(reprinted with permission)

—–Original Message—–
“From: Marilyn

Subject: Well that didn’t work

I don’t analyze well and will be the first to admit it.

Freckles is pulling one on us. She is Kennel trained…also. A couple months ago she started whimpering in the earlier morning hours. Ben gets up and takes her out. She usually does her “thing” and sometimes both. This continues for 3 o 4 nights. Ben says she wants to be out of the kennel. I say no… he wins. For most nights she stays on her place. Then she has started heading for the living room. I put her back in her kennel. So far so good, except that the kennel is in our room.

I do think dog will be the alpha if we allow it. I honestly don’t know.

Sent from my iPad”



It is painfully obvious that Freckles has been sneaky. She has hopped on your computer and been reading my blog.

Worse, I think Chris has also been sneaky, and now both of them are talking to each other. <sigh>

Both of them ARE potentially alpha dogs that have been masking themselves as being ‘cute, lovable dogs.’

They don’t have a behavior problem (my latest blog I’m about to write explains) … but they simply want attention. (and they seem to be getting it) <sigh>

I’m lucky… Chris is acting out in the car (not like Freckles in your bedroom).

I’m going to ‘give in’… by calmly talking to him and persuading him to leave the car. (this reminds me of the reluctant artistic performer that has to have the audience clap and cheer and persuade him/her to appear on stage).

Seriously though… My situation (and living alone I don’t have to worry about human competition when it comes to decision-making) … I’ve always allowed both total dogs freedom around the house. Any accidents (I think I can count on two times… Bernie threw up) … I cleaned up the mess. 

There IS a dog door (though it’s closed at night), but the dogs don’t pee/poop in the house. Never have, and I presume never will.

Think like a teacher. WE are always the alpha dog… so the little ‘nip’ or ‘warning growl’ is totally expected of the alpha parent when Freckles strays from her boundary.

Freckles is now going to stretch her brain and learn “rules.” She wants to explore her boundary.

What are her limits?

My folks always had a mutt when I grew up. I believe it was a female. She was an indoor dog, and we lived in Upstate New York (4 seasons). No crate…I don’t even know if such things existed back in the 40’s<?>

All I know is that she was never allowed past the kitchen. We didn’t have a big house. You entered the kitchen from… I guess a mud room. The rest of the house was the bathroom off the kitchen… a dining room (rarely used except when company came at Thanksgiving/Christmas… my parent’s bedroom, the living room.

That was it. We kids slept upstairs. The dog never went upstairs (entrance was from the kitchen).

So… What trouble can Freckle get into if she wanders around your house? Will she sniff the wastebaskets and become a paper shredder? Will she shed on furniture? I believe she is too small to be a counter surfer (like Bernie) …. even Chris doesn’t surf counters…he’s a bit smaller than Bernie.

I don’t have any real furniture (a couple chairs in the living room). Chris and Bernie are welcome to sleep on the bed. I just make any move and they scoot off…so I never have a problem.

(I guess I’m on Freckle’s side<grin>) Unless you KNOW, she will cause a problem (like chewing furniture or something puppies enjoy doing) … I’d give her some freedom and see if she has the intelligence (IF she Does Deserve a scolding) … she may need to learn her boundaries so she can continue to enjoy some independence.

(Yea, my dogs run me… ) <grin> No harm, no foul.

B-c  Tuesday Therapy Dog Visit



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