I have a 2 year 2 month old standard poodle, obviously the best. dog. ever. Although, recently, not so much. Terrible twos? What to do?!
posted by thinkpiece to pets & animals (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Enzo is a sweet-tempered, affectionate, obedient and friendly dog since I got him two years ago. I worked hard to get him that way! He's 95 lbs, so his friendliness can be intimidating to people and dogs, especially little little dogs and I've always been real strict about how he approaches/is approached. Up until recently, he's been good about responding to me and being called off when he gets too enthusiastic. Lately, he's been too-friendly-aggressive and his size, combined with some tough-guy behaviors and listening less, is making things a lot less fun!
For example, I walk every morning at 6 a.m. in Riverside Park in NYC, off leash, with a pack of walkers/dogs and have been doing so since I got him 2 years ago. He is very friendly with this pack, more so with some dogs than others. He's newly fixated on a tiny chihuahua that trots along with us whom he didn't even notice before -- he hung out with the bigger, badass dogs. Now, he's like obsessed with running circles around this teeny dog, barking, play bowing, just not leaving her alone. It's causing the walk to be unpleasant as we all try to keep Trixie from having a breakdown, and get Enzo to un-fixate.
Today for the first time, he got into a fairly serious scuffle with one of his mates, not sure what the cause was. They were all hopped up on snow, tearing around the park like maniacs, and all of a sudden they got into it pretty good. This is very unusual for him (less unusual for the other dog) -- he's always been first one to run and hide behind my legs when there's fighting.
On-leash he's always been excellent -- walks with me, approachable but not too, waits, is tuned in to me. Recently, he's been lunging at little fluffy white dogs, tail wagging, barking, just really aggressively trying to play. Honestly, I've been unprepared a few times and almost lost control of him -- he's powerful -- and gotten pulled down myself. Needless to say this does not endear him to the fluffy dog-owners.
Finally, he's lived in an apartment since I got him, and recently, he's barking/straining at other tenants in the lobby. Ugh! It's all within the last couple months, since he turned two.
I've been refreshing training, and during altercations or big bad behaviors, doing the alpha-roll when he doesn't respond to commands. I do get him calmed down and focused on me, but as soon as I let him up, he resumes the madness.
Help! I'm going on vacation in a month, and I have a dog-sitter coming (who knows him) but I don't want it to be a bad experience for all of us. Plus, make it stop!