Good dog, bad dog

Over the past few days, Rainer has been the GOOD dog, and Pyrrha has been DRIVING ME CRAZY.

Still getting used to each other
Good dog, bad dog.

I don’t know what’s gotten into her lately. I’m guessing that she’s still kind of stressed out that Rainer is still around. She harasses him in the yard (to which he is marvelously and beautifully patient, and never lashes out at her, even though she deserves it); she barks at him when he gets out of his crate; she whines all the time. It’s very frustrating. Poor Rainer takes it all like a champ, too.

I’m not really sure how to manage her behavior, honestly. I let them out in the yard now at separate times, particularly in the morning, when she seems most antsy. I try to remove her from situations that make her nervous, still utilizing the baby gate and preventing her from getting accidentally cornered. (She doesn’t know how to extricate herself from situations with him. He’s not threatening at all, but his mere presence will make her get irritated. See the nose licking calming signal in the photo above.)

Pyrrha didn’t ever act this way with Brando or Laszlo (our former fosters), so I’m not sure why she’s exhibiting this behavior now. Every dog is different. Rainer, for some inexplicable reason, makes her uneasy. (Even though he strikes us as the most chill, laidback guy.) We’ve been doing our best to mitigate her anxiety, but I’m just pointedly frustrated by it. Saying she’s the “bad dog” isn’t exactly fair; she is just KILLING ME with how annoying she’s been!

Meanwhile, we have been doing “car training” with Rainer every day. I’ve been following our trainer’s method of treating him for just looking at the car, coming close to the car, any interaction whatsoever. Then I’ll toss a treat away, in the opposite direction, to keep him from feeling trapped. Tonight I hope to work up to getting him to actually sniff and put his head in the car on his own. Thanks for all of your advice and tips! You’re right about needing to make car trips FUN; all the places we’ve taken him (and will need to keep taking him!) are stressful (e.g., the vet). We need to go get him some drive-thru fried chicken…

But the really exciting news, though, is that Rainer has a family interested in him! Hoping to learn more over the coming days. Will be sure to keep you posted on this sweet dude (and Pyrrha’s never-ending neuroses).

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5 thoughts on “Good dog, bad dog

  1. The more dogs you foster the more different reactions you’ll see from Pyrrha.

    Honey is great with all our fosters. But it’s obvious she likes some more than others. She was genuinely depressed when Bandit left. Cherie was her favorite playmate but she didn’t seem too bothered when she left.

    Now we have a 9 week old basset hound puppy who makes Honey crazy. Sally is sweet and mild. She’s much less hyper than most puppies. But she really irritates Honey so I work hard to give Honey time away from her.

    The other thing is that Rainer may be sending off some signals that you or I wouldn’t understand but that definitely mean something to Pyrrha.

    Dog parks are built on the mythology that all dogs like all other dogs. But they’re no different from us. Some chemistry works and some doesn’t.

    Good luck vetting the family interested in Rainer. Hope it’s a good fit.

    1. Thanks; this is encouraging to hear! I think. 🙂 Pyr was great with Brando; adored him. Tolerated Lasz, but this is a behavior I hadn’t seen. They coexist for the most part, but I think she is ready for him to GO!

  2. Hooray for Rainer! I’m happy to hear that there is a family who is interested in him! You know that saying about family and fish? After about three days, they start to smell? Pyrrha is probably feeling that right about now. Haha!

    We had a dog at the shelter who hated cars (he would bite the tires of parked cars) and we did that exact same approach to help him to stop seeing cars as a negative thing.

  3. Our dogs definitely had some fosters they liked better than others. When we had a stressful foster, we usually took a short break for our dogs after that dog was placed. I don’t get along with every person I meet, and I can’t expect it from my dogs, either. The truth is, I wasn’t crazy about all of our foster dogs, either. I can remember one we had and she was a bossy, sassy little thing and our two just sort of ignored her. We had her for a long time. One day, we were taking her to the reunion picnic, a place where she’d have a great chance of being adopted. She looked me right in the eye and peed on the back seat of our van. Oh, I wanted to wring her neck!

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