Thursday, August 4, 2011

Living Up to Her Name

One of Lacey's nicknames is Savage.  Hard to believe with a cute face like this eh?

I think she got it while she was still coming to daycare.  When she was about a year old (?) she started to guard me from dogs that jumped or even just came over for a scratch. It was cute (in a not so funny way) to watch this little pip squeak lip curl and snarl at other dogs.  Hence the nickname Lacey Savage.  It didn't take long before she was too busy protecting to play and frankly wasn't welcome anymore.

Since then we've been going to the dog park almost every day.  The dog park we go to is never very busy but we usually run into a dog or two and Lacey was always the one who would want to play.

This past month, that has changed.  She has started to get snarky with other dogs.  It is at the point where I can't trust her around them.  She even snarked at my sister's dog Micah the other day and Micah LIVED with us for months just this past winter.  They used to play together on every walk and they had spent the previous four days before this recent incident happily co-existing.

I'm not sure what to think or do.  I don't think it is a physical problem manifesting as a behavioural one.  She never acts out at home, she isn't short tempered even when Jack is biting her head, she eats well, she poops well and she is her same old self... except when meeting dogs.

At the moment, I'm going to the dog park when it won't be crowded and I can easily avoid running into people, and on weekends, we are sticking to the unofficial dog run near our house where everyone leashes their dogs when you see other people.

But just to cover my bases, I've made a vet appointment for her later today to rule out anything physical and I guess we'll go from there. Maybe she is just a bitch but I want to make sure something isn't making her act out.

Another nickname of hers is Swamp Thing. I can't for the life of me remember how she ended up with that one!  ;) 


Taryn said...

Hopefully she has no health issues.

It could just be the cattle dog nature taking over. At least in my area, they are not known for their dog-on-dog friendiless.

Ok, and as a weird coincidence, for my verification word I need to enter, I got "muzzle".....

Taryn said...

OK, "friendiless" above was supposed to be "friendliness".....I am not much of a proof-reader!

Anonymous said...

This is why Bella doesn't go to the dog park with Daisy and I. Bela has zero tolerance for dogs who are rude or too hyper.

She feels the need to police them and try to tell them what to do. She hasn't ever bitten, but she sounds pretty nasty and most other owners don't like her telling their dog off.

It just ended up being stressful for her and I so she just doesn't go anymore.

Paws on the Run said...

I don't really have a problem with her reacting to rude dogs.... although I wish she took the high road and walked away. The problem is these last few dogs were doing absolutely nothing wrong. I'm decent at reading dog body language, but I trust Coulee even more and in each case, Coulee was ignoring the dog completely which means they were not giving out bad vibes.

Lacey would be sniffing the dog, the other dog is just standing there and suddenly Lacey lunges for their throat. I don't expect her to want to play with every dog she meets, but I do expect her to be able to walk past a perfectly polite dog without incident.

And Taryn I agree it could just be part of her personality, but why the change? Why go from playful to bitchy in a matter of months?

Anonymous said...

How old is Lacey? I've heard of this happening to other dogs as they get older. Don't know why, though. Just a thought. Sorry, I'm not any help! :) Good Luck!

Paws on the Run said...

Lynn, she is only 3.5. Too young to be old and crabby. :)

onecollie said...

I think I gave her the nickname swamp thing when she came back from one of your walks smelling disgusting from being in the river :)