Reggie’s dad had a houseguest recently, which included a one year old male Chihuahua, George (names have been changed to protect the innocent). This was a great opportunity for Reggie to test out being a big brother!
You know how they say there is that window around 4-6 years of age that is the “perfect” time to get a second dog? Reggie is almost 8 years old and past that window, and this trial period with George proved that theory. He was a grumpy old man.
George is small, only 6 pounds, and very submissive. He and Reggie play together just fine. George has been at Reggie’s dad’s house several times before the weekend in question, without incident.
This is good. Very few dogs have ever been on Reggie’s “turf.” He mostly visits his doggie friends. The few close friends that have been in his house(s) are dogs that he is very comfortable with. And then the tides turned…
George being the curious little pup that he is, ventured over to Reggie’s toy box (bad move George). Reggie snapped and lunged at George (bad move Reggie). Reggie’s dad properly resolved the situation and gave Reggie that “I’m so disappointed in you” look. It doesn’t work on dogs by the way.
One of Reggie’s favorite toys is Lamb Chop. You remember Lamb Chop? It comes in a dog toy version, both large and small. George came over with his own Lamb Chop- a mini George-sized version. Reggie has a Reggie-sized version.
George thought he would investigate the awesome looking giant Lamb Chop (again, bad move George). Reggie lunged at George (oh Reggie…) and Reggie’s dad had to de-Lamb Chop the area.
The next day, after some solid, healthy play, Reggie and George were napping in the house. Reggie got up, casually walked into the living room and picked up the mini-Lamb Chop and walked back to his sleeping spot and laid down with mini-Lamb Chop. Reggie’s dad watched this with amazement; the casualness with which Reggie absconded with George’s Lamb Chop while everyone was napping.
Manipulative isn’t he? After the shock wore off, Reggie’s dad of course took the mini-Lamb Chop away. It’s a little disconcerting because as he gets older the resource guarding is growing from tennis balls, to balls in general, to all his toys. He is not making a case for being a good big brother. He has been an only child for too long.
I don’t want to disregard that perhaps Reggie and George just weren’t the right personality mix either. Not every pair of dogs can be. Reggie plays with other dogs just fine. He has other doggie friends that come into his house and touch his toys and he will growl but with minor correction he backs down. Could be a gender issue, a personality issue, or something else entirely. It’s probably safe to say though that Reggie will not be a big brother any time soon!