I love my mutt very much and we've definitely bonded a lot finally after a long road together but sometimes be just drives me crazy. I take him to this social dog event twice a week after work which he absolutely loves, he even goes crazy in the car once he realizes we're going there. Problem is a lot of people eat there and everyone gives all the loose dogs tons of treats. With his IBD and food allergies, he's had diarrhea later in the night or the next day if he gets as many treats as he wants. He's a charmer and literally works the whole place, going from group to group doing all his tricks, giving paws, lying down, rolling over, being adorable to get as many treats as he can from literally every person there. If I say leave it and call him, he'll only come back to me if i too give him a treat. Praise and pats don't cut it.
I try to feed him before we go but it doesn't matter.
If I put him on the leash he literally lies at my feet sighing dramatically and looking miserable and people ask me what's wrong with him. Then I feel like the mean owner. Overall his recall is better but he's so addicted to those darn treats. I've started taking handfuls home with me and giving him a few every day so his stomach gets used to them, which worked to stop the diarrhea.
But I feel like a control freak always monitoring him and calling him back and yelling at him. Not to yell at him to be mean but just to get his attention and prevent scuffles as he won't back down if another large dog chases him away from it's owner. Or sometimes I can see he's going to be a thug and is about to try to hump another dog or go digging through someone's purse or pockets or steal food off someone's plate or knock over someone's drink. He's like Dennis the menace or a bull in a China shop in public sometimes. Never at home though, he has good manners there.
Then this morning when I dropped him at doggy daycare before work be randomly lunged and barked at a guy who also dropped his dog off. I told him to leave it but he ignored me and did it again anyway. 99 percent of the time he's friendly and loves everyone so that came out of nowhere. Then I wind up getting frustrated and yelling at him because I don't see any signs to predict it. Two seconds before that he was doing tricks and I was giving him treats and praising him while we were waiting to check in and he was sniffing a shepherd on line behind us. He was fine with that male owner. Then the other man walked out with no warning and he just lunged barking.
I didn't see anything scary about that guy.
I try to be positive with him pretty much all the time and see it works pretty well. But then there's times when there's food or he just goes into protective mode and barks and completely tunes me out.
I can't always prevent it even though I know him pretty well by now. Sometimes I think something could set him off and he'll be perfectly fine.
Doesn't help having had wrist surgery and only having one good arm. He's almost ninety pounds and too strong to easily hold with just one arm when he does lunge out of the blue and takes me by surprise.
I swear he's giving me gray hair. He knows tons of commands and tricks. But there's times he just doesn't feel like listening.