Too Cocky For His Own Good?

Surprise, Sumo-boy, a 14 pound Yorkie/Poodle/Maltese mix just told a huge Irish Deerhound off!

We were at the plaza when Isabella-girl spotted a dog park regular and strained towards Liam, the Deerhound, excitedly wagging her bottom. I have been concerned about my girl and her sudden temper, now I believe evoked due to a maybe long standing pain in her hip that may have made her feel more vulnerable and defensive. Since I recognized the symptom and treated her accordingly (diet, supplements and lack of exertion) she is almost back to her former sweet and social self. So I was pleased to watch her rump swipe side to side. She had always shown a liking in this Deerhound. 

But as things go this hound likes little ones and tended to ignore Isabella's advances in favor of the pursuit of Sumo. Liam would try and lumber over my little guy, not let up, even when Sumo gave no  signs of encouragement, or reciprocal interest, but kept following his own nose. What is it about those large dogs that seem to take such a liking in tiny ones? Is it a matter of opposites that attract,  or might little ones seem more easily subjected to being dominated?

Well, Sumo will have none of it, he will tell anybody off, if he is not in the mood. Size does not seem to matter to my guy. That is why sometimes I get incensed with all the comments by strangers that see only his small size, not his large spirit and associate his size with puppiedom, when in reality Sumo is a very athletic, independent, fearless, adult male hunter and explorer. So, on occasion Sumo will give a short bark to indicate I am here, don't mess with me, I am someone to be reckoned with. He demands respect and usually gets it.

As we come upon Liam the Deerhound at the plaza this evening, the hound as usual ignores Isabella's excited advances and leans forward towards Sumo. My little guy gives out a short bark and jumps  up and right in to this hound's face. A whole bunch of folks happened to watch and were about to smile at the little dog's audacity. But the Deerhound had an expression of disbelief, shock. His body retreated and he started to shake and next their was blood dripping from his tongue. Oh no, Sumo bit the hound! I like to believe by accident, I am not totally sure. We were all shocked. I made Sumo sit. The hound was dragged away, I was stunned and not sure what I ought to do next?

Only upon reflecting on the incident did I realize that my pups immediately recognized Liam, the hound from the dog park even though we had not seen this dog in maybe 2-3 years. The hound was then a lumbering, a bit overbearing, giant, gorgeous puppy. Not unlike another gigantic pup, but a Wolfhound, Oscar and Liam, both then pups, could both act intimidating with their refusal to take no for an answer or for that matter  follow any corrections. To the credit of the Deerhound's guardian he would always pay close attention and not let things ever go out of hand, or too far.

Might my guy just be getting too cocky for his own good? The Dog Whisperer  Cesar Milan advises us to not allow any kind of aggression in the presence of a pack leader, which would have to be me! It is very important to me to have well socialized dogs I can trust in public and take along just about anywhere.

Could this be a reflection on me in some way? Are there areas in my life where I go overboard, act arrogant, get in to others faces? Yes, maybe so, but I believe I am not abusive, never intentionally hurtful, only sharing, unasked for, how I see and experience things.

Do I need to take this boy of mine a notch down so to say? No more leeway, but strict heel on our walks downtown? No more sleeping up on the bed with me? Yesterday I told him to stay downstairs and what does he do? The moment I turn off the light and settle for sleep he sneaks up anyway. So should I make a federal case and disallow him his independence and overriding desire to sleep near me? Friends I ran in to right after the incident said that nothing could be done. One street guy was so impressed with Sumo, he asked to touch him and obviously was afraid and then checked if I might be open to deal, as if I ever could or would sell any furry friend of mine.

One mitigating factor for Sumo might be his lack of exercise due to the intense smoke of several wild  fires that make it not advisable to exert oneself out in the open air. So he may have missed as many as 12 x 12 mile runs up on the mountain during this past month. He might be feeling mighty cooped up. Yesterday he got real cute in his rambunctious mock-attacks on Isabella. My girl loves every minute of it, but knows he has to initiate the rough play, the most seductive lying on her back and inviting a tussle will not do. It's got to be on Sumo's term.
To top it, on our arrival home, both pups on proper heel, our black panther was in a stand off with the neighbor's calico cat, both covered in white feathers, with tension lingering in the air. I scolded our Pretty Kitty and of course now he has not come home. He does wear not one, but two bells. Darn, I will just have to sleep on all this.

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