Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Dog the Introvert

I could use a good animal behaviorist.

          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.


  1. Poor thing! My sister's dog is the same; he only wants to be in a person's lap and avoids other dogs. You are not alone in this situation. You'd think they would love to play together, but dogs are like people: they have strong preferences. :-)

  2. I agree the concrete and chain link fences are probably better for Mamie, but it is sad that she isn't able to play with others.

  3. I believe you're right. Mamie prefers real hell. Maybe she was John Milton's dog, once.

  4. Probably better to go with the one that gives her her own run while she works through her issues.

  5. Poor Mamie! Funny how dogs are supposedly pack animals, but some don't seem to want anything to do with a pack!

  6. Think you are better with her in isolation. That is not punishment for her but a place of safety.
    Callie had been mauled by a pack of dogs before I got her so she has other dog issues also but hers are more on the aggressive/defensive side.
    You know her preference, I'd say go with it.

  7. I have a little dog too, a rat terrier but she is a small rat terrier. she barks furiously at big dogs and only want to chase them off. little dogs she will usually get used to, there are five at the other end of the street chihuahuas smaller than mine and it took her months before she stopped trying to get away from them. didn't bark at them, just didn't want them getting too close.

  8. You need a friend with a dog to visit. That way she would get used to other dogs one at a time, too many at once might be too much for her. Poor girl:)

  9. I'm also thinking that being bullied by another female might have so demoralized her she no longer feels comfortable with dogs. I'd not push, and it seems you've figured that out. she may recover, she may not. Either way, she has you.

    I have had cats that have never been able to socialize, because whatever happened to them before they came here, it was just too much for them. My last bonded pair were like that. We now have one left, Toby, and while he gets along famously with my other cat, he prefers to not have to deal with humans. So be it. He's warm, and fed, and safe. Now and then he allows us to let him out. =)


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