Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde

oh, sweet puppy dog
we’ve ruined you already
so sorry ’bout that

We’ve been training Tucker to walk on a leash. At 10 weeks, he’s getting the hang of it (uh, so to speak), and we keep the walks short and mostly on the grass so his little bones don’t get jiggled around on the concrete.

We had him out with us on Friday night, as we walked around the block, and lo! There was a lab puppy to visit with. Tucker hasn’t been around any other dogs since we got him a few weeks ago, so we naturally thought he’d be thrilled to romp around with a buddy for a few minutes.

Uh, right.

Tucker, all 3.6 pounds of him, when positively Cujo apeshit when that lab puppy came over to sniff him. It was startling how fast he went from jaunty little pup on a walk to scared out of his mind snarly teeth-bared psycho. Holy shit.

The lab pup and his owner were totally non-plussed and actually kind of amused by the whole thing, but my husband and I weren’t. A scaredy fear aggressive dog is not on our list of wants right now.

i don’t know if it’s a puppy thing or a breed thing (he’s a mini Australian Shepherd) or an "I’ve just been to the vet leave me alone" thing or what, but it really freaked me out. We want our pup to be excited about the world, not scared by it, and especially not scared of other dogs. How will we learn to play frisbee at the dog park if he morphs into Cujo every time another dog tries to sniff him?

Our vet asked us to wait to start obedience classes until after Tucker has his rabies shot in three weeks, but that was before we had the psycho incident. I’m, frankly, afraid to wait three more weeks, if he’s developing some kind of phobia or something. Maybe he was just in a bad mood or the other dog was giving off a vibe or something, but I don’t think so. We took Tucker to the dog park on Saturday, and though he didn’t get snarly, he did tuck his tail and hide under the stroller when other dogs came by. This makes me want to get him into a class with a behaviorist right away. Maybe I’ve watched too much of the Dog Whisperer for my own good, I don’t know. I do know that I don’t want my pup to go through life being scared out of his mind every time another dog comes by. We have to nip that shit in the bud.

Poor guy. I have no idea where the fear comes from, but I hope it’s early enough to fix. I’m telepathically sending him some tiny brass balls. But puppy kindergarten will help, too, I think.

3 thoughts on “Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde

  1. That describes Beagan perfectly and is the reason we ended up at Lee Mannix’s door step– a wimpy bully. He’s scared so he pretends like he’s a big dog and attacks before he is attacked. That and he feels he has to defend me (the woman) but not dh (the man)! We have no idea what kind of abusive messed up situation he was in before he came to live with us, so he probably learned some of it to survive.
    Really, get help soon. I wouldn’t worry about rabies.


  2. If your vet is worried about the rabies, have a trainer come to the house for some one-on-one sessions. He may not be ready for classes with other dogs if he’s this freaked out now. Good luck!


  3. I’ve probably been watching too much of the Dog Whisperer also, but I think training will fix that. Our now 7 year old dog, had the same issue as a a puppy – even peed out of such fear on the floor of pet smart at our first class – but it slowly dissipated.


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