Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It happened...

I knew it was can only walk so long in our little village before you actually cross paths with another dog. I mean, we live in a quiet neighborhood but it's not a ghost town! We have passed dogs at their own houses with out much trouble. A few barks but nothing major. Today however, coming back from a 3 mile long walk, here I see a man with a yellow lab coming towards us.

"He's a bit crazy but he's friendly" I hear the man say...

Little do you know what YOU'RE in for buddy!! My little 4-9lbs dogs may look innocent & harmless but.... Not 2 seconds after he said that he started in. Little innocent Maxwell with his insecurities. HE FREAKED OUT. I stopped, dropped my walking stick (never know when you'll come across an off leash crazy dog!), bend down & tried to "shhh" not only Maxwell but now Maribelle who as I said yesterday is the worst barker of all. I picked Maxwell up by the scruff of the neck supporting his tush with my other hand & after lifting him a bit I heard it. The most odd ear shreaking SCREAM I'd ever heard come from a dog. And it wasn't a short scream - it seemed to have lasted a good 2 minutes by the time it stopped. For sure the man walking the lab thought I was killing Maxwell though I wasn't doing a thing to hurt him...he was simply rebelling my attempt to block his focus on killing this dog 20 times bigger than he....he did not want to loose eye contact! By the time I could realize it even Milo was in full bark lounging toward the lab. Milo has had issues in the past with other dogs but he has come so far & always listens to my corrections. Not this time...and not that I blame him. Hearing that shreak I'm surprised *I* didn't start barking!

We sat there & sat there, well after the man & other dog were out of sight. It's funny after such a big panic you could hear both boys give a big "HUFF" as if to say "there, we showed them!".


I actually know what I need to do in order to help his insecurities but the resources are basically none existent around here. Though I was **this** close to turning around & asking the man if we could walk with him and his dog but I'm sure he would have thought I was completely off my rocker. We need a dog park, meeting place, play group, ANYTHING around here where you can go & sit with your dog until they are calm. Everyone moves so quickly around here that there is no way I can achieve that "calm submissive" state needed in order for him...THEM to move on with out being in that state of panic. It's so frustrating!

Oh & Miss Poo myself after seeing a Newfie at the vets? She didn't make a peep. She was simply trying to get a wiff of the 4-legged passer byer. At least I can say...what a good girl Matilda was!!!!


  1. how about puppy training classes? anything like that near you?

    you shouldn't really pick a little dog up by the scruff though ...

  2. Well, he's been to puppy kindergarten - never showed any dog aggression until that class. I believe it did more harm than good unfortunately. :o( I find larger dogs are more curious with a small chi pup (which is not their fault obviously) & it scared the bajesus out of Maxwell. Actually, Matilda is the same way & was the same way at puppy class...super scared of the larger pups. The 2 dogs I socialized the least are better in social situations. I would like to have him attend some more classes but from affar...I think that may help at least deal with seeing other dogs & plan to talk to the vet tech/dog trainer at his annual check up next month.

    As for picking him up by the scruff of the I said he was supported by the tush as well. I certainly don't walk around carrying my pups by the scruff of the neck. LOL It is okay to pick small dogs up like that in situations where their teeth are flying. He'd never intentionally bite me but better safe than sorry. But it is okay in some situations & does not hurt them. As a matter of fact I have calmed Maxwell down using this technique around another dog he was very upset about...first time I'd ever achieved that with him. :o)

  3. **I've got to correct the part about Matilda. She's not dog aggressive...but she started out loving other dogs as a puppy & after the puppy kindergarten class she became very skittish of other dogs. She has slowly improved and is just now starting to show interest in other dogs again rather than immediately wanting to flee. Well, except for XLG dogs as I blogged about last week....that's a bit different. :o)

  4. Maybe you can start a small dog socialization group in your town. I take my little guy to a group once a week run by a dog trainer. It's basically a playgroup with about 5-10 dogs, all under 25 pounds. I took him to puppy class but there were large breed puppies there and like you wrote, they were very curious about a little chi and sometimes didn't realize their own strength. He got knocked down by a larger puppy and after that he was terrified of all dogs. I started taking him to small dog socialization and it completely cured any anxiety he had.

    Rose (from Clubchi)

  5. You know, I have been thinking about this since yesterday. After hearing it helped with your little one I may seriously look into it. Thanks Rose!!