Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Teenage Dog

Our delightful little puppy (and then big puppy) who charmed almost everyone he met (human and dog) has changed dramatically in the last two weeks.

He has been told off by grumpy old dogs a few times in the last year (for being bouncy), and he has been bullied and intimidated by a couple of fairly macho alpha male dogs (which is horrible to see) but he enjoyed play fighting (all styles) with most dogs who wanted to play at all.

I have now seen him snarl (not in play) four times.

Suddenly, out of the blue. Wrestling with a boxer, in amongst a gang of unknown dogs, with unknown owners saying how cute he was - and suddenly teeth, curled lip, and savagery. Dandy grinning Then when he found a husky playing with his 'girl friend' (but I had him on a lead, so only the aggression). Since then, within groups of dogs mostly, he has twice tried to show how tough he is by picking on someone smaller or more timid, which distressed the owners.

A really unpleasant sight, to see him pick on a bouncy six month old black labrador.

And there I was, worrying that he would front up to one of the bullies, instead of backing down, and get injured, but now I have the other fear of becoming the irresponsible owner who lets his dog run free, and out of control (his recall is still pretty bad if he's 'busy') which takes most of the fun out of going to the park. Especially as I can't yet see the behaviour coming.
Getting excited about something
He's potentially one of the bullies now.

He has testosterone coursing through his body, and is probably as surprised as me...

Going back the to 8-Circuit Model - he has passed beyond the horizontal Circuit One (Approach - Avoidance) and entered Circuit Two (up/down) territory of Dominance/Submission. (sigh)

Sadly, dogs probably don't really go much further than that...
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