October 7, 2008

Will this dog have to go?

We've had Scamp since June and often he's very sweet. Unfortunately, he barks too much, but there's a worse problem. He gets Ben ferociously upset.

Ben is not the most stable dog anyway. He's always been a bit jumpy and insecure, and is very hard to train. Scamp wants to play but he plays rough. He jumps on Ben over and over, past the point where Ben gets impatient and growls. Ben comes over to me (perhaps to feel safer?) and Scamp jumps on him again; Ben turns and growls. I get nervous that I'll accidentally get bitten when they are fighting next to me.

Then there's what I call charging. Sometimes Scamp senses something wrong and barks and charges toward Ben, yapping frantically. This has happened when I approached Ben with fresh water, for instance. Ben reacted by growling in my direction! Hey, Ben! I was trying to do something for you.

And this morning we had duffel bags next to the door. Ben investigated them and started chewing on a strap. I went over to stand in front of the bag and correct him. Suddenly Scamp charged, bark bark bark! Ben growled and grabbed my pants leg with his mouth. He hasn't done that before, and I was afraid I'd get bitten if I didn't get Ben calmed down. I yelled for Frank to put Scamp in the other room, and once that was done, Ben started calming a little although he still looked nervous and hostile. I was able to get him to follow me over to his crate though, and once he went inside I shut the door. He was okay later.

So while it's not just Scamp who is a problem, he is still a newcomer to the household. He may intend to correct Ben, but Ben does not see him as his boss and reacts aggressively. I'm getting caught in the middle. So I'm afraid the new dog will have to find another home. Possibly the old dog will too if he continues to act hostile. But I hope not.

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