Tuesday, February 1, 2011

what to do, what to do...

Little Turbo, our newest dog, is a bit of a roughneck. Actually we've renamed him Kirby, because he didn't answer to Turbo at all. We tried out a few different names on him, and this seemed to get the best response. But I don't know what we're going to do with him. He's got this scruffy attitude about him...I don't know how else to describe it. He's like the best friend from the other side of the tracks, and even though he keeps getting in trouble, he's so cute you can't stand it.

He's got a little underbite, so his bottom teeth stick out farther than his top teeth. When his lips pull back just a little, it looks like he's smiling at you. His huge floppy ears are like radar antennas. When he's happy, they are straight back and flopping down at the ends. When he's scared, they flatten right out and lay right next to his head. When he is curious, they perk straight up and flop over to each side. He's so stinkin' cute!

When I come home from work, he and Coopie are right there, all excited, barking their heads off and wagging their tails like crazy, chasing the cats away from the door so they get first dibs at saying hello. When I pick him up to greet him, he tries to lick my face off. ♥ ♥ ♥

But. However. Yes, his little roughneck side adds a "but" to all of that. He has been through something, at some time in his life, that makes him very scared. Sometimes when we try to pet him, he flinches and ducks like he's going to get hit. He's very hyper-aware of quick movements. If he's eating and anyone comes near him, he races away from his dish and cowers under the table.

It just makes me sad, thinking about what's made him this way. When I ran out of the bathroom the other morning, just playing around, he thought I was coming after him. He was right outside the door. He bolted for his kennel and wouldn't come out until after I left for work. Poor baby...it's going to take some time to earn his complete trust.

But the biggest caveat is that he doesn't like new people coming in the door. In fact, sometimes he bites them. He goes ape-crazy barking and he tries to bite them in the leg wherever he can reach if we don't get to him first. I wonder if that is something over which we will end up having to put him down. We haven't taken that off the table...what else could we do? Some desensitization training of some sort, perhaps? What would that involve? Can you cure a biting dog? Why, oh why, does he have to be so cute and so vulnerable, but still so aggressive? Aw, I hate this!


daisymarie said...

We adopted/rescued two dogs in Sept last year. Great dogs. Raised well. HATE cats and bark at them non-stop as they meander through our yard. We were warned that one was very skiddish due to being abused as a puppy. Thankfully, no biting. He's real brave when on his leash, but disappears when anyone new is around (usually under my desk or legs). It took him over two weeks to warm up to Nelson--a DQ blizzard helped with that. It would seem there should be some way to "train" that behavior out of him. Maybe your vet would know of something or someone...a dog whisperer of sorts.

Becky K. said...

Oh dear. He is so very cute! It breaks my heart to think about what he must have been through before.

I have no idea what you can do about the biting....we eventually had to have our Kimmy put down for this very thing. It escalated until she would seem like she lost her mind when certain people would visit.

I hope someone has the answer for you. I really, truly do!

Nezzy said...

Awww, he is cute as a button. Have you tried using a spray bottle of water in the face when he bites??? It would be a cryin' shame to have to put him down.

God bless and good luck with the little fella!!! :o)