Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Balancing the Canine

Tonight, we had an incident at our house that is a first--White Dragon bit someone.

I'd ordered pizza as one kid had a recital, I had a parent dinner to attend, the husband had a late afternoon meeting that concerned important matters, and the other two kids had an appointment with the babysitter. Sometimes pizza delivery is the best plan for an evening like this.

My eldest, 7, saw the pizza guy through out cut glass door. She opened the door. White Dragon, barking and ready to bolt out the door, stood beside her. Before I could get the word STOP from my mouth, the girl opened the door. The STOP managed its way to White Dragon's ears, but not before she gave a good nip to the posterior of the pizza guy.

At least White Dragon respects my authority enough that she dropped to the ground at my command, although her hackles remained aloft. I ordered her into the house. She followed them.

I paid the pizza man, apologized, and told him to call me if he was hurt. He wasn't. She didn't bite with aggression. I know that as I saw it happen.

This incident angered me for many reasons, the first being that my daughter should not have opened the door without my permission. The second reason I am needed a calming bath is that my dog bit someone. I expected it with The Brute. He had issues. This one, this dog that lets children lay on her and barely moves when a crowd of children come near her? I'm hot, and I'm still shaking.

On one hand, I live in a city that isn't a utopia. I don't mind that people are afraid of my dog. Yet, I have to do something about her behavior. White Dragon cannot charge people in my yard. I will need to use the Dog Whisperer's tactics with her.

I suspect my husband will disagree with me. I will stand firm on this. I am the one here most of the time. I am the one that invites repairmen into the house. I am the one that wants to get packages and mail without fear of the dog attacking the deliverers.

I'm not at ease with taking out the small aggression White Dragon possesses. I like a dog with spunk. I'm going to do it. I will train her out of this barking at visitors and at dogs passing by the fence.

Let's just add this to the other lists of goals that Sarabeth has to reach. Crikey! Why do I do this to myself?

36 comments:

molly said...

Sounds like she was in mommy protective mode. I wonder if she knew the M should not open the door without you there.

Liz Self said...

Let me know how it goes. So far Lucy has been great with Ollie. She seems to have adopted licking his head as a tactic to get him to back off when he wants to play with her paws and such. I try to let them interact without my interference (though my constant supervision) as much as possible, telling myself this will help them just figure each other out, but I also know Lucy can spook easily. I want to trust the dog -- she's never given me reason not to -- but Wes has seen too many dog bites in the ER to trust too much.

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Trixie said...

Liz, we watched Mama Dog constantly too but other than whipping her head around quickly - so quickly it scared the kids - she never made any moves that worried me. At first I was startled by the whipping of the head too until I actually watched her do it. She had the most amazing timing - she waited until the kids were fooling with her and not really watching and then she startled them. It was a enough to send them into tears and away from her. They started to pay a lot more attention to her body language after a few of this sessions and soon were clued in enough to leave her alone. You should see Dare "shephard" Mama Dog out of rooms and such. She is so old and placid now. But she'd still rather be on the bed sleeping with one of our pre-teen kids like my god-daughters.

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Just John said...

Well said, HP. Long time no "see."

Dogs can be fickle, but we can teach them. We do it if we care enough about them.

Hope all is well.