Saturday, July 11, 2009

I need dog owner advice

This whole dog owner thing is getting to be a bit complicated for me at times. I'm going to be honest. I'm only going to give you some vague pieces to this story. Its the dog's behavior that matters, and not mine. And I need some advice!
My family has had dogs, so I'm not totally new to this scene. But we never had a dog this big, and usually we had 2 dogs- so they always had a playmate around.
Something I have discovered about my dog is that she is incredibly social. She LOVES to play with other dogs. One of the first things I learned about her is that in the morning after we take our morning walk is that she would come in the house, sit by the big living room window, and cry and whimper as the other dogs went by on their walks. It was really really annoying. But one morning it was beautiful out, so I sat on the front steps with my dog and let her "socialize" with the other dogs as they went by. She's made several friends this way. In fact, several dogs now immediately run up to our porch looking for her to play with. This has the added bonus of me getting to make friends as well. I really like the morning doggy traffic.

Kaya has some doggy friends that she LOVES to play with. I never thought I'd be the kind of dog owner who would give my dog a personality trait like that. But seriously, it doesn't take much to see that my dog has best friends. Every night the puppy across the street come out to play with her family around 9 pm. Kaya (my dog) can sense this, and starts flipping out, begging to go outside. Thankfully that family and I are friends, so Kaya and I go over there and she can lick and love all over the puppy. (The puppy loves her back. It is very cute.)
But there is one dog that she LOVES to play with over all other dogs. That dog lives only a few doors down, and has a fenced in backyard. When he is in his backyard, Kaya will stand in our open living room window and howl and bark for that dog, and he will howl and bark back for her. If we pass their house on a walk, the 2 dogs will set off a chorus of barking like you have never heard before. THEY HAVE TO GET TO EACH OTHER.
My dog is incredibly obedient. Unbelievably obedient. She doesn't even have to walk on a leash. I can just walk beside her and she obeys. This morning as we left to go on our early morning walk she suddenly just bolted from my side and went running back to the house. She has NEVER done this before. I ran after her, and sure enough, there was her boyfriend and his human standing there waiting for me to catch up. Last week Kaya and I were outside watering the garden when her boyfriend and his human went by. We chatted, they left. Next thing I know my "never ever ever leaves my side dog" had decided to run off and tried to go home with them. (It was annoying, but actually hilarious to see the dogs act like this was normal behavior.)
Now, I'm getting to my point here. I need advice. Some of these poor dog owners are going to think I am stalking them! My dog amazes me with her ability to know when one of her boyfriends is walking by outside. She doesn't do this for every dog that goes by (thank heavens). Only for the puppy across the street, and her boyfriend.
Just now (its 11:30 pm) we were sitting here all quiet and nicely, when suddenly Kaya just jumped up, starts barking and freaking out. I honestly thought someone was about to break in. But I thought twice before flipping out. I could have just opened the door and let her bolt out (which is what she wanted). But instead, I turned off all the lights, and looked out the window. Sure enough, there's her boyfriend and his human walking by. She's that crazy. I'm glad I didn't let her out, because I swear he has reason to think I am stalking him.
So what do I do about this? Is this something that will just pass in time? Do I ignore it? Let her out and let her go romp with her boyfriend? Stop her? I have no idea how to handle this. Is it normal for dogs to attach themselves like that?

Have I mentioned that both dogs are fixed? Mine is spayed and the male is neutered? This is not a case of dogs being in heat. Oh, and that I'm trying to avoid her boyfriend's human a little bit? We're sort of friends. But I need to not be his friend for a while. Its complicated. And its our own fault for taking the dogs out on doggy playdates to start with. Do I deny my dog her best friend because I'm trying to avoid its human?
Did I really just write a blog post about my dog's love life?


  1. Deny the dog and get over the guy. The dog will survive.

  2. My dogs are the same way .... any dog walks by .. in fact anyone walks by and they want to run outside and play. I don't let them out to play with any of them unless we've set up a play date. I generally try to take them to the dog park for their socialization. Of course Jake calmed down quite a bit when I got Daisy. A bark collar helped tame out the mad barking as well. Good luck!

  3. Anonymous9:35 PM

    It sounds like your dog is training you well. Take control be the Alpha in the relationship. Go back to a lead line and re-establish control. dont let her control you. A bitter lesson I had to learn.


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