Ducky’s on Doghouse Probation

Our little demonbrat is on doghouse probation right now. No, we’re not thinking of re-homing her. We love her dearly and she will always have a loving home with us.

She was a bad girl Tuesday night. She behaved in a way she hasn’t since before we knew Callie was sick. While hubby and I were watching tv Tuesday night, he was spoiling the girls a little with small pieces of ham. He had given them both one piece already and was giving them a second piece when suddenly Ducky went ballistic on poor Shadow.

A lot of snarling, snarking, and whatnot. Shadow defended herself, to a point. She probably could have hurt Ducky if she wanted to; but that’s just not in her DNA. But Ducky was being her old demonic self. I slipped my hand under her collar from behind and got her away from Shadow. I didn’t just raise my voice, I pretty much yelled at her. “NO! DON’T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN!” I was really angry, and I couldn’t tell you whatever else I yelled at her, other than telling her to stay on the dog bed.

Shadow, meanwhile, had half walked-half limped in the opposite direction through the kitchen and to her favorite spot behind our recliners. When I’d convinced Ducky she had best stay on the dog bed, I turned to find Shadow holding her foot up as though she’d hurt it. It was the leg that took the brunt of Ducky’s attack. I checked but could find no blood or teeth marks so I rubbed it some, gave it a few motherly kisses, and gave Shadow some back rubs and head pats to make her feel better.

A few times during the day Tuesday Ducky had started acting like a brat and I put a stop to it. But the behavior Tuesday night just really irked me. And really ticked hubby off big time. Normally when Ducky gives him those sad, black eyes as she’s standing on her hind legs with her front paws on the edge of his recliner, he’ll invite her up in his lap. Tuesday night she got the surprise of her life. Daddy was very mad at her and wouldn’t let her up on the chair for a couple of hours.

Last night Ducky started making that pre-snark noise in her throat as Shadow walked over to hubby. I gave her “the look” and firmly told her to leave Shadow alone. And she went over to the dog bed and laid down. A couple of times she tried to demand attention but I told her no. She finally gave up and went to lay down on the dog bed. But when she awoke from her nap, I gave her a kiss on her sweet nose and told her I love her. And she wagged her tail and went back to sleep.

We are joining the Barks and Bytes blog hop today, hosted by Linda at 2 Brown Dawgs and Jodi at Heart Like A Dog. Check out the links and see what everyone’s talking about.

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28 thoughts on “Ducky’s on Doghouse Probation

  1. Patricia says:

    Good job, Sue, you did all the right things. I am sure she is feeling you and Sam’s energy. She just needed some strong reminders!

    • My Golden Life says:

      Thank you, Patricia!! I sometimes feel guilty about being so firm with her. Shadow is so sweet and well-behaved that I don’t have to be firm with her. It makes me wonder sometimes what I did wrong in raising Ducky.

      • Patricia says:

        I’ve learned from Ewe-topia where Shasta does herd dog training that even when I think I’m being harsh on her, the intensity of my energy may not be enough. Not much “dog whispering” there, either. Their form of discipline is quite noisy, and sounds like scolding and full sentences, you know, but it’s probably the energy behind the voice (and the rock bottles) that work to get the dog’s attention, you know. The regulars I hang out with are not afraid to support others by saying, “Oh, you can be harder than that!” I guess I do a little of both ways. Anyway, I know you did good!

  2. easyweimaraner says:

    That was great that you could resist those puppy eyes and that you were strict. We gave in too often… and now Easy rules this house :o) … we even asked an animals psychologist, but this woman probably had a screw loose :o)

  3. Jodi says:

    You have to be firm when they do that. I tell Delilah, “Absolutely NOT.” One time she growled and snapped at Sampson when I was doing chicken necks. She was removed from the area and not allowed back for a good long time.

    Maybe someone should stop feeding the dogs people food….;-)

    Thank you for joining the blog hop!

  4. Groovy Goldendoodles says:

    You handled / diffused the situation very well. I think you were spot-on with all your decisions. Somethings happening though to trigger this new dimension. If you watch the dynamics between the two, I have no doubt you’ll figure it out, rectify it for good, and life will be like it was. Dogs are so sensitive, a little more TLC could be the missing link. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    • My Golden Life says:

      Actually, the trigger is not enough discipline. I don’t mean discipline in the sense of yelling/screaming at Ducky or putting her in time out. I mean discipline as in not spoiling her by letting her demand attention all the time, or as in hubby’s case “sneaking” her bites of people food at the kitchen table, off the kitchen countertop, sitting/standing in his lap or next to his chair, etc. I can’t tell you the number of arguments we have had over that. When Callie was alive, Ducky tried to grab all of Callie’s affection away from Shadow to the point where I often had to put her in her crate for a nap so Callie and Shadow could have their time together like they always had before Ducky. But after Callie went to Heaven, all the competition ceased to exist; and Ducky started being nicer to Shadow. Up until Tuesday night, it was going well. The TLC isn’t the missing link; discipline is the missing link.

      The problem is hubby is normally a sucker for those black puppy-dog eyes. I can be, too, at times – I admit it – but we BOTH have to resist the temptation. Maybe now he will stop spoiling her.

      Ducky has actually been a very good girl this morning so far. 😍

  5. Donna O. says:

    Hey Sue…I feel for you. The last fight between Medi and Leah was bad, and since Leah is a senior, she couldn’t get her footing and was falling all over the place with Medi hanging from her face. It. Was. Awful. I was pretty firm with her too…and said some harsh things as well as being pretty rough with her when I took Medi by the collar and dragged her to a safe spot. I felt bad about it later too, but when you see your senior dog getting hurt, your blood starts to boil.

    Like you, we don’t have a lot of fights anymore, but when they occur, you feel like you took a big step backwards. After that last fight I became extra vigilant with them, especially around food, as I think that’s what started the fight as well. I’m sure now that the fight itself is behind you, but you know that the potential for one is still there, you’ll be extra careful too to prevent future ones.

    I think it never really goes away completely in some dogs. We may think they are good now, they won’t fight, they are over it, but sometimes it is just under the surface. So it is our job to try and prevent. And sure, when things are going well, it’s easy to slip up. To forget. I’ve done it too. So don’t be so hard on yourself…and glad you and Ducky “made up” in the end. 🙂

    • My Golden Life says:

      Oh, Donna, I can’t thank you enough for sharing this! I had visions of purely-positive trainers jumping down my throat telling me what a horrible person I am. Not that I listen to them; but knowing I’m not alone is a true boost to my ego and helps take away some of the guilt. ❤️🐶

  6. somethingwagging says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry. It is horrible to see our dogs snarking at each other. And the noise and drama is so scary.

    Ducky and Shadow are lucky you’re keeping a good eye on things. And food is particularly tough. I never fed Honey with ANY of our foster dogs because I didn’t trust myself enough to catch a problem before it happened.

    Dogs are lightening fast.

    Hope the hubby can forgive Ducky soon.

    • My Golden Life says:

      Hubby has already forgiven her – that’s not an issue. But what he REALLY needs to do is STOP spoiling them with people food. I do feed them separately – Shadow first, then Ducky after Shadow is finished – for that very reason. When Callie was still with us, I fed her and Shadow at the same time but I always stayed in the kitchen with them so I could shoo Callie away from Shadow when necessary. I wasn’t always successful, but the times I wasn’t were few and far between.

  7. Kimberly Morris Gauthier says:

    We’ve had similar issues with our dogs and it’s tough. Both Rodrigo and Sydney can get aggressive (lots of teeth baring and growling) with the puppies (who are now 2 years old and not puppies) when they want my attention. I try to give the dogs equal attention and not allow Rodrigo and Sydney to interrupt or demand attention. They’re getting better, but when we have bad days it sucks.

  8. Nature by Dawn says:

    Pierson can be quite the brat as well. What makes it worse is that Maya doesn’t fight back at all. I’ve only had one incident that was really bad. I think it was over a bone. I did pretty much the same as you.

  9. Jan K says:

    Oh no, I know how tough that is to deal with. I’m always relieved when one will back off. Poor Shadow though. She is still doing OK?
    Cricket is our instigator around here, and we’ve had to learn not to do certain things. She seems to be mellowing some as she gets older too though. When we had our golden Moses, he would not always back off, but luckily so far Luke has.
    I hope Ducky has learned…it does sound like you got your point through to her.

    • My Golden Life says:

      Yes, Shadow is still doing okay. She didn’t want to eat breakfast at all yesterday, and only a little dinner, but she’s okay. Maybe her reflux, maybe sensitivity to our moods, maybe a combination.

      As for Ducky, she’s been a good girl SO FAR this morning. And I’ve been really strict with making her wait at the back and porch doors, and not giving into her demands for attention. Like right now – she’s barking at me and I’m just ignoring her.

      • Patricia says:

        Many times misbehavior is a call for “Help, I need a leader to give me direction,” which is really okay. Some people don’t understand this, though. I’m sure you do. Like when Shasta’s hair goes up on a another dog, it’s a reminder to step it up in discipline and tell her what to do. Dogs need direction and protection, and if they don’t get it, they will act out.

  10. cocoabean2225 says:

    That stinks when they get mad at each other and fight. It is hard because you don’t know what is bothering them, you know. You did good. It is so hard to get mad at them when they give you those puppy dog eyes.

    • My Golden Life says:

      Hi Julie! Actually, Shadow doesn’t get mad, even at Ducky; she just defends herself when need be. And Ducky doesn’t really get mad, just possessive. But this time she made her daddy mad at her. And Mommy wasn’t happy either. Oh well, all’s forgiven but she’s still on probation for a while.

  11. 2 Brown Dawgs says:

    Nothing worse than a dog fight. I am glad that you did not get hurt and that Shadow is OK. Ducky would benefit from Nothing In Life Is Free training. You are doing some of it, but you may want to implement it for an extended period of time. The best part of this is that it does not require raising your voice, but the dog learns that they do not rule the household. Thanks for joining the hop. We are finally home for a couple of weeks. I hope to actually get caught up…lol.

    • My Golden Life says:

      I TRY to implement it consistently; but Mr ImasuckerfôrPuppydogEyes usually melts after a few days. And I’m left holding the bag and being made out to be the evil stepmother. So far though – to his credit – hubby has been keeping the people food treats for Shadow while Ducky’s at daycare. Since Shadow is -and always has been – a good girl, I don’t mind him spoiling her once in a while with small pieces of cheese. For the most part, I’ve also been making Ducky sit and wait to go thru doors after Shadow. Sometimes she sneaks past me tho before I even know it. Little stinker. But that’s why she’s always on the leash to go out of the front doors.

      • My Golden Life says:

        Ohmigosh, don’t tell HIM that!! She’d be as fat as a house and back on Prescription i/d for her IBD cuz he’s be feeding her everything that gave her the IBD to begin with!

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