Thursday, August 2, 2012

Playtime! Wait, what?

Marty has absolutely no idea how to play with other dogs.  This shocked me.

Marty is extremely playful with people.  He loves chasing people, loves getting chased.  He loves to run after a ball and can sometimes bring it back.  With another dog, he gets very confused.  He stands there and looks very confused.  I also found out that due to his skittish nature, he gets very defensive and can lash out.  This will not stand.

For his entire life, Marty has only been around his litter.  The litter was abandoned and they spent part of their lives in rural TN.  Two months ago his litter was moved to rural MD.  Throughout his life he's had very little interaction with other dogs, and now it shows.  

When Marty first came home with me, we had Daisy living with us.  Daisy was a very hyper, 3 year old black lab who is decently trained and not a very cuddly pup.  Daisy's version of playing is getting a ball, taunting another dog with it, then running around them in circles until they give up.  Rinse and repeat until the other dog gets mad.

Daisy was also very defensive of her toys.  She had a habit of taking her toys from other dogs mouths.  This was not good with a puppy around.

Marty seems to have picked up the latter habit.  Marty gets very defensive of both me and his toys to the point where he growls, and then will snap at other dogs.

I noticed he had this potential fairly early on when I gave him a Nylabone.  He loves that bone!  When I first gave it to him, I wanted to make sure that he wouldn't get defensive, like another dog I lived with, Cosmo.  Cosmo would snap at and try to bite anyone who got between him and his toys or his food.  Marty would not inherit this.  I reached for the bone and Marty growled at me.  Shocked, I corrected him and snatched the bone away.  Marty, being the submissive type, rolled over and was confused.  I then spent the next 20 minutes giving him the bone and taking it away.  Each time he growled less and less until he completely stopped.  He realized that the bone was MINE and I was giving it to him.

Fast forward to this past Monday.  On walks, Marty has met other dogs and has gotten along with them.  He's pretty cautious, but a few times the tail has wagged and he's run around a bit.  My neighbors, Dave and Holly, have a 7 month old black lab pup named Ellie.  Dave and I agreed that we should socialize Marty and Ellie to get them used to playing with other dogs.

Things started alright.  Ellie and Marty sniffed each other and were generally ok.  Ellie wanted to just charge in and play, Marty was more cautious.  They then started chasing each other.  Things are looking great.  Then, there was a loud noise and Marty darted under the table in our backyard.  Ellie tried to keep playing, Marty started snapping at her and barking.  

Then we started playing with a ball.  Marty was VERY defensive with his toys.  Whenever Ellie went for one, he would lunge at her.  I would catch him each time and correct him, and towards the end of their time together he started letting her sniff around and pick up the ball.

All in all, good session.  Looking forward to more in the future.

K bye!

No comments:

Post a Comment