Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Foxie needs a new henhouse

By
From page A8 | November 23, 2012 | Leave Comment

Our Dachshund mix, “Foxie,” is 1. We got Foxie last October, and she has never been friendly with strangers. My neighbor has tried to get her to warm up to him, but Foxie always growls at the poor guy. We have a good fence in the backyard, so she can’t get out, but she barks menacingly at passersby.
However, if I take her to the local dog park and let her loose, she’s terrific: calm, mellow, playful, never aggressive with other dogs or humans. But back at the homestead, or even out at the park on a leash, I am wary of anyone trying to pet her, especially children. 
Sometimes when Foxie is napping, my 7-year-old daughter snuggles up to her, and Foxie starts to growl, warning my daughter to back off and let her sleep. To Foxie’s credit, I can imagine this being very annoying. But I was brought up to believe that a dog should never growl at a family member. 
I don’t like that she growls at my daughter in those moments, and I don’t like that she barks at everyone who walks through the front door. Last Friday night, we had friends over, a family with an 8-year-old boy who knows Foxie and 4-year-old twin girls who were meeting her for the first time. Foxie barked at them all when they arrived, but the boy pet her and Foxie recognized him and ran off to play with him and my 9-year-old son. A few minutes later, Foxie was back in the house, and one of the twins reached out to her and said “doggie.” Foxie let loose a vicious little growl, and the girl started to cry. 
Honestly, I fear Foxie might have bitten her hand if given more of a chance, and I worry that my daughter might get bit, as well. Foxie has never once growled at me or my son, but he is a very calming fellow. 
I feel like it would be hard to get Foxie to stop growling at strangers; she’s always done it. My quandary is that my kids are crazy attached to her. Since my wonderful German shepherd died a couple of years ago, Foxie is the third dog we’ve tried to bring into the family. I admit I’ve chosen poorly. We had to give the other two (good) dogs to dear friends for whom they were better suited. I really wanted Foxie to be our keeper. I never imagined she’d be a growler. 
What would you do if you were me? And yes, money is an issue.

I see four issues here, and you can see how one leads to the next:
1. Too little planning and prep.
2. Not knowing how to select an appropriate family dog.
3. Lack of training.
4. Child endangerment.
Chances are good that proper attention to issues 1, 2 and 3 would mean issue 4 never manifests.
Planning and preparation means researching breeds and training protocols, interviewing trainers, teaching your kids how to handle a dog, creating a safe and comfortable space within the home for the dog, and setting aside some money to invest in the dog’s education and care.
How to select the right dog for your family is a full column in itself. But there are methods to identify certain personality traits that you may want — or want to avoid. There are also behaviorists and trainers who can help you make this very important decision.
In this case, there was insufficient attention paid to issues 1, 2 and 3, and now issue 4 is top priority. This Foxie’s in the wrong henhouse. They need to find a new home for Foxie — without small children — and get her some professional training to set her on the right path.
Woof!

Dog trainer Matthew “Uncle Matty” Margolis is co-author of 18 books about dogs, a behaviorist, a popular radio and television guest, and host of the PBS series “WOOF! It’s a Dog’s Life!” Read all of Uncle Matty’s columns at www.creators.com, and visit him at www.unclematty.com. Send your questions todearuncle.gazette@unclematty.com or by mail to Uncle Matty at P.O. Box 3300, Diamond Springs 95619.

 Copyright 2012 Creators Syndicate Inc.

Matthew Margolis

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

 
More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 27 Comments | Gallery

 
Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

 
Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 19 Comments

 
Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

.

Letters

Misquote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

 
Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 13 Comments

Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
.

Sports

Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

 
Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 4 Comments

 
Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8