Or at least some advice from people more knowledgeable than me.
For six years Mamie lived with three other Cotons in the home of a breeder who loved them all dearly. Her last year there, Maggie Mae, another female began attacking Mamie. The breeder tried everything – closed doors, counsel from professionals – but to no avail. Turned out that this was a hormonal girl thing. Maggie Mae was pregnant and saw Mamie as a threat.
So we adopted our girl.
Mamie is a people dog. It’s the nature of this breed, but especially the nature of this particular dog. She dodges away from all interactions with other dogs; she’s more interested in their owners.
Thinking that a little socialization would be just the ticket, I’ve taken her twice to a cozy doggy daycare down the road. The owner groups small dogs together and big ones separately. Everyone gets outdoor time every hour. He takes time with both groups. A warm and fuzzy happy place.
When we picked her up yesterday after four hours there, he showed me a little video he’d shot with his phone of a cute curly brown dog who was doing everything it could to get Mamie to play. No dice. As he said, she didn’t appear frightened – just indifferent. When the owner came into the room, she was happiest in his lap – he thinks, and I agree, that this was less out of affection than to get above the other dogs.
This morning I couldn’t get her to go for a walk for love or money. She sulked under the bed, as though to say, “I’m not falling for that again. I’ll stay right here where you can’t reach me.”
Now I’m wondering if the original kennel I’ve taken her to in the past might be a better place. It’s all concrete and chain link, but she would have her own run, separate from the other dogs. By comparison, at the cozy place all the little dogs spend the day together in one room. For Mamie, maybe this is a special kind of hell.