WTF?! Ducky

Ducky gave us a “what the f**k?!!” moment last night — and repeated it earlier this morning — that I’d like to share with y’all and see what you think.

We humans were watching a movie last night, and the dogs were scattered around us. Callie just inside the kitchen doorway, Shadow behind our recliners, and Ducky on the couch — all presumably asleep. Next thing hubby and I knew, Ducky had jumped off the couch and was moving towards Shadow snarling, growling, and baring her teeth. I grabbed her collar to prevent her from getting any closer to Shadow. And quite firmly told her “NO! You leave Shadow alone!” Meanwhile, poor bewildered Shadow got up and moved closer to Callie.

Sam and I were bewildered. Ducky has pulled this crap before when Shadow had a toy between her front paws, but not for no apparent reason. (And she got the same scolding for that.)

Anyway, after the “episode” was over with, Ducky settled down on one of the dog beds until bedtime without any further nonsense. I had Sam keep an eye on her while I gave Shadow some lovies and tried to reassure her that she had done nothing wrong. I got a face full of Shadow kisses so I guess she understood.

I had pretty much forgotten about it until earlier this morning when it happened again, minus Sam’s presence. Only this time I grabbed Ducky’s collar when she was further away from Shadow.

Something has dawned on me as I’ve been typing this: Its the couch. Again. Ducky’s thinking she’s higher on the totem pole (than Shadow) again because we’ve been allowing her up there. Never mind the fact that Shadow and Callie are both also allowed on the couch. They don’t get the superiority attitude like Ducky does. I guess I’ll have to go buy a “scat mat” for the couch. Or, bring the puppy gates in from the utility building and set them up in the kitchen doorways and make Ducky spend some time in timeout when she gets bratty. It’s not jealousy, as I was thinking last night; it’s the bratty, superior attitude caused by being allowed on the couch.

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16 thoughts on “WTF?! Ducky

  1. Jodi says:

    Well I’m glad to see you figured out what the issue is!! Maybe ban her from the couch permanently? Poor Shadow, I’m glad you gave her lots of lovies.

    • The Golden Life says:

      I may have to ban her from the couch permanently. But I can just hear Sam now!! Unfortunately, it means no couch for Callie or Shadow either in his eyes. BUT when she’s at daycare will be another thing. I’m going to have to convince him somehow.

  2. Jan K says:

    That’s rough when things like that happen. At least you figured out the cause which is the first step. Cricket is our bossy girl, but she limits her tirades to protecting food and balls. So none of those things can ever get left lying around here. No one can get any long lasting treats or anything like that, because she lives by the rule “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine”.

  3. somethingwagging says:

    I hope you’ll check back to let us know how your “off the couch” policy works. Because I’m still wondering what happened to trigger Ducky’s approach toward Shadow at those particular moments.

    Was there a noise? A smell? A shadow? Because even if Ducky is too big for her britches, something triggered her to react at that particular time. So I’d caution you to stay alert just in case the new couch policy doesn’t take care of the problem.

    And good luck with it. It must have been scary to see Ducky reacting that way for what appeared to be no reason at all.

    • The Golden Life says:

      Hi Pam. Actually, I was — still am — planning to do a follow up post, maybe next week. So far, the “off the couch” policy is working fairly well. It would probably work much better if Sam were a bit more diligent about enforcing it when I’m not in the room! I find myself checking on Ducky’s whereabouts a lot more often than I should have to, but at least he doesn’t allow her in his lap. (I know b/c I can hear him saying “off, off, off, every so often.) As for the trigger — whatever it was those two times was in her pretty little head. Shadow was asleep behind me both times and made no noise or movement that I could hear. But I’m pretty much always on alert when Ducky is nearby. Which is why I’m so darn tired half the time.

      • somethingwagging says:

        Husbands are tougher to train than dogs. Maybe it’s time to bring the clicker out for Sam. πŸ™‚

        Mine reinforces Honey’s jumping I’ve worked so hard to train her out of.

      • The Golden Life says:

        πŸ˜‚ Ain’t THAT the truth?! Sam not only reinforced their begging — before I threatened to make him clean up the mess afterward — he encouraged it!

        But I am totally uncoordinated, spastic, and whatever other word you want to use, when it comes to a clicker so I just use words, hand signals, and praise. You may be able to teach my old dogs new tricks, but when it comes to clicker training I’m hopeless.

  4. 2 Brown Dawgs says:

    It sounds to me like Ducky is trying to be the alpha in the pack. From what I understand, it is very normal when you have a household with three dogs. Two–they are buds, three and one tries to be top dog. And Ducky is much younger so is going to try real hard to be the top dog. We have a bit of an issue with our three. Thunder and Storm are bonded and best friends. Enter Freighter who is not quite three and they do not all get along together (Freighter and Thunder are both still intact so that adds and Storm won’t take crap from Freighter, but he is stronger). Anyway, we keep them separate. Thunder and Storm together and Freighter separate so they don’t feel the need to try to assert their dominance around the house. No sense risking a dog fight. We knew this might be an issue when we got the third dog so we planned accordingly. They can all see each other, but they have separate spaces (we use dog gates). We just spent a week at our little cabin and all the dogs behaved but as I said they were separated.

    I know people wonder what may cause the behavior, but it is just normal dog behavior (and it can vary by breed/temperament). If you talk to anybody who has had multiple dogs, and if they are being honest about it, they will tell you it is more normal than not.

    I know some people say to let the dogs figure it out themselves, but that is something only you can decide to allow or not. If they would grumble and it ends there that is one thing and you might never have an issue going forward, but if it escalates then it can mean an expensive vet visit or worse.

    Good luck. I look forward to your follow up.

    • The Golden Life says:

      Thanks, Linda! I’ve wondered from time to time how your three get along. Now I know. Our house isn’t big enough to separate the girls — all spayed at young ages — so things are a little tense now and then; but I’ve gotten good at reading Ducky’s eyes and body language so I can usually nip her “brat-itude” in the butt. She just caught me by surprise last week. I’ll save the rest for the follow up. πŸ˜‰

      • 2 Brown Dawgs says:

        You might laugh at this. The only one in the house (and that includes humans) that Freighter has not tried to dominate has been the 8 pound cat. I figure it is because Freighter thinks the cat is far below him…or maybe far above…lol.

      • The Golden Life says:

        What is it about cats?! πŸ˜‚. I did get a good chuckle from this, thanks! Maybe the cat hissed and/or swatted at Freighter at some point and he’s been wary of messing with him/her?

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