Never let your guard down.

I have written before about how Jake has a tendency to guard things.  In the past it has mainly been Kongs (or me), but we have not had an issue for some time now.  Well, until yesterday.

Jake was eating his Kong and Melvin walked by and Jake saw that as a declaration of war.  So he lunged towards Melvin’s face, realized he can’t jump that high (or at all) so he latched his mouth around Melvin’s back leg.  I kid you not, Melvin was walking (at a normal pace) and Jake was dragging behind him, latched onto his leg.  This all went down over the course of about 8 seconds.

Here is what worked against our favor:

  • Jake.

Here is what worked in our favor:

  • Melvin, he has never, ever lashed out at Jake (in retribution of any sort).  Never.  I don’t know how or why or if it will last but he is just amazing that way.
  • Jake has tic-tac teeth.  I’m not kidding, there was not even a mark on Melvin.  I don’t know what happened to his teeth or if that is normal for Frenchies but it helped tremendously that he was almost ‘gumming’ Melvin.
  • I was there.  I would never leave them unattended with Kongs, no matter how well they were doing.
  • Did I mention how awesome Melvin is?

I picked Jake up and put him in the powder room, door closed for 10 seconds.  The moment I reached for him, he let go of Melvin’s leg and I would have walked him into the powder room but he can’t walk great and it turns out more like dragging and that is not the point of time out.  Time out is a quick, non-confrontational consequence. The moment something happens I say ‘time out’ and in Jake goes in for 10 seconds.  When he emerges, it’s over, we move on.  Notice how I said, Jake.  Melvin has never seen a timeout.

Jake emerged from the powder room and went immediately to Melvin and started licking his face and back leg.  Almost as if to say, thank you AGAIN for not swallowing me whole.

9 thoughts on “Never let your guard down.

  1. I know your heart was poinding over this, but isn’t it awesome just how awesome Melvin is? Jake, however, is turning into a cartoon character (in the best possible way) in my mind’s eye. 🙂
    It’s funny how we always compare our pairs and Julius also gets time outs, but his are for barking and of course, Ray has never been in time out.

  2. You are very lucky. My GS mix also guards her kong, bone any kind of food item. But with these 2 Midnight fights back and it becomes a bloody mess and I was usually the one with the worst of the bites. I learned quick so now I have gotten Midnight of going to her crate and settling down all comfy with her treat. I have tried to do the crate experience as her place of safe and stress free. It has worked because she loves her crate. I will be getting BabyGirl one of her own and do the same for her so we all can have a safe and stress free treat time.

  3. I think that’s super cool Jake seemed to be apologizing for his transgression! And that Melvin seems to take it all in stride, being the wise and awesome dog that he is!

    Your example of maintaining awareness during kong time is such an important reminder for me; thank you! I kick myself for the dozens of times I’ve told myself something like, “Just this once I’ll leave this carton of takeout on the table while I hop in the shower for five minutes before dinner…” Now my hair is sopping wet, I have nothing to eat, and a big mess to clean up. And that no-good rapscallion French Bulldog of mine is burping, gassy, and giving me the look of, “Is that all you brought home Ma? That was tasty, but I’m displeased that there wasn’t more of your dinner I could eat” (sigh).

    I remember the first time I saw Humphs play with another Frenchie, what looked like a serious smackdown was actually them just having fun, complete with the gummy mouth grabs on those floppy jowls! I have seen Humphs bare his teeth once and it was totally different (yes, that “one time” I decided to pass out warm rotisserie chicken to Humphs and the rescue dog I was fostering–I let my guard down as they had been perfectly fine sitting for their regular treats…)

    Your blog is so informative, and I love the pics of your pooches!!


    • You just made my day, Rebecca!!! We have all done the “it’s just a quick shower” move! It’s crazy how much damage they can do in such a short amount of time! Love the vision I now have of your ‘gassy rapscallion’! Hahahah!

  4. Yikes! So glad Melvin is a rockstar! Tess is usually our fool, collected dog, but the first few times we let her and Edi play together she laid down the smackdown! Now we know how to read their bodies when they play together, and we also know that we can let Tess tell him when she’s had enough without worrying about a blood bath!

  5. My dogs do the same thing, on the rare occasion that one of them over reacts about something. After a time out, whoever was in the wrong always goes to the other one and kisses them on the face. I swear they really are communicating to each other, and that’s their way of saying sorry. Wouldn’t it be great if humans said sorry that easily?! 😉

  6. Brutus used to be the same way with Boney. Boney would bite at his face and he’d just be like “whatevs dude.” Boney tries to bite Moby’s face and Moby thinks he’s playing so goes to mouth him back and, of course, because his mouth is so big, Boney thinks he’s trying to eat him and screams bloody murder. It’s a cycle. But I’m always aware of where Boney is when Moby has a kong because to Boney, personal space doesn’t exist and though nothing has happened so far, I don’t need it to!! 🙂

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