Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thoughts about Weirdos

Out of my six dogs only two of them are what I would consider "normal." Normal as in your typical, average sort of dog. Those would be pixel and Wicca. While they are certainly naughty they are very typical house dogs. The kind of dog you could take anywhere and not worry about bad reactions, or quirks, or just general stuff. Those two have the qualities that most people are looking for in pets. I'm not talking drive or anything, just general personality and temperament.

The other four are dogs that certainly would not have been okay in your average home. And it's probably no coincidence that they are all rescue dogs- that clearly were not okay in an average home. Of course through training and such there have been improvements with behavior- but the base temperament and personality. That hasn't been changed in any of them. I find it interesting.

Vito was surrendered to rescue for growling, and biting. At 14 weeks old!!! Definite danger signs. He came to my house and never left. And still he is my least social dog, and needs a slow and careful introduction if I expect him to Interact with a person. He has learned (behavior) how to ignore and cope with the presence of people. But his underlying mistrust of strangers will never go away.

Boone came to me as a 4 year old dog. He had been owned by people who did the best they could for him but couldn't handle his issues. I've met a handful of Pyr Sheps and know quite a few online- and I do feel that it's safe to say that the breed in general is not normal. They are bred to be aloof- originally this was so they couldn't be stolen when they were up in the hills with the shepherd and sheep... The breed is still very natural and raw and I think that's why it is such a strong trait. Aside from being nervous to meet people, Boone is easily overwhelmed and goes Into panic mode. This is how he was lost for two days a few years ago. When he is scared he is not a rational thinker. He is hard to live with because of this- and because his triggers are things that can't always be avoided. Through training he has learned how to recover- but the initial reaction is still often there. He is a very high maintenance dog to live with. Even at 10 years old.

Brit came to rescue for being too active for her family. More like being completely neurotic, with many OCD type behaviors well established. It took a while for some of it to show up- but when it did I was pretty surprised. She would follow light and shadow, sniff the ground frantically while screeching, and of course stare at things. All the things. Moving or non moving. Training and behavior modification and countless hours have improved these things greatly. But a day without exercise or an outlet for her energy and she easily falls into that again.

Leo came to me after being surrrendered to a shelter for biting, and sitting there for a long long time... It's hard to know if his weirdness came from before the shelter, or after. He is very impulsive and frantic. In all things, (except shepherding which I find completely fascinating!!). In the house he would pace and move all the time, and is quick to get riled up. Self control does not come naturally. Even in cuddling (which he wants to do all the time), he is forceful and frantic. Pushing himself onto your lap or smearing himself against you. It's cute for like two seconds. His behavior problems- the biting for example, are pretty under control. I feel pretty comfortable saying that at this point I would see it building long before it happened. Gone is the unpredictable reactiveness. But the actual personality quirks are alive and well.

So interesting. To me anyway. The weirdos I live with. It's too bad they couldn't talk to us, or understand us better. Communication could clear up a lot of problems. I guess that good training is at least some form of communication , but it sure would be cool to hear what, and why they they think/react like they do. And I wonder about all the weirdo dogs out there, in incompatible homes- that eventually give up or don't. Not everyone is equipped to deal with a weirdo. They certainly are more work than the normal dogs! In Life and in training!

Dog behavior and such is interesting. Especially to a weirdo like me. ;) maybe that's why I apparently seek out the weird dogs. Lol. We have common interests...


^..^Corgidogmama said...

You have a real sampling, that for sure. You've brought joy and love to each one of them!

Taryn said...

Is it telling that the two dogs you consider normal are the ones you raised from puppies? With my Cardigans, Wilson is very easy to live with, Jimmy is very hard. Jimmy would not have done well in a "pet" home. But neither boy has ever been naughty around the house. They are very trustworthy dogs.

Dachshund Nola said...

I'm so happy you have them! And I echo Taryn with wondering if the "normal" ones are that way because they were raised from puppies.
Nola wouldn't do well in most normal homes simply because she is always solving how to get into (and out of) things, and she barks and barks if not exercised. She's an escape artist like no other. Olivia would be fine. Pike would not. His issues have issues.

oddman said...

'All the things....' LOL.