MY DOG IS BEING OVER PROTECTIVE
Simba has become over protective of me in the last 3-4 months. I don’t know where it’s coming from. As you all know, she is a German Shorthaired Pointer and is 7 1/2 years old. People that have come to the house like tax assessor, tree cutter, building inspector and even a friend have had the pleasure of meeting Simba up close in one of her worst moods. Maybe since she is in her human 50’s she’s going through doggy menopause, or mid-life depression. Many humans need help at this age so why not dogs. Anyhow let me get back to the problem at hand. If anyone standing near me raises their arm to point, or in Italian style talking or to hug me, she lunges at them barking angrily. Once she gets close enough, she proceeds to intimidate by jumping up to face level so that her nose is within an inch of theirs in case they are hard of hearing and can’t hear her nasty bark. People ask me if she has always displayed these behaviors and look puzzled when I say no. Their next suggestion is to take her to the vet because their might be a physical issue going on like an ear infection or UTI. I definitely agree with always ruling out any medical issues as a priority. I clean her ears weekly because she has always been prone to wax build up and ear infections. She has not had an ear infection in several years but I do get yuck out when I clean her ears. It’s quite a comical event. When she sees me grab the ear cleaner bottle, she turns her body to run the other way is frozen in action. I call her over and she slowly takes one step at a time towards me knowing that it’s for her own good. When she was a puppy, I taught her not to scratch her face or ears because she would gash her skin open with those infamous GSP claws and then that would get infected too. She has found other ways to let me know if her ears are bothering her. She gets clingy (which she has been lately). Okay, I should probably clarify that she gets more clingy than usual since she’s always fits the breed’s description of being a velcro dog. She will also come over and press her ear against me waiting for me to make it better. She also does this when food gets stuck between her gums and her cheek above the molars. Now that one took me some time to figure out what the problem was. I knew by her behavior she needed me to help her but I didn’t know what the problem was. It wasn’t until one day when I exhausted all possibilities and I sat in front of her grabbing her face between my hands trying to read her mind that I felt this big lump on the side of her cheek. It was a treat stuck under the flap of her lips. I guess mom needs training too.
I made an appointment with the vet and they asked that I bring in a urine sample. Best if it’s the first one of the day. So here I am on Saturday morning (my sleep-in day), getting up at 6:00 in the morning to collect pee. Normally on weekend morning I open the back door, she runs out, comes back in and we go back to bed for a couple more hours. Today I have to get up, put snow boots on, put my coat on, put her coat on, get a plastic cup and cut it down so it will fit under her.
I open the door and she tears out desperately needing to pee. As she is running up the hill in the yard, I am chasing her cup in hand and screaming out don’t pee, don’t pee! My feet slide up in the air, cup goes flying and my body decides to alpine slide five feet downhill. She looked at me and peed! We try again at 8:30, pretty much the same scenario but without the fall. By the time I reach her and hold the cup under her as I’m falling all over her, I get about ½ tsp in the cup. I take her and the ½ tsp of pee to the vet and tried to explain my pee gathering challenge. She looks up at me and asks “Does she not pee when on a leash?” Okay, like I didn’t feel stupid enough entertaining my neighbors this morning a 6:00 am, let add salt to the wound. Why didn’t I think of that? Because it’s 6:00 am on a Saturday morning. Good news is that there is nothing wrong with her ears, no UTI or anything else that they checked for. So now I know it’s behavioral. My next step is researching how I am going to change it. I will keep you informed on our progress.