A Pair of Vicious Min Pins, a Rock-Obsessed Pit Bull Mix, and Man-Hating Terrier Mix
Season 2 | Episode 16 | Vicki & Taz, Punkin and Maddy
Two vicious Min Pins endanger a couple’s home-based business, and a Pit Bull mix develops an unhealthy fascination with chewing on rocks. Then Cesar helps an adopted Terrier mix overcome her terrible fear of men on this episode.
The Challenge of Fearful Dogs: Maddy and Me
In my experience, dogs with fear issues often take the longest time to rehabilitate because it takes time to build their lost self-esteem. These dogs often have owners who mean well, but feed the fearful behavior by feeling sorry for them and comforting them. However, in nature, the weakest pup in the litter would be pushed away by its mother and probably not even survive to adulthood.
I believe that almost all of these dogs can become balanced, but it takes time, patience, and an open mind on the part of the owner to succeed.
I’m often asked, “How do you know when a dog has crossed the line from just enjoying a favorite toy or 'hobby' to obsessing over it?”
The answer is very simple. An obsessive dog has no rules, boundaries, or limitations. If you give a dog a toy and, once playtime is done, the dog submits and lets you take it away until next time, that’s a normal, healthy dog. Or if you are able to play Frisbee in the park for fifteen minutes and your dog happily moves on to another activity when you’re done, then your dog is fine.
But when a dog won’t let go of something when you ask it to, does unnatural things like swallowing objects it would never eat in nature, or obsessively performing a behavior, such as twirling or jumping or licking, that is an obsessive dog.
The obsessive mind has no limits–and limits are among the things our dogs most need from us.
Facing a Fear of Dogs: The Jumping Minpins
Taz and Vicky, the jumping Minpins, were yet another example of two dogs teaming up to take control of the household. Owner Maria Brown was overwhelmed by their dominating behavior, which resulted in her reverting to a childhood fear of dogs.
This was a case where I forced her to reassert her position by doing what she was the most afraid of doing, “taking the bull by the horns.” Once she could actually see herself overcoming her fear of big dogs in the outside world, her self-confidence shot up and she could finally imagine herself as the pack leader for her two small, but out-of-control, Minpins.
I believe that facing our own fears is something we owe to our dogs. We are already giving them food and shelter, but what most contributes to their balance is a household that is stable and harmonious.