Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Only dog syndrome?

As readers of this blog who don't have their own dogs to dote on know, my dog Tralfaz is the finest dog in the world. He rarely barks, he never bites, and he greets all people and dogs and most cats and almost everything else with a cheery attitude of "Hi! Let's play! Can I sniff your hiney?"

Pretty much the only problems we have with him that don't involve his overabundance of hair are caused by his overabundance of friendliness. He got in Dutch last week when we went to the pet store -- the same place where he went to training classes -- and he was so excited he wouldn't shut up. Not barking or whining, just random excited vocalizing. You could hear him two strip malls away.

He loved classes. He loved the teacher and her treats. He loved being with the other dogs. He tried to get in the training room when we were in the store, and no one was there and the door was locked and the lights were out. It's been over a year since he had classes.

Our thought is that he gets overexcited because he doesn't get enough time with other pups. He acts the same way when we go to the vet, probably for the same reason. When he's actually with the other dog(s) he's very polite. It's the anticipation that sends him wild.

We get him to the dog park when we can, but we both work. Hey, I'm working right now! This takes time! Oh, hours and hours go into a quality blog like this! Anyway, the diagnosis we're pondering is Only Dog Syndrome.

Yes, as with Only Child Syndrome, it's suspected that Only Dogs are apt to become precocious, selfish, aggressive, bossy, self-absorbed. Actually, that doesn't sound much like my dog. But with Only Dog syndrome, the lack of other canines may make the pup insane with glee at the prospect of encountering another doggy. Who doesn't like to be with their own kind?


The thinking is, if we got Dog #2, our dog would be thrilled, but he would also become less nuts about the chance of being with other pups. This seems to have worked with a friend, who got Costello to go with his dog Abbott, which made them both happy.*

Does that make sense? Anyone had any experience with this? Am I just a glutton for punishment? Will this lead to serial dog getting, and ultimately a sad story on the news where the cops have to come take 600 dogs from my house? Please share your thoughts and experience, either in comments or by e-mail (frederick_key AT yahoo.com). Thanks!

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* Names of dogs have been changed to protect the innocent. My friend's name is Percival Sweetwater.

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