I keep a secret from a few of my friends: Their dogs get on my last nerve. One barks nonstop. Another bullies. Several hump — aggressively. And a particularly annoying pup loves to crap in my house.
Their pet parents could easily correct or prevent such behavior, but they don’t. My comments about the benefits of training do not hit home. After all, their dogs can do no wrong. Why would they need a trainer?
I dare not be more direct. Friendships end over criticism of parenting styles, whether for human kids or four-legged ones. So, please allow me to vent here. Here are four dogs who drive me batty.
Note: I left out names and breeds, though I need not have bothered. These friends do not regularly read Dogster — despite needing the wisdom of Ask a Trainer and our other experts — nor would they see their precious pups in the following descriptions if they did.
The dog of a neighbor, who turns every game of fetch into a fight. Before I throw the ball, he bumps Spot and yaps in his face. When Spot goes after the ball, this little bully runs after him, nipping at his heels. This happens with every throw, until eventually Spot fights back and the game of fetch ends.
I actually enjoy spending time with this neighbor, and I would plan playdates (as opposed to running into her at the park) if she did more than yell out, “Mind your manners!” and “Leave Spot alone!” when this happens.
This mouthy dog grew up with my pups, Spot and Dolly, and has always loved to hear the sound of her own voice. Happiness, excitement, fear, aggression, and just about every other emotion elicit a high-pitched BARK! And another, and another, and another. She likes to deliver these barks while sitting in my lap, her doggie breath punctuating whatever point she has to make.
My friend does nothing when this happens. She believes acknowledging the nuisance barking encourages it, so she simply tunes her out. I cannot, and I avoid being in earshot of this dog as much as politely possible.
Several dogs in my circle of friends display this behavior, which I know can happen during normal play and interaction even among neutered and spayed pups. A few get aggressive in their actions, but they do back down once Spot or Dolly have had enough. One in particular, though, just won’t stop. He humps dogs. He humps humans. He even has a tree in the backyard with which he likes to spend a little alone time.
The pet parent of the humper finds all of this quite funny. Me, not so much. Having to constantly peel him off my dogs and me makes spending time with them exhausting.
More than once, this dog has walked into my house and crapped on the floor. Not in the backyard through which she came, but in the middle of my living room, the hallway to my bedroom (that was a fun surprise to find in bare feet) and even once in Spot and Dolly’s bed.
I said above that I dare not be more direct in these situations, but this one proves the exception. My friend now knows to empty her pup before coming over or leave her at home. For the most part, I have an open-door policy when it comes to dogs, but stepping in cold crap slams it shut every time.
Despite their annoying behavior, I care for each of these dogs and their pet parents. No dog or human has perfect manners. While I do my best to keep Spot and Dolly from bothering others, they do from time to time. Just ask anyone who has gotten a surprise kiss from Spot (the Gene Simmons of the dog world) or who has been downwind of Dolly on one of her stinkier days.
Let’s hear from you, readers. Do the dogs of any of your friends get on your last nerve? Vent in the comments below!
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