Mary's blog post reminded me of our neighbors Bob and Terry and their Boxers. They love the Boxer breed and in the 15 years I've known them they've had 3. All their dogs were incredibly well behaved and well trained. I'll admit I was always a little jealous of that. My dogs are well trained and well behaved but Bob and Terry's dogs surpass mine in terms of exemplary behavior.
2 years ago an interesting thing happened on our street. Two women live in a cute little house 3 doors down from ours and directly across the street from Bob and Terry. They had 3 dogs; two Boston Terrier mixes and a Boxer/Bulldog mix. Their dogs were extremely unruly and unpredictable. Like many people, I avoided walking my dogs past their house.
We'd sit in our yard peacefully having coffee when suddenly we'd hear a ruckus break out! Their dogs would start fighting with each other, both women would start yelling at them, and it sounded like world war three was happening in their yard.
And then there was the inevitable dog bite incident.
Bob had been out walking his incredibly well behaved Boxer, with a friend of his tagging along for the walk. As they walked by the unruly dog house, the dogs of course started going crazy like they always do. Their front door was open with only the screen door closed. Shockingly, the larger of the 3 dogs jumped right through the screen and went after Bob and his dog! As Bob's friend tried to help break up the fight he was bitten by the unruly dog.
Neighbors were up in arms and told the women they needed to do something to get their dogs under control! It was clear they couldn't handle their 3 dogs. They were out of control. While walking Phoebe one day, I saw one of the women attempting to walk the two smaller dogs together and it was a total fiasco! She had no control whatsoever. I snatched Phoebe up in my arms and quickly scurried past them.
|I hate having to avoid certain houses or streets because of scary dogs!|
I worried about Bob, Terry, and their own Boxer, but I shouldn't have. Within just a few weeks I started seeing them calmly walking both dogs together two to three times a day! The dogs calmly hang out with Bob (on leash) in front of their house too. I'm so amazed, not only have they gotten this dog totally under control, but he looks so happy and relaxed with them!
|I'm really lucky that Icy & Phoebe get along so well|
I agree that a dog's environment and owner's personality can have an impact on a dog's behavior. Sometimes a dog and owner or home environment just aren't the right fit. Of course, that's not to say that every dog with behavior issues probably lives in the wrong home environment. Dogs can develop behavior issues for so many different reasons, but it was amazing to see the change in this dog's behavior and life once he moved to a different home environment. Lucky dog, huh?
Have you seen examples of a home environment creating negative behaviors in a dog or cat? Leave us a comment and share, we always love hearing from you!