First, I'd like to talk about the life changes that have affected our household.
Back in the end of September I talked about renovation woes, my parents had an entire kitchen renovation. We turned a three room section of our house [family room, living room, kitchen] into a larger kitchen and one big great room. This kitchen renovation has changed my dogs lives significantly. The way that the house was set up before, the dogs could only access the family room and kitchen. There was a doorway into the hall that led into the living room but the dogs were not allowed to go through it. Since the renovation the dogs were allowed throughout the whole house and spent a good amount of time in my bedroom, sleeping there and being contained there when we weren't home.
The remodel was finished in November, unfortunately my mother also passed away unexpectedly the same week. The dogs had to adjust to a new house, a new routine, and had to deal with my dad and I dealing with the loss of my mom.
So, it's fair to say things have somewhat been turned upside down, which leads me to the issue I am dealing with.
About three weeks ago[sometime before Christmas], Seth went after Seppel. I *think* he was resource guarding my dad, that incident was followed by Seth growling at Seppel when Seth was getting attention from my father and Seppel came up - like he always does. Both dogs are always competing for attention but it has never gotten super jealous or violent. After that happened, a few days later we were all in bed. Seth was on my left and Seppel was on my right, I moved my legs between the two and Seth growled at me, he immediately got kicked off the bed and got into trouble. Seth has grumbled here and there at Seppel for moving around, even in the past when I was living at my grandmother's house he would grumble occasionally, but it definitely seems to have gotten a little worse. Lastly, Seth also had an incident where he growled at LiLo, I am not sure what he was guarding, no one was receiving attention, but he got all weird and whale eyed and walked off. There have also been a few issues with the sharing of dog beds.
Initially I kicked everyone off the bed. I was house-sitting for a week and my dad put them back in their old routine, Seppel in his crate at night and Seth and LiLo in the family room. He completely restricted access to my bedroom during that week. When I returned home I decided to keep it that way, but after a few days missed the dogs [oh em gee, fur mom moment!], and I also decided that I don't think the bed is the big issue.
I don't know WHY Seth is being this way. Other than the fact that our lives have been turned upside down, I can't find a good reason. Seth and Seppel are both going to be 7yrs old, so their personalities should be set. They get regular exercise everyday in the form of ball play or running on the slat mill. Since this issue has popped up I have made exercise even more of a priority.
The only thing I can think will help is spending more individual time with each dog, which brings me to the other part of my post - Goals for 2015.
Due to my mom's death I really didn't feel the holidays this year. I don't typically make resolutions or goals anyway, but I have in the past and I think it is good to help keep you focused. I've had some time to think about it so here goes:
- Spend more individual time. Seppel goes to Salem for training once a week and has been my focus for the last two years. I need to make it a point to have days where I just take Seth somewhere and do something with him, by himself.
- Work towards the URO3 title. I know Seth hates the ring, but I think he is capable of getting his 3rd Rally title with UKC. We can work on things like backing up, standing, and fine tune our heeling. He likes to work and he likes the treats, I can also work on making the ring more exciting for him.
- Tracking. When Sepp and I get to go to IPO club I am hoping they will let me bring Seth with just to track, he's good at it and tracking titles are a possibility for him as well.
- Earn his BH.
- Earn his IPO1
- Get his URO2
- Work on heeling, work on the retrieve.
- I'm always saying I want a herder. It'll either be an apbt, a doberman, or a GSD in my future. I have a herder like dog here at home who only knows tricks. This year I want to teach LiLo how to heel [she does something similar, I use the word 'wait'].
- I would like to teach LiLo a new trick, I haven't taught her anything new since she was young.
- I need to spend some individual time with her as well, she never really got a chance to be an only dog and she gets put on the back burner a lot because I am not doing anything with her. She can't do obedience - too much sitting, but she is a great companion.
So this is just a few of the goals I have made for the dogs for 2015, I feel like they are mostly attainable and will hopefully help with Seth's attitude. I really would hate to become a crate and rotate household but I have had Seppel long enough that I would do it if it were necessary. I don't really think we are headed in that direction, but it's something I am aware could be a possibility. I'm really hoping this will all blow over peacefully.