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Protection vs. Possession

Canine Behavior and Training
Canine Behavior and Training

Once again, I'm at the dog park, and yes, I was thoroughly disgusted. How this type of cr_p gets around I don't know, but it's a very popular dilution. I think very lonely and bored people like to add drama to their lives whenever they can. For example, whenever their dog growls or snaps at someone while standing near their owner.

Allow me to paint the picture, if you will, of the desperate cry for attention I witnessed one fine Sunday afternoon...

It was cloudy, but not rainy. There was about 8 dogs wandering and chasing one another. On a nearby bench, 2 women were conversing while 2 rather small Great Dane bitches were nervously trying to gain the attention of one of them. Being a nosey, people-watching, busy-body, I was listening in and overheard their owner saying that they were "American Great Danes" and they are bred to be smaller. This is total b_llsh_t. There is no such breed. They were the product of breeders tampering with the genetics of a breed that doesn't need changing by breeding the smallest Danes she could find- utter stupidity and disgusting.

Once I was able to get control of my nausea, as she was telling the victim of her ridiculous story of how the small size was a revelation in modern breeding, one of her "precious" nerve-bag girls snapped loadly at the approaching shepherd mix that happened to be owned by the lady she was speaking to sitting not more than 5 feet away. "No Roxy! It's alright. Calm down. She's so protective" says the lady (no apology was ever given for her dogs behavior by the way). The dog then jumps up putting both front legs across the lap of her owner, to which the woman then says "Oh, it's alright. I know you're sorry. Good girl". She then explained, "That's how she says she's sorry" to the other dog owner. What the????

She went on about how they are both so protective that she feels so safe having them around. Once she tells them "everything is alright" then they're fine. I wanted to mug her right there just to show her that her two nervous dogs were actually cowards who lash out at weaker individuals just to give themselves a false sense of confidence when they feel stressed and wouldn't actually risk harm if a real threat presented itself. Because that, my friends, is the difference maker. The old protection dilution, that I think mostly guys perpetuate, that is so common because it makes life more like the movie that they saw a dog for which they chose that breed for in the first place!

Protection happens when a dog is alerted by a threat. An actual threat. The kind of threat where harm is eminent. Possession is what happens when a dog has a bone, or any valued object, and you come too close or try to take it from them. When a dog is nervous due to a lack of socialization early on, coupled with the praise of her mother when she lashes out inappropriately and stands on her lap and sends a threatening stare that says "this is my mom" to an unsuspecting dog who is acting normal, that's just disrespectful stupidity. To put it in human terms, I love my kids and I love my car. The kids are adorable and the car has a hemi engine. If I saw a strange guy taking a bat to my car I would call the cops and hide until they arrive. If I saw a guy approaching my kids with a bat, I wouldn't waste a moment to make a phone call. I'd be between my kids and the threatening stranger immediately. I own the car, I love the kids by the true definition of love. Protection, the true definition, can only happen in the presence of a threat.

And if they are that "protective"....why are you taking these two very nervous dogs to a highly social setting????

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