Wednesday, July 30, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Sleeping with a three-headed rattlesnake

By
From page A10 | May 03, 2013 |

H.L. Mencken said, “The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.”

The following letter from a reader demonstrates that it is certainly the chief occupation of those who champion the companionship of a particular canine at any cost.

We recently got an 8-month-old yellow lab from a family with three small children. The lady said the dog could be aggressive and had nipped at her 2-year-old.

She is a very nervous puppy — jumps at the slightest movement or noise. She also jumps and twitches when she sleeps. We have experienced her aggression now, and it is quite scary.

The second morning we had her, something spooked her and she would not let us near our truck. The doors were all open, and she sat in the driver’s seat growling and showing her teeth. I got a treat and put it on the ground near us. When I said “release,” she got out, snatched the treat and jumped right back in. She calmed down, but was nervous all day after that.

She has showed her teeth a few times, and we’re not sure how to handle it. I read that it isn’t always good to approach or discipline her when she is showing her teeth and growling, because it could initiate an attack. I know that she is scared and confused. Within one week, she stayed in four different houses, with all new people.

We’ve had her for a week, and we’d love to keep her. We have no children, but we have nieces and nephews around often. We need to break her of these aggressive behaviors, or we will not be able to run the risk of her hurting a child.

She is a good dog — excellent when playing fetch, gives up the ball or toy every time. However, she gets aggressive with some of her toys when indoors. We gave her a pig’s ear last night, and she got extremely aggressive. Every time we moved, she growled and showed her teeth — even when we were nowhere near her. She came out of it, but again she was nervous for the rest of the night.

This is akin to buying a car with no brakes because you like the ashtray and don’t smoke. With all the great dogs in shelters that need homes, why insist on the one you know is aggressive? It is one thing to root for the underdog and quite another to invite the snarling underdog to share your home.

Did John Lennon do us all in when he wrote “All You Need Is Love?” The four decades that have transpired since that release have taught me that this, like so many other missives of the 1960s, does not apply literally to everyday life.

When it comes to aggressive dogs, you need more than love. You need an excess of time, an arsenal of experience and technique, and a backup plan for that moment when you realize some things can’t be fixed. Now what?

This dog requires professional help and, as is, cannot be around children. Her aggression is trifold: She’s possessive, territorial and fearful. It’s like living with a three-headed rattlesnake and, as the Roman satirist Horace put it, “as crazy as hauling timber into the woods.”

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 to dearuncle.gazette@unclematty.com or by mail to Uncle Matty at P.O. Box 3300, Diamond Springs 95619.

Copyright 2013 Creators Syndicate Inc. 

Comments

comments

Matthew Margolis

.

News

 
District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

 
Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

 
Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Comments sign-in policy

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

Save the Guinea Worm

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

 
Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Private property gets no respect

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

 
GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

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

 
.

Sports

Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

 
Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

.

Prospecting

Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

 
Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

 
Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

 
Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5

 
Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

.

Essentials

Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

.

Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17