The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good:

Over the summer months Oreo’s health and behavior has greatly improved. We can walk by dogs on the opposite side of the street without her caring (most of the time depending on some dogs she is super scared of). We can also walk at the park on the path and people pass us and all Oreo does it look up at me for a treat (yay!!). She got along very well with my husband who was helping out, taking her on long walks after work and feeding her and giving her medicine in the evening. She even greeted the new neighbor with a lick!

The Bad:

I am back at work now, this was my first week. Oreo is home alone around 8 hours a day. I’m a teacher so I can’t come home at lunch and my husband works too far away. A dog walker is out of the question because of her reactivity. She doesn’t destroy anything or go in the house-she is actually great at home and probably sleeps the whole time. However, when I come home she is happy stressed–meaning she jumps all over me nipping at my hands/clothing. That means that she is anxious. Anxious from being home so long and change I am sure. What else has rocked her boat is that we are getting bamboo flooring in the living room. Our townhouse is tiny, so furniture is stacked in the kitchen, we have been walking on a concrete floor and there are only two couches in here. I’m sure that change has probably affected her A LOT. She also eats in the living room, which is a BIG change from her routine.

And the worst and most permanent of the changes: 2 DOGS NEXT DOOR, and you can hear them barking sometimes through the walls. This is what I dreaded since renters are next door. Fortunately, the lady has fearful rescues (Small ones too), so she is understandable. However, just seeing dogs constantly or hearing them when you are afraid definitely will raise your stress. We have also put our home back on the market, hoping at some point we will get that single house with a big yard for her to run around in 🙂

On another note, Oreo has scabs on different areas of her body-I think it may be a bacterial infection so I am using wipes to help, but if it doesn’t improve we are in for another trip to the vet. I’m guessing the infection is caused by all the changes and stress which must have lowered her immune system. We try to spend more time outside with her, but unfortunately she must be allergic to grass or pollen.

The Ugly:

Last night was ugly alright. Oreo was on the ground eating her kong from earlier. She has extra special goodies in it. My husband walked out the door then returned and within one step she snapped at him. Except this time there was no warning, and no fault at all on my husband. He was just walking by-didn’t even look at her and she snapped. It was a very vicious sound too. I thought she got a hold of him or something and was attacking. Thankfully, no one was hurt, just some feelings. Immediately she dropped the kong and licked him. She was told to go to her bed and not allowed to sleep on our bed.

Yes, I understand that resource guarding is a normal behavior FOR A DOG, and very unsafe for humans. I would be more understandable and hopeful if there was a warning, or if it were my husband’s fault, however this was unpredictable since she hasn’t growled or resource guarded for a while. My husband is VERY upset and threatened that if she does it again she is gone. However, I think he said this out of fear/pain/anger right after it happened. He says it is his house so she needs to listen she is a guest. However, she is not a human guest. I have a plan for him to work on so it doesn’t happen again, although I think it may have been redirected stress instead of as much of resource guarding as I think.

So the game plan is:

-less stress by making sure she is walked, spending as much time as we can with her after work, doing some training/tricks with her when we are home to help her confidence

-whenever my husband walks by and she has something of value (start with low and work way up), he will drop treats, and practice trading. He needs to be consistent because he doesn’t stick with it. I will have to convince him-he will probably need more time.

All of this may sound silly to some, but we are young and do want to have kids in the next years to come, we would hate for anything to happen to anyone (including her).

Well, that’s all, wish it were better news. Seems I just need to win the lottery so that I can stay home and spend more time with the pup.

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