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.