I haven't posted about Jake in quite a while, but that doesn't mean nothing is happening in his world. It's just not very positive.
Jake has turned into a bit of a bully. You know he bit the vet surgeon in the crotch, my daughter in the hand, and my husband (five times now). I was afraid to tell the vet about it because I didn't want him to be labeled an aggressive dog. But I don't want him to bite any more people either. So finally I did tell the vet. The vet referred Jake to an expensive animal behaviour specialist. The appointment is next Thursday, and it's not soon enough.
Jake also has turned into a bit of bully with other dogs, but not always. Sometimes he's perfectly OK, but sometimes he will growl and go after another dog. I always shout and tell him to move along, which he always does. But the other dog and its owner are quite understandably unhappy. I could keep Jake on the lead, but I'm not sure that's a good idea either because he gets really aggressive if a dog not on a lead approaches him when he is on his lead. I could muzzle him, but I'm not sure if his behaviour is bad enough to warrant that punishment. And he isn't always aggressive. I used to be able to say with some confidence that Jake loved spaniels and all small dogs. I can't now.
Today on his walk he encountered two dogs, both also Border Collies. He showed aggression towards both. I got him to leave the first dog alone very quickly. By the time he encountered the second dog, he'd tried unsuccessfully to evacuate a bit of his blankie that he'd chewed and swallowed. It was flopping around his tail and annoying him. He growled when we tried to remove it. So along comes this other Border Collie and its owner. The Border Collie tries to sniff Jake's bum. Jake is most unhappy about this and becomes aggressive toward the other dog. I try to catch up to get him to move along, but not before the other owner decides to tell Jake off herself. She pointed her finger at his nose and told him off. I suggested she might not want to do that, fearing he might bite her in his state of mind. She said, "Excuse me?" in a rather aggressive way herself. "I don't want him biting my dog." I said I didn't want him to bite her or her dog. She said he needed to be on a lead if he was that bad. I walked away and so did Jake. I was angry about the situation, but also fear the woman may have been right. I don't think I would approach an unfamiliar dog in an obviously aggressive state the way the woman did. But as Jake's owner, it's my responsibility to make sure he doesn't hurt anyone.
Jake LOVES his walks. He NEEDS his walks. He needs a lot of exercise and room to run around. I think a lot of the reason for the aggression is fear and memory of pain. But others don't know his history. We have to get this situation under control before it controls us.