Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Only Way He Knows How

I have written about my dogs and their prey drive in the past.

I have written about my many struggles with Bruce in the past.  He drives me mad.  He brings me to tears.  But he also displays an incredible amount of love and affection on occasion.

The guinea fowl incident played out again a couple of days ago.  I was in the kennel area with all three dogs.  The gate to the big yard was open.  I was handing out treats.  A guinea flew into the yard. All three dogs took off into the yard.

Needless to say, I am short a guinea.

One of the things I have learned is that one cannot simply take things from Bruce.  He is sometimes willing to trade, but this was not one of those times.

I had treats, and waited several minutes for him to grow bored, and come to me, which he did.  He then sat nicely for a treat.

I gave him a treat, and gently slid my hand under his collar, which he tolerated with no problems.

I was alone, and willing to wait however long it took for a leash to be brought to me.  Another thing I have learned with Bruce is that you do drag him by his collar anywhere.  A leash is much safer.

He sat nicely with me holding his collar for several minutes, gladly taking the treats I was offering him.

Bruce has many quirks, idiosyncrasies.  He is really good at expressing pleasure, happiness.  He is not so good at expressing displeasure or frustration.

Some dogs whine, yawn, talk, lick their lips, etc when they are frustrated.  Not Bruce.

After several minutes of sitting with my hand on his collar, big boy decided he had had enough.  In a split second, he jumped up, screamed, and whipped his head around to bite my arm which was holding his collar.

I quickly let go, and he ran to the scene of the crime, investigated for a few seconds, and returned to me.  He followed me into the house willingly.

I was already in tears.  Anger, frustration, sadness.  My skin was not broken, though my pride and spirit were.

I now have some beautiful bruising and soft tissue swelling on my wrist and forearm.

Big boy was tired of sitting there with me holding his collar.  No yawns, no whines, no whale eye, no lip licking.  But he was done.  And he expressed his displeasure.  The only way he knows how.


  1. I am so sorry that Bruce bit you! That sucks. :( ~hugs~

  2. I know how it feels when there is no warning. Brut would usually snarl before attacking another dog, but every once in while he went without a warning and there'd be nothing I could do to stop it. Those were the scary attacks.

    I'm sorry too. I know how difficult it is to have a dog like Bruce. Hope you heal quickly.

  3. Aw, I am so sorry! That must have been scary :(

  4. I am so sorry. I have a post that’s coming out on Friday about Rodrigo and his reactivity. It brings me to tears too. He’s doing so well, but in our instance, it’s when others throw us a curb ball that I can’t handle. A dog owner let his off leash dog run up to us “to make friends” and it didn’t go well at all.

    Rodrigo did really well that day, but there are other days when he doesn’t do well.

    What I find difficult is getting his attention once it’s locked on a fleeing animal or a cyclist. I’m trying to hard not to hate cyclists, but I swear I’m starting to become reactive when I see one coming and they’re not in the bicycle lane. The last interaction, Rodrigo nipped at my face. I got back in time and I know that he wouldn’t have broken skin, but it’s heartbreaking anyway.


Thanks for the howls!!