involved in a relationship with a very bad dog, who is just getting worse the older he gets.  Whatever things you can think of that make a dog bad, he does it. 

Most troublesome is the fact that he’s become what’s called “food aggressive”.  He and my other two dogs are fed in separate bowls, although they used to share (except for the Doberman, who is a whole different story).  Now he can barely inhale his own food fast enough…seriously, to the point where he can hardly breathe and is coughing, because he wants to rush over and take the other dog’s food.  It’s not a matter of being hungry.  It’s a matter of preventing the other dog from eating. 

If I try to intervene, he tries to bite me.  Stop yourself…remember I said, no advice.  I know this is unacceptable.  And you would think I would be able to handle this.  I am after all, the person who trained a Rottweiler who at the time weighed only 10 pounds less than I did.  That worked…mostly.  But the difference is, I had something to work with.  Rottweilers are smart, and devoted in their own way. 

Trying to train a Basenji (mix) is like trying to train a wolverine.  Like trying to herd cats. 

While the Rottweiler was alive, the Beast had some brakes on his behavior.  The two remaining dogs are scared of him.  One of his favorite things to do, when he can get there first, is settle himself at the end of the couch which is the Doberman’s preferred spot.  Then growl if the Doberman even thinks about challenging him.  If the Doberman or the other dog get there first, the Beast won’t challenge them (he’s not THAT dumb), but if he gets there first, he will defend that position to the death.  He does not respond to my commands to get down.  If I try to make him get down…you guessed it, he tries to bite me.  If he ever does bite me, well….I don’t know. 

I could kill him.  But it seems to me he’s just being who he is.  Of the three, he is the most hysterically happy when I come home from work.  During a dustup over who got the couch the other day, I said, You are a bastard (since he’s male, we don’t have to do generic b-words), and he wagged his tail.  He “loves” me, in his fashion, it’s just that he’s making my life miserable. 

So I guess I won’t kill him.  I’ll just keep adjusting.


6 responses to “What We Need Here Is…An Intervention

  1. Just because you don’t want advice won’t prevent idio… uh … people like me from giving it!

    First, he’s not all that young anymore. Is he senile? Does he have Cushings? Does he have a brain or adrenal tumor?

    Second, feed him in his own crate/room, where he stays until the other dogs are finished eating. Or feed THEM in another room.

    You’re on your own with the couch thing. 🙂

  2. Um, Fakesister…you need some work in the suitably sad face and vague-but sympathetic-noises department 🙂 But…you would not be Fakesister otherwise!
    As for the potential diagnoses, I think not. I think he is the same asshole he’s always been, but is able to get away with it better because he no longer has the restraint Hansel imposed on him and I’ve been too lazy to make demands. As is usually the case, it isn’t the dog, it’s the human.
    For what it’s worth, Troughton eats in his crate and is safe. I tried feeding Abigail in the bathroom which worked exactly twice because now she’s scared to go in there (here there be dragons).

  3. Heh. Sometimes strange behaviors simply develop over time.

    Apparently, when my hubby leaves in the morning and comes in to kiss me bye (while I’m still asleep), my Yorkie goes into full growling defense mode. Some kind of “don’t wake momma” thing. *shrug*

    Good luck!

  4. Thanks for checking this out MJ! But I can easily diagnose YOUR problem…you have a Yorkie. They all have body image problems. When they look in the mirror, they see…a Rottweiler.
    Basenjis are just two generations away from having been amoebas. I’ve met smarter doorknobs.

  5. Isn’t it funny that almost wrote the same post about my kids?

  6. I don’t have any kids, but if I had more info, I could probably match yours to the appropriate dog breed. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids and dogs, including my own little amoeba/doorknob relative.

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