Many years ago I lived with an adorable Mini-Dachshund named Rosey. Every time I attempted to greet her, she urinated. I ignored her, she urinated. I tossed treats on the ground to distract her. She urinated. I had my roommate put Rosey in a crate for about 10 minutes so she couldn’t greet me as I entered the house. She urinated.
It might be an unrealistic expectation, but what do you do when your clients expect your work to be fast, cheap, and good?
My brother has a sign in his office. It reads: “You can have it fast, cheap or good—select any two.” Despite the obvious wisdom of this cliché, some pet owners demand all three:
If you look in veterinary literature, you will find reports of Bull Terriers who destructively bite their own tails. These dogs are so persistent that they often do enough damage to require removal of the tail. The odd thing about this disorder is that removing the tail may not stop the behavior. Some dogs continue to bite at the place where a tail should be.
Bumper was an Australian Shepherd mix who belonged to my roommate, Dan, when I was a young shelter manager. Dan liked to let Bumper run loose through the neighborhood each evening at dinner time. After dinner, Dan would want Bumper to come home. That’s when the trouble started.
Barking is a problem for just about everyone other than New Zealand shepherds. They use “Huntaway” dogs to drive sheep with incessant barking. I don’t blame the sheep. For most people, incessant barking is a problem. People can be driven from their apartments or condos because their dogs bark incessantly. Shelters have trouble featuring adoptable animals because they cannot hear amid barking dogs in a kennel.