Country Living Series

Monday, August 30, 2010

Good doggie

Some of you may think that with a goofy, friendly face like this, Lydia couldn't possibly be anything but a goofy, friendly dog.


Wrong.

I know she's a purebred Great Pyrenees, and I know she's bred to defend her flock (us).  But frankly I've never seen her even get close to approaching an aggressive stance with anyone.  Until this morning.

Don was outside and coming out of the shop toward the house (which has a glass door, so she can see through it) with an armful of tankards.  For whatever reason (possibly the bundle of tankards) Lydia didn't recognize him.  When she saw him, she exploded into aggression and flung herself against the door, ready to attack.  Woke both kids out of a sound sleep, that's for sure!  Frankly if Don had been a stranger and the door hadn't been between them, I wouldn't have given him half a chance.

I was impressed.  This is what we wanted!  As soon as Lydia realized it was Don, she dissolved back into her goofy, friendly self. 

Strangers aren't a problem.  We have loads of friends and visitors and she's fine with all of them, because we're fine with them and she gets her "vibes" from us.  But God help a stranger who tries anything aggressive against us, her flock.

Yay Lydia!  And thank you to the wonderful people responsible for bringing her to us!

12 comments:

  1. Good girl, Lydia! Please give her a scratch from me. Our Pyr "Boo" was the same - so sweet. He'd have small children hanging off him at our daughter's soccer practice, pulling on his ears... but when a stranger approached the house, he was all business and very intimidating. We had an alarm system at that house and the cats set it off while I was at work. The police officer that responded was literally the tallest and strongest man in town and he would NOT search the house with Boo in there :).

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  2. A goooood puppity.

    Very good.

    A. McSp

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  3. Good Girl!!! I've had a moment like that once with a dog. I was "borrowing" my aunts boxer/mastif mix (for a walking buddy at the lake so I didn't have to go alone) and he is usually very good with all people- men wemon and kids. While we rounded a turn there was a father with his young child up on his shoulders and Yetti (the dog) saw them as a threat and jumped in between them and me, leaning into me with his hind end. His hair was on end and he was growling and barking like I had never seen or heard. He didn't take his eyes of them for a good while. He didn't charge them and responded to the leash very well but there was no way he was going to let them near me. Something about that was very reassuring. Nothing like a good dog.

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  4. my canine companions are two chinese sharpeis..and i trust their instincts to the nth degree...and they are family.

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  5. Good dog! The bird dogs out in the back yard may not be exactly attack dogs but they make great alarms for anything unusual in the yard or driveway.

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  6. Well, let me rock the boat a little bit. While having a protective dog on your own farm is perfectly reasonable in my view, I do have a problem with reactive dogs in public places when no real threat exists.

    I can imagine the fear in the little child up on his/her daddie's shoulders. And I can empathize with the dad whose duty it was to protect his child from a strange and aggressive dog.

    Having protection of some sort is just plain common sense, but scaring innocent people with that protection, whatever it may be, is terribly inconsiderate, to say the least.

    All I'm saying is, while some of you are happy about your dog's protective behavior, other people, innocent people, are shaking in their boots. Please be considerate of non-threatening people when taking your dogs out in public. Thanks.

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  7. Anonymous Patriot- I totally agree and haven't brought him back out into any situation like that again. It was a very surprising behavior that had never happened before (I had taken him out into many very social settings with no hint of an issue) and I will not allow him the opportunity for it to happen again. I did not mean to come across as if I were happy about his reaction in that particular setting, mearly the fact that if I were ever in a situation where I cold use some back up, he'd be the dog I would want with me, it was the first time I had ever had a dog become protective (I was maybe 16 at the time). So yes, dogs protecting their private property is great, but a dog that can't be trusted in public a) needs more training, and b) should stay at home.

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  8. Poor Lydia didn't see "Don with cups", she saw something she didn't understand. She saw a monster! Karla's dog saw something it didn't understand. It, did the right thing, though. No attack, just protection.

    I had a little dog when I was young and living alone. He was just 20lbs. but came to my rescue when a bad guy tried to break in. Frightened to death, screaming and peeing all over the place, he ran toward the danger, not away, driving the man off. That's the definition of bravery.
    Sweet Lydia, being more than 20lbs, doesn't need to be quite so afraid, saving Patrice washing up the pee. That little dog earned MY loyalty for the next 17 years until he died gently in his sleep.

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  9. Karla, I'm sorry for seeming to single out your post, but I do appreciate the clarification. Moving along now...:)

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  10. I surely understand what you are saying AP! I have been bitten by strange dogs as a paper boy. Back in the day we did not need lawyers/liars. Yes I have a healthy respect for runaway dogs. When I walk now I have weapons ready to use. I can assure you that will rarely happen. The last dog that heard my sipo slap open it froze in it's tracks.I also carry a knife in case the attack would be prolonged.

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  11. There are really bad and negligent dog owners/ trainers just like there are bad drivers, and everything else. The trouble is it's the dog that suffers when his owner is bad.
    Yes, defend yourself from bad dogs. But understand what's going on if a dog is with someone and they are controlling it. As with anything, have manners and pass on by, understanding that person has a right to have a dog for protection if, like any other weapon, they control it.

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  12. Well, to put a finer point on this issue, I'll add another 2 cents worth. Or no sense, as the case may be...you decide.

    Yes, I agree that having a dog for protection is a fine idea, particularly in rural areas. However, when in public areas (parks, sidewalks, hiking trails, beaches, etc.) a dog should not be growling or snarling or in any other way intimidating innocent people. Scaring little children or big adults (or anybody in between) is just not right. It's inconsiderate. It is indeed the dog handler's responsibility to control the dog so that it doesn't become a scary animal. If the human fails to do so, then it is only natural to fear the aggressive animal because it's almost always the dog that bites innocent people, not the dog handler. (However, if the dog handler starts to growl and strain at the leash, I'd recommend fearing him/her as well.)

    Anybody brandishing a weapon, threatening people with it purposely or inadvertantly, will be arrested. Period. No one can wave around a gun or a knife or a baseball bat in a public place and expect to get away with it. Why should a dog be any different?

    Furthermore, people have rights - animals don't. Dogs are to be treated humanely, but that doesn't give them rights. They don't have the right to run loose, scare people, or poop on a neighbor's property. Obviously I am not an "animal rights" advocate. Such an ill-conceived idea is ridiculous and starts us down a slippery slope. Human beings are not on the same plane as animals. God gave us dominion over the animals, He didn't say we were equals.

    Lest anybody think I am a dog hater, you'd be wrong. I have had dogs as pets. My dogs never menanced anybody. They were trained by me to respond to my tone of voice and my commands. That is why they never scared, intimidated, lunged, nor jumped at people, and that was true wherever we went. They were also quiet. However, if I sounded afraid or angry, my dogs would always respond immediately by barking fiercely at the problem which elicited the response in me. It happened only twice, fortunately. I loved my dogs as much as any of you love yours, but I never thought of my dogs as my children or my equals. They were my pets.

    I don't think it's at all unreasonable to hike in a forest and expect to do so without someone's dog inserting itself into my life, even briefly. When a dog isn't properly socialized, perhaps the dog owner/handler and the dog should stay home.

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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