Spoiled, Okay; Spoiled Brat Definitely Not Okay

Ducky is feeling her oats lately, acting like a spoiled rotten, bratty, pre-teen adolescent.  At least around her two canine siblings, Sam, and me…

Yesterday, for the second day in a row, she growled, snarled, and snapped at me as I was putting her in the travel crate on the back seat.  On Thursday I gave her the benefit of the doubt that I had inadvertently invaded her personal space.  Yesterday I wasn’t quite so “forgiving” as I hadn’t even opened the crate door when she started.  I used my best parental voice as I said “HEY!  ENOUGH!” and put her in the crate, shut the door, and then went back inside.  She was still growling as I locked the crate shut.

I asked Ally (one of the girls that works there) if Ducky’s attitude had been “snarky” lately.  (I love that word, Jodi Stone, thanks!)  She thought about it for a second and said “No, not really.  She behaves well for us.”  I described to Maria what Ducky had been doing lately.  “She’s trying to tell you what to do, or more accurately what she is NOT going to do.  She’s being a spoiled rotten brat.  You need to nip it in the bud NOW.”  The little light bulb over my head went on.  Of course! …

To keep the peace around here the last few months, I’ve acquiesced to Sam’s spoiling of her (again).  Well, this time there will be none of it. So far, “Daddy” is doing what I told him needs to be done. We’ll see how long it lasts this time. Ah, but this time there will be no acquiescing on my part. This time I will put my foot down if and whenever necessary. My mama didn’t raise no fool.

As we were leaving the daycare office this afternoon, Ducky started her growling/snarling act again when she saw another client standing off to the side. She was a bit surprised when I scolded her with “Hey! Enough!” She stopped for just a few seconds, but when I did my best “EH!”, she got the message loud and clear. When we got to the car and I opened the back door,she jumped up on the back seat and didn’t make a sound or a snooty face as I unclipped the leash from her collar and opened the crate door. She went into the crate silently on her own.

When hubby and I were getting ready to go out for dinner, Ducky didn’t want to go into her regular crate. I caught her by her collar as she was trying to run away from me. No sound out of her, no reaction at all. “You’re going in your crate, Ducky, like it or not” I said firmly. She went all the way in, turned around, and looked at me with the same look I used to give my own mother when she sent me to bed without dessert. I had to keep myself from smiling or laughing, so I just said “see you in a little while” and came back upstairs to give my Golden Girls each a kiss on their sweet, furry heads.

We just got home a little while ago. When I opened the door to Ducky’s crate, she came halfway out, stretching her legs, and then fully into my arms and gave me a bunch of puppy kisses. Such unconditional love I’d never get from another human. 🙂 How can I not love my little demon dog?? I gave her some kisses right back on the top of her sweet little puppy-dog head. All is forgiven as she lays sleeping on one of the dog beds here in the living room.

Pamela, over at Something Wagging This Way Comes, asked in her post this morning something to the effect of “Are puppies irresistible or do you prefer adult dogs?” And I know I’m not even close to quoting her verbatim. Here are MY questions for you: Have you ever had a young dog in need of an attitude adjustment? How did you (or would you) handle it?

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6 thoughts on “Spoiled, Okay; Spoiled Brat Definitely Not Okay

  1. Jodi says:

    Wow Sue that’s a tough one. I try so hard to only work with positive reinforcement but I do use the “ack” or the “eh!” and Friday when I caught Delilah eating something vile, I grabbed her by the collar and gave her a brief shake with a NO! I think it depends on whether she’s growling aggressively (because correcting that in the wrong manner can backfire) vs growling to let you know that she doesn’t like something (Delilah growls when we get to close to her when she’s sleeping). Typically positive trainers will tell you that dogs growl when they are uncomfortable with something. I think you have to do what you think is right. 🙂

    BTW, I love snarky too. 🙂 And Hubby’s corned beef recipe is just the cooked beef, fresh potatoes and a bit of olive oil. He says the trick is to cut the potatoes small. His ratio is usually 60% beef to 40% potato. That’s the recipe.

    • Sams Northern Girl says:

      With Ducky, it’s just Ducky being bratty, like a 13-year-old kid who gets “snotty” with her mother. When I was bratty I got “the look” and it was usually enough. With Ducky, “the look” alone doesn’t sink in — she needs a verbal

      Sent from my iPod

    • Sams Northern Girl says:

      Geez I hate when I accidentally hit the send button! Anyway, with Callie & Shadow, the meanest I’ve ever had to get is a loud “Leave it!!” when they’ve gone to eat their own poop. Now, after years of experience — and thanks to my ABC course work — I’ve learned not to let them see me cleaning it up. With Demon Dog, the words & tone are just not enough. She’s just testing our resolve to enforce the rules despite her cuteness. As long as we stay consistent with the rules, boundaries, and limitations, I think she will eventually grow out of the bratty stage and be a really good little pooch.

      Thanks for the recipe!! Just one question, how long do I cook the hash once it’s ready to be cooked?

      Sent from my iPod

      • Jodi says:

        Well he’s the cook, I’ll ask him what he starts first, but I know he cooks it until the potatoes are soft.

        BTW, you know your dog and what works best. I wish Leave It would work for Delilah. I probably should be working her more on that command.

      • Sams Northern Girl says:

        Trust me, Leave It is tricky, even with my two “little angels” — it’s hard to proof it when you can’t watch them every moment to keep them from being sneaky. It was hard enough when it was just the 2 of them, but the addition of Ducky to our little pack makes it nearly impossible at times, especially with a husband who squawks when I ask for help. 🙂 Altho I must admit he’s been a bit more helpful these last few days. Even actually telling Ducky “off” when she jumps up on the chair. Tho we did let her stay up long enough to give him some puppy kisses yesterday. She was good all day Sunday, and all evening Monday.

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