The Most Annoying Dog In The World
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I’ve never watched “Marley and Me”, nor read the book, but I’ve met many Marley’s over the years. I’ve even owned a “Marley”. If you have one of those very difficult dogs to manage and love, this is the article for you.
The first thing to know about dogs like this is that they typically have trouble inhibiting their behavior. There are a number of traits common to these types of dogs. They will have one or more of the following characteristics:
a.) Bratty and Defiant: These dogs see attention as status. So the love you give to them lowers their respect for you. They also resist your direction and commands
b.) Curious: The endlessly curious dog will get into everything. They continually investigate everything, but that doesn’t mean they learn any lessons from what they are exposed to.
c.) Driven For Things You Don’t Want Them To Be Interested In: Maybe they are endlessly seeking attention; chasing animals; digging holes; investigating scents; or chewing on your furniture
d.) Easily Stimulated but Not Easy To Inhibit: This type of dogs is stimulated by the smallest of things, but is hard to teach to leave them alone. Some dogs can be totally single minded about something and very difficult to get them to change direction and do something else. Simple commands like “Sit” are very difficult for these dogs. Others are notorious barkers.
e.) Easily Triggered To Run Away: These dogs go into flight very easily
f.) Forgetful: You can correct this dog a thousand times, and the next day the dog will do the same thing again as if you hadn’t reprimanded them earlier
g.) Hard To The Handler: Corrections of any kind, such as a verbal “No” or a leash correction just seem to bounce off the dog and have no effect
h.) Hectic: These dogs just can’t stay focused. It is similar to Attention Deficit Disorder
i.) Hyperactive: These dogs just can’t stop being busy and moving around no matter how much exercise you give them. Hyperactivity is movement without purpose
j.) Not Interested In Work: These dogs aren’t much interested in lessons, and will quit working after only a few repetitions, even if you are using treats, toys or games.
l.) Playful: These dogs are always practicing hunting or fighting sets of behaviors. You might see such a dog dig holes as if it is looking for a rodent; hunt birds or bugs or toys in your yard; wrestle endlessly with you and/or other animals; get into your things around the home, such as pulling plants apart, beating up pillows, chewing up carpets for fun, destroying pool equipment, or grabbing a shoe and running all over the house with it.
** Some are Aggressive, so they will fight when frustrated or provoked, and some will start fights without any threat or provocation
The dogs I’m referring to have extreme levels of these traits, and the owners haven’t diligently trained them. I remember one such dog, a Labrador Retriever, that was almost impossible to live with. His parents were drug detection dogs, so this dog was obsessive about fetching, eating, and doing something all the time. It just never stopped. You couldn’t let this dog self eat because every bowl of food you put down it would instantly wolf down. You couldn’t leave water bowls out. Every full bowl of water would be gulped down to the last drop, bowl after bowl. The dog endlessly wanted to play fetch, and wouldn’t stop and wouldn’t quit. And this dog had boundless energy all day. You couldn’t wear it out. The dog was nearly 2 years old when I met him. The owners had waited way too long to address these issues, so a lot of bad history and behaviors were in place before we started. It would have been best if we had started at 4 months of age.
It’s hard to live with and love such a dog. It takes months and months of correct and patient work in order to work around these traits and make this dog resemble a more normal dog. You also can never let your guard down with dogs like this since, when unsupervised, these dogs will tear up your home, annoy your family and neighbors, and make life a living Hell. Lax owners will never make these dogs into good pets. Angry, over-reactive owners will abuse these dogs, and often cause the dogs to aggressively retaliate to defend themselves from rough treatment. These dogs need a calm, patient and determined Master in order to work through solutions to all these extreme traits. I know. I’ve done it myself. A complex set of work-arounds needs to be implemented to give the dog outlets for their crazy propensities. And these dogs need special love because they also become miserable when they are constantly in trouble for this thing or that.
If you have a Marley, I sympathize. I can help. Steel yourself for what you must do, and then commit to making it work out.