Here she is curled up on my lap, this cuddly wee bundle of puppy joy, she is the quintessential lap dog. You know, she actually is the dog all my other big dogs wanted to be. Certainly the sort of doggy-o our first Doberman Jinx always wished she were, rather than her gigantic 130 pound (58.97 kg) or so big chested Doberman Pinscher self.
Now, considering the reputation of Dobies, I learned early on that the reality is they aren’t. Jinx was not vicious, or mean, but rather kind and patient and loving, a family dog, as most Dobies generally are. Sure they are protective, of course, it was her nature to be, but she was not vicious at all.
Ok, that said, our second Doberman, Murphy, while not vicious per se, he was not a dog to mess with because he would bite, and as a puppy exhibited this aggressive streak very early on.
Murph was not typical of Dobies, he was more aggressive than most actually are, in my experience, and most guides on dogs point out their loving natures and how good they are in family situations.
As an alpha male, he could be very aggressive at times. The sort of dog that frankly was lucky to have come to our family, since anywhere else, with those maybe less familiar with this breed, or less sympathetic, he may have done some real damage.
A family friend who breeds Dobermans said he was the sort of dog she may very well have seriously considered euthanizing when they were a puppy, since as a conscientious breeder she felt it was her responsibility to ensure the integrity of the breed, since having that kind of dog out there was like a loaded weapon. Her goal was always to ensure her dogs had a balanced temperament, not just physically healthy, but also mentally healthy.
Now, Pika, cute as a button she may be, also has a vicious streak.
Now, seriously, my wee Pika has a bit more in common with Murph, than with the gentle giant Jinx.
For instance, she gets a hold of a piece of my clothing, and god all mighty and damnation she ain’t letting go. Snarling and growling, black eyed determination, ears back, standing up on her little bowlegs, her jaw is as set as her mind is on that piece of clothing she has clenched in her wee snarly jaws. God help the hand that tries to grab her prize from her, cause she will attack.
Once I manage to convince her to let go, or trick her as the case may be, her little jaw quivers, like she is obsessed. Ok, not like she is, she IS obsessed.
That’s not a good thing.
So, I say a loud and firm NO! I’ve tried barking at her, which startled her, but she was right back at it not 2 minutes later. I growled at her, same deal. Startled her. But, the loud NOs seem to do the trick, usually. And sure the vixens jaws can be pried apart if I were the violent sort, I mean, seriously, I have eaten apples heavier than her, but still.
But, I know Chihuahuas do have that reputation, of being little vicious arseholes.
I knew what I was getting when I decided on this pint size piranha, and I welcome the challenge of curbing her baser tendencies, and somehow redirecting that energy elsewhere, to more pleasing ventures that don’t draw blood.
Plus, I am not putting up with that kind of behaviour, and I have every intention of winning this battle of wills.
I can tell that it upsets her, and its almost like she becomes overtaken with this wild frantic energy, this focused determination towards an article of my clothing, tenaciously refusing to give way, refusing to let go of the fabric she has clenched in her wee teeth.
This is why they say Chihuahuas are not good around children. However, it is also the reason why they are considered by experts to be one of the top 10 guard dogs, as they will raise one unholy hell until they get your attention, and not back down.
Their pint size makes them therefore ideal for apartment life.
And, let me tell ya, I’ve seen this guard dog characteristic in action, as she hears things that even Irish I know was oblivious to, and the subtlest of noises alerts her of anyone approaching our door. Quite astonishing, really, as I’ve rarely encountered a dog with such peripheral awareness.
And, while Irish may have had a good deep bark, and had the size to back her fierce sounding WOOF up, she had not the character. In fact, anyone who approached was more likely to get a good humping, then a thumping. Just sayin’.
My sister can actually attest to this. The winter I lived with her she took me out with Irish to show me how I can teach Irish to just go pee and come back in. Dog expert that she was, having never actually owned and raised or cared for one, I was curious.
So there she is outside in the snow, Irish on a leash, turning and turning her in a circle, till she was kinda dizzy. She accidently tripped, fell right down on her knees, ahem, doggy style in the snow.
Well, that was all the encouragement Irish needed, and humpy, hump hump she latched on to Lex’s back end and pumped away.
Yeah, so I’m about to pee my pants I’m laughing so hard at this point, and she goes “OH MY GOD, I FEEL VIOLATED”, to which I drenched my underwear.
Ok, so, for passive-aggressive dogs like Irish, this sort of action was a kind of aggressive sort of love. Not that most would maybe see it this way, but I would call them ‘Irish hugs‘.
Which in truth was what they were. Though, having her dew claws nail ya in the calves is not anyone’s idea of a ‘hug’, nor does anyone generally consider a 70 lb (ca. 32 kg) golden bombshell dog attached to you going to town to be a favourable experience. Well, generally, though good for a laugh, which I was very discouraging of since then she would just do it more, egged on by their glee.
However, this wee pint size one on my lap? I can guarantee ya her first instinct is not to give strangers a hug. No, I believe her first instinct is pure suspicion, and that she probably would, and could, I think even kind of enjoys going for the jugular, if she was so inclined.
Well, not to mention her size makes her a difficult little daemon to catch.
Yes, she can be one tenacious and hell-bent for leather kind of doggy-o when she wants to be.
I have some learning to do on how to, um, curb that.