I first met BabyGrrrl in 1999. I was home from college when I met the 6-month old BabyGrrrl. She was the only pup left from a litter that my family’s dog had. She was intensely shy (hence her name “Baby”) and was overwhelmed when people looked at her or approached her. When they did, she would immediately roll over or go hide in the dog house. As a Psychology major, I was immediately drawn to her and wanted to work with her. I wanted to help socialize her.
I wanted to take her to the beach, but getting her to trust me enough to put her in the car was difficult. She was so scared. But we managed and once we arrived at the beach she was another dog all together. She ran, was digging, barking, and overall just playing. From that moment on, me and her bonded.
Her first walks in the neighborhood were choppy. She thought she ruled the neighborhood but once we turned the corner to the busy main street she froze.
She was also scared of many family members for a long time. It many exposures to someone in order for her to trust them. Overall each day was a great improvement and I was so proud of her.
When school started and I had to moved back to Washington, I was so sad at leaving her. I couldn’t take her with me because of my living situation there. Before I left I had her spayed to prevent more litters. Every time I came home to visit I took her to the vet, worked with a little more and each time she was so much better.
I finally moved back in 2002 and immediately bonded with her again. I adopted her and altered her name to BabyGrrrl. In caring for her, I soon realized that her shyness wasn’t an issue. Instead she was aggressive! Not with me, but with other people and dogs. She is what many trainers we worked with call fearful aggressive. This made sense since she wasn’t socialized with people or dogs as a pup. My minor visits were not enough nor were they consistent.
This continues to be an issue, and I have worked with SO MANY trainers and behaviorists, but there has been little improvement no matter what techniques I implement. Overall she is great one on one with people she trusts. She’s amazing, smart, and loving. But once she is in the outside world – anyone’s ankles are fair game.
I have also learned that Baby is NOT a hugger. Like people, not everyone is social, or likes to hug their “hello’s”. This is BabyGrrrl. With dogs, she is very picky on who she will play with. Other dogs CANNOT sniff her butt, and as far as she’s concerned, she can sniff whoever she wants. In short she is a bully.
So with Minnie in our family now things are interesting.
After 5 months BabyGrrrl still does not like her. She won’t play with her and insists on trying to put her in her place. She picks fights and won’t back off. She punks her all the time like a boxer before a fight.
As long as they stay out of each others way, and Minnie allows her to call the shots, things are safe. I could be totally projecting here, but my guess is that BabyGrrrl is jealous of Minnie. I mean who wouldn’t be. Minnie is younger, taller, and skinnier.