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Not-so Golden Boy

It’s been a while now since  I’ve come to realize that my beloved Albert (Alber, his french name) isn’t quite the golden boy I make him out to be.  He has a nasty habit of disliking any dog he doesn’t know well.  I have spent my fair amount of time making excuses for him but, it has finally come to the point where my excuses are inexcusable.

At the beginning, Albert simply disliked small yappy dogs.  This, I could understand.  As time went by, he grew to dislike other aggressive dogs, then males, next it was on to females with bad attitudes, then older dogs and finally I came to realize  that Albert just plain old didn’t like anything with fur.

It’s a sad situation for me and one which has become quite an issue in our household.  Albert constantly has to be monitored, can never be off leash (unless there is a ball. somehow he ignores other dogs when he’s in the presence of a ball) and has to stay in the house or car whenever any dog comes by to play.  He’s gotten into his fair share of dog fights, some provoked by him and some not. He is moody and sometimes I think he’s bi-polar.  Worst of all, Albert really only gets along with Bea, Henry and Bo (my sister’s dog and Hen’s sister, better known as BOO-BOT) and Rosie (Alex’s mom’s Dachshund).

A week ago, my not so angelic Albert started a fight with an innocent older Lab who did nothing to aggravate Al other then look cute.  Alex and I decided (admittedly too late) that enough was enough and Albert needed counseling.  It’s not a good look to have a fluffy Golden Retriever with an attitude problem, trust me.

Yesterday I brought Al to his first “behavioral counseling” session.  It was bad news for me.  I was basically told that I did a bad job socializing Al when he was a puppy and he has learned to fear other dogs rather than want to get to know them (as a normal dog would).  His fear turns into a protection mechanism which, in turn makes me into a bad dog mother-for the moment.

We have hour-long behavioral sessions lined up each week from now until eternity.  I have all the faith in the world that I can turn bi-polar angry Al into the sweet loving fluffy Golden boy that I have come to know and love.  It might just take a second for the world to welcome him back but, I won’t quit until they do.

In other news, Bea managed to convince me that she wanted to go to obedience school to learn basic commands such as “OFF”, “STAY”, “WAIT”, and “HEEL”.  Apparently Albert’s education stimulated her to behave better.  I see nothing wrong with that at all.  Before long, all three of them will be off to college teaching other dogs the ropes of reading writing and arithmetic.

Off to do homework with AL.  In the mean time, I hope you enjoy some new pictures of mine which I shot in London a few months ago!


One Comment Post a comment
  1. Kathy #

    Oh Maggie,

    I know what you mean about Albert, as my golden darling Odette, does the same thing around almost any other dog! When she was little, she was around other dogs, but seemed scared. So then I started avoiding other dogs, and well, the rest is history!
    I guess I must face reality and consider behavior counseling for her (and me)!

    Love your London pics!


    April 6, 2011


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