Sometimes dogs see things differently than we do. If you have dogs, you have probably noticed this too.
We have noticed it when we set up training scenarios for our dogs. We set something up which we think is probably too easy and it ends up blowing their minds. Obviously they saw things differently than we did.
Aside from training, sometimes dogs see things in life differently than we do. I saw this first hand when I took Thunder to the vet earlier this week, (more on that later).
Our vet is a walk-in clinic so there are no appointments. Sometimes you hit it right and there are no other dogs waiting. Other times the lobby is full and you have to grab a seat and wait. When Thunder and I got there, the place was packed. I requested a certain vet so our wait was a bit longer. We grabbed a seat.
The lobby is quite large with seats all around the perimeter. There is also extra bench type seating in the middle of the floor of the lobby. There is plenty of seating so you are not stuck sitting too close to other dogs.
Thunder and I took a spot opposite the entry door. It is not my first choice since whichever Chessie I have feels the need to eyeball everyone entering just in case they perceive them a threat to me. Storm being Storm thinks everyone is a threat and usually barks. Thunder being Thunder usually pays little to no mind.
We took our spot and after sniffing the area, old man Thunder laid down. He was chillin’ until one particular dog came in. This dog was quite large (probably 125 pounds plus). Unfortunately the woman only had a leather collar on the dog, so it was sort of pulling her in the door. She also had a harness on the dog but had the leash on the collar only.
What I Saw
I saw an out of control mastiff type puppy, (I could tell it was young) pulling a small woman in the door. To me it did not appear to be any more than that.
What Thunder Saw
Thunder, on the other hand saw a threat. Many dogs had come and gone and he paid them no attention. He looked at them, but his tail was happily wagging. Not with this dog. When this dog came in, he stood up and made himself as big as he could, put himself between me and the dog, and let out a quiet growl and a bark.
What The Heck Did Thunder Know?
I stood up and told Thunder it was OK and positioned him so that he could not stare at that dog. Dogs staring at one another is not a good thing. Not unless you want a dog fight. Apparently it is dog language for “Do you want to rumble?”.
I admit that I was surprised Thunder reacted this way because I saw no aggression. Maybe it was the dog’s size. Maybe it was the way that the dog entered the doorway, pulling its owner. What ever it was, Thunder saw something and he felt the need to protect me.
After the woman checked the dog in, she put it back in her car. We struck up a conversation. She was at the vet picking up a copy of the dog’s vaccination record, heartworm meds and flea control. She told me that the dog was going to start working with a trainer because it had aggression issues. Aggression issues? Thunder knew. Thunder is 11 years old. I have only seen him act like that on a very few occasions. I guess he had perceived a threat and wanted to put that dog on notice.
Talking to the owner a little more, I found out she had taken the dog to several trainers to get help with the aggression this 10 month old, very large dog, had started to exhibit. This dog is what is called an Ultimate Mastiff which is a cross of a Dogue de Bordeaux and a Neapolitan Mastiff. She got it because it was a large dog and it was inexpensive (a topic for another day). She found only one trainer that would work with the dog. One trainer in a large metropolitan area. I hope one of the first things that trainer does is to put a training collar, like a pinch collar, on the dog and show her how to use it so at least she can maintain control. I did not tell her that, but I did suggest she research “Nothing In Life Is For Free” training which may or may not help. She got her paperwork and meds and I wished her luck as she left. I have a feeling she will need it.
Why Was Thunder At The Vet?
Back to our reason for being at the vet. We suspected that Thunder was having some dental issues with his molars. He was having trouble chewing hard treats and drooling a lot. He was having no trouble retrieving though. Thunder had just had a dental done last year with x-rays of any teeth that looked like they may have an issue and all was well. I am not sure if he somehow cracked a tooth or two or what happened. Anyway he probably needs at least one, and may be more, teeth pulled. Poor old guy. He was examined by the vet and has a dental appointment set for next Tuesday.
I will keep you updated on how he makes out.