Tango's got a war wound. Complements of Talos. Yes, the oh-so-angelic Great Dane star of this blog. He wasn't a star the day he did this, let me assure you.
Any reader of this blog knows that while I love all my dogs equally, Tango's my favorite. All-time, all-star, best-dog-in-the-world favorite.
So when you mess with Tango, you mess with me.
I had given all the dogs a little pork rawhide "cigar." I didn't realize Talos hid his rawhide in the La-Z-Boy. Neither did Tango.
Talos was standing in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room/living room and when Tango tried to move across the threshold, Talos let him have it.
As soon as I heard the commotion, I issued a deep, quick "HEY!" That's enough to get anyone's attention and all dogs turned to me. Tango looked like he had his feelings hurt, so I thought I ought to check him over for physical injuries as well.
Sure enough, Talos took a bite out of Tango's ear.
Talos' new nickname is Mike Tyson.
So from here on out, Talos gets no more rawhides. Period. When the other dogs get rawhides, Talos gets a peanut butter filled Kong. He doesn't think those are nearly as good as a rawhide, so he doesn't guard them.
Talos doesn't get "guardy" over toys, space, or people. Just rawhides and if a dog sticks their head in his food dish. While not ideal, it's definitely something that can be managed, but the service dog agency will have to educate Talos' new home – especially if that new home has another dog.
Thankfully, Tango's not a fighter and the altercation didn't escalate into something more serious. We'll have to do some remedial work on resource guarding and use 100% management from here on out.
As much as it pains me to say it – this incident will make it a little easier for me to say goodbye to Talos come June. The degree of his response – a bite that drew blood – was inappropriate and way more than what was needed. Ahh, it's alright – I had Talos too high on a pedestal anyway. This incident just reminds me that he's a real dog, warts and all.
Deborah Flick says
Quite the cautionary tale. I’m so sorry for you, Tango and Talos. ;-(
Guarding is such a tough one! I had problems with it with my last pack incarnation, and now it’s happening with my new dog. (Is it me? I’m starting to really examine my own actions.) The ‘management’ solution is so…unsatisfying. All it takes is one clueless in-law to start handing out rawhides behind your back. And you *have* to protect the innocent like Tango.
The Jolly Dog House says
Oh yeah, we’ve had a few bloody ears needing stitches at my house =) I have 5 Jack Russells and we about 2 arguments a year that end with my kitchen looking like a crime scene because of a bloody ear.