So, about two, maybe three weeks or so ago, we got this dog, Paco, and brought him home. He… took a little while to warm up to us. I mean, I know it’s been less than a month, but he’s been a feisty little guy. For a while, he kept charging my cat, Mister. Now, for any of y’all who are new or unfamiliar with my cat, he’s a big fella… He’s a little over 20 pounds, which is bigger than this little Chihuahua mix, that’s fersure. Anyway, Paco decided that he didn’t know what to do with a cat this big, so the best thing to do with him was to try to intimidate him.
Yeah, that didn’t go over too well.
Now, Mister is a pretty chill cat, so there wasn’t much in the way of yowling, spitting, chasing each other around, or anything like that. No, he pretty much just hissed, growled, and swiped at this yappy little furball that kept rushing him for no apparent reason. Eventually, one of the swipes connected, and that was the end of that. Mostly. Paco still thinks that he can run at Mister every once in a while when he feels that Mister might take his food, but yeah one swipe and he changes his mind.
Also, when you have three dogs in one house, you have to let them figure out their own hierarchy; it’s not something you can enforce upon them. That’s always fun. ^_^ Reading through Paco’s “adoption” papers, we learned that he came to the Pacific Northwest through California and before that, he had been a stray in Hawaii. So no one really knows what he’s been through. According to the papers, they guessitmate him at about six years old, and he’s very… what’s the term? Oh yeah, resource aggressive — towards the other animals, not me. I can totally give and take anything away from him and he won’t try and bite me at all. But let another animal come near him when he has a treat, a toy, or food, and he goes full out aggressive. Brandy, of course, has already put him in his place for trying that with her because that’s how pack order works, but Cocoa will just sit there and whine at him. To keep the peace, we put his crate away from the other dogs so that he won’t feel the need to guard his food from them. That helps a lot, but toys, treats, &c? Yep, he guards them too, and it’s something that needs to be worked on. It’s probably something he learned as a stray. Again though, it’s only been a few weeks, that’s something we have to give them all time to work out. So long as there aren’t any full on fights with teeth and blood, I’m okay with them snarling and growling at each other. That’s how dogs communicate. If I don’t let them work it out now, it’ll just build until it explodes, and no one wants that.
As an aside… I always find it interesting when people say that the bigger breeds and bully breeds (pit bull terriers, rottweilers, dobermans, and so on…) are the most aggressive breeds of dogs and they shouldn’t be allowed in apartments or communities (because people are stupid and ignorant). Little ankle biters like Paco are just as aggressive as the “bully” breeds. The difference is that when a pit pull terrier growls at someone, their first instinct is to get as far away from that dog as they possibly can, but when a little dog gets all mean and growl-y it’s so cute!!! Ahhh, who’s a mean little dog? Are you going to bite me? Who’s a vicious watch dog? You are! Yes you are! (moron talking). Anyway, it’s been my experience that ankle biters hardly ever get trained properly, so they never learn to curb their aggression. Paco is, near as we can tell, six years old and doesn’t even know how to “sit” on command. Seriously. That’s the most basic of commands. Sit and stay. And he can’t do either. When I went to adopt him, he was biting the leash because he wasn’t used to having one on (he doesn’t do that anymore). Seriously, if someone had taken the time to just… train him in the basics… he probably wouldn’t be so lost and angry at the world. But, give me time, we just got him. Anyway, what I’m saying is, that when an ankle biter attacks someone, it doesn’t make the news. That’s the only difference in the breeds.
Anyway, what does that have to do with connections and the daily prompt? Well, it seems that Paco has connected pretty strongly with the hubster. I mean, he hasn’t been here very long, but I think he’s worked the pack order out this way, Me, Brandy, Mister, Paco, Hubster, Cocoa,. Ha! I think him and the hubby are going to have to duke it out for their place in that hierarchy. Of course, I figure the hierarchy goes more like Me, Hubby, Mister, Brandy, Paco, Cocoa… I dunno if Mister would agree with that, but whatever. 🙂 Anyway, whenever the hubby leaves (except work days, somehow he knows that’s different), Paco sits at the window and waits for him to come back.
I’m just glad he’s not a howler. For the time being, I’m ignoring him because I know that if I give him any kind of feedback it will really just encourage the behavior. Poor little guy has gone through a lot recently. He’s moved as much in his short life as we have in our married life. It’s natural for him to be anxious, and I’ll give him some time to calm down. Oh I’m still going to be training him and stuff because that’s got to be done if I want him to be calm at all… but yeah… I feel for the little guy. But I’m glad that he and my hubby have connected. That’s one less pet to pile on top of me. ^_^