Sampson and Delilah go to daycare twice a week for half days. They don’t do a lot at daycare, they like to lie around and sleep (much like they do at home) and occasionally they get up and play with the other dogs or interact with Sara or her mom, Sue.
Hubby and I know this, which is why we dropped them to half days. I feel that even though they lie around much of the day they are stimulated more by the comings and goings at The Mellow Mutt then they would be by sleeping their day away on our couch.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this here, but Delilah has issues with dogs behind fences. In the case of daycare it is dogs in crates or dogs on the other side of certain gates.
The Mellow Mutt is set up as such:
(I hope you can get the idea from this ‘drawing’.)
The drawing is not to scale, so along the right wall of where it says “fenced area” there are crates. These are mostly used for the grooming dogs but sometimes someone needs a time out or certain dogs just like to sleep there.
When I drop Delilah off I have to make certain there are no dogs in the fenced area or in a crate with the door shut, if there are she will charge up to the crated dog, and bark like a lunatic, baring her teeth and snarling. To say this is disturbing to me is an understatement. To manage this I just make sure that she remains on leash and is guided through to where she needs to be.
Lately she has continued this behavior at the gate. Which brings us up to Friday.
When I picked them up on Friday a man was coming in with his big yellow lab, Tyson. Dianne (one of the groomers) had to hold Delilah back as Tyson went through the fence, once he was through she was fine. Sara clipped her on leash and handed her out to me. I keep her on a fairly short leash in the retail area because she likes to
Typically I’ll stand there chatting for a few minutes before I leave, which is what I did on Friday.
While I was standing there, Tyson came up to the gate and Delilah charged him. I was so caught off-guard that I reacted poorly. I yanked her and I pushed her down and told her NO! ( I’m not proud of this, but if I’m to help her overcome her issues I need to be honest with myself and with you on how I handled this.) We left almost immediately after.
Yesterday while working the Labs 4 Rescue adoption event, I had the opportunity to really sit down with Sara and discuss Delilah. I found out that when Delilah went at Tyson on Friday, she actually bit him through the gate. Sara said he had a puncture in his lip and two teeth scratches on his face.
I feel horrible. I offered to pay for any vet bill but Sara says the owner was ok with it. Really? (I wouldn’t be, but that is a topic for a different post.)
I told Sara that I don’t think me pushing Delilah down is the proper way to deal with this issue and I don’t believe it helps Delilah with whatever is bothering/scaring her about the fence/gate.
Since Delilah is like the biggest Alpha female I’ve ever heard/seen, Sara thinks she is disciplining the other dogs at the gate. Sara thinks that Delilah thinks she owns the place and it is her responsibility to monitor it.
We decided it’s in Delilah’s best interest to not go to daycare for a week or so and see if that doesn’t help alleviate the issue. I’m not really sure a break will work but I’m willing to give it a shot.
I’m anxious to hear what you think about this? Have you heard of dogs with this issue? Have you heard of any solutions that work?
I have no problem keeping Delilah permanently out of daycare, but I know Sampson enjoys going and once again it would be Sampson who misses out on something he enjoys because I just can’t get a handle on Delilah.
Whadda ya say, Blogville? How would you help this dog?