The dark side

Not everything went smoothly while Greta was visiting. There were a couple of altercations. The first time Greta stayed with us, River was the clear instigator of all altercations. This time around, it varied. River actually seemed to be on really good behavior, but some things just lead to all out dog fights with all three dogs. Thankfully, no dogs were harmed (except for their egos).

IMG_0438The first incident occurred around dinnertime. Since Bear and River’s food is dehydrated, it takes a few minutes to prepare. While they were waiting, I walked out of the room. My mistake. I knew better.

It didn’t take long before I heard the squabble. By the time I got there, mere moments later, River was slinking away, but Bear was on the offense and went after Greta, who was more than willing to defend herself.

I quickly got the situation under control and no harm was done. I finished preparing their dinners and watched while they all ate in peace.

The next incident was a bit more surreal. It was Sunday morning. Bear and River had spent the night taking over my bed. They woke me up around 0700 – a lot earlier than I like to wake up on weekends (why can’t they do that during the week?). Greta, who had slept the night on the dog bed next to me, got up too.

I called the dogs back, not wanting to get up myself. Bear came and proceeded to lick my face.

Not exactly what I had in mind.

Greta came too, and proceeded to jump up on the bed and make herself at home.

Finally, River came. She was a little curious at Greta on the bed and proceeded to stand and sniff her. Greta got up and came face to face with River.

That’s when the growling started.

I don’t know who growled, but River’s body language gave no indication of unhappiness. I called River over, to pull her out of the situation.

She complied….by getting on the dog bed…that Greta had spent the night on.

IMG_0269Greta did not like that and followed River.

The growling continued.

Knowing Greta was being protective of her sleeping spot, I pulled River up onto the bed, hoping that would calm things.

It didn’t.

The two of them quickly went at it, and neither was backing down.

At this point, I was in the middle of the fight and that wasn’t good if it got worse. I was able to grab both collars and pull them apart.

That worked. I just had two tense dogs I was trying to hold apart by their collars. A large german shepherd and a shelter dog, who, by the way, wears a break-a-way collar.

I let go of Greta’s collar, trusting her more than River.

She snarled and went for River.

I grabbed her collar again and pulled them apart. Again.

Not knowing who to trust, I kept them apart until I was able to stand up (remember I had been trying to sleep). At that point, I had leverage over both.

That seemed to calm them down.

“Well, so much for sleeping in,” I said to them.

I released them and they happily walked out of the room and followed me downstairs.

If anything, I think it was their plan to get me out of bed.


6 thoughts on “The dark side

  1. This sounds very much like our house. When it comes to me and Macy, 9 times out of 10, Macy is the instigator. With Molly and Macy, I’d say Macy is the instigator 50 % of the time. We have no advice because we still don’t know how to deal with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you guys find growling contagious? I notice that would happen too. Two dogs would being growling over a shared spot on the floor and the other dog all the way across the room would start growling. The dynamics of 3 is really interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well this is what typically happens: I’m laying on Mom on the couch sleeping. Macy comes up and barks her stupid ridiculous bark in my ear. I growl. She howls/talks back. I get angry and snap at her. She snaps back and keeps talking. Then Molly barks and comes running up. Oh, somewhere along the way Mom gets really mad.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh my goodness. That sounds hilarious – sorta. 🙂 I noticed when Greta was over that if she and River started growling at each other, Bear would join in – even though he was laying on the couch, completely chilling up until the moment they started getting into it.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you were able to avert a disaster. Can you keep Greta in a crate at night when she comes to visit? That might make River feel more comfortable…at least there would be no early morning squabbles.


    1. I don’t think Greta is crate trained, and if anyone was gonna be in one it would be River. But, I prefer them out and about when I’m there, so they can learn to be happy together. The rest of the visit was just fine – just had to be on the lookout for behavior that could escalate into something more.


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