Amanda Hocking

My Dog is a Jerk

March 13th, 2012 by
This post currently has 40 comments

I have a dog, whom I love very much. He’s a schnauzer, and he’s four-years-old. His name is Elroy Supradaze Bartokomous. This is what he looks like:

This is Elroy getting along with my cat Squeak

The problem with Elroy is that he’s a jerk. I mean, he’s good with people, my two cats, and my mom’s dogs, but he’s very aggressive with everything else. My friend Valerie is staying with us, and she has to keep her cat separate from Elroy because he wants to attack and eat it.

About eight months ago, Eric and I looked into getting another dog. We found a four-month-old terrier at a shelter that we really liked, so we took Elroy to meet the dog. The meeting did not go well. Elroy was very mean.

This is Elroy cuddling with a stuffed possum

But the thing is, I still want another dog. I feel bad that we don’t have another dog. There’s tons of dogs in shelters, and we have a fenced in yard, the time, the space, and the money to have at least one more dog. The only thing standing in our way is Elroy’s attitude.

But even if I didn’t want another dog, I don’t like Elroy’s aggressive nature. I’m afraid that it might get worse as he gets older, and even if it doesn’t, I don’t want him attacking other dogs or animals. That’s just not nice.

I’ve gotten books and read up on some things about how to deal with bad behavior in dogs, but really, I’m at a loss. Does anybody know how to stop him from being so aggressive? Or any good obedience training type things in Southern Minnesota?

Leave a Reply

  • TK Kenyon says:

    May I suggest a BIG and good-natured dog. I had a cat that attacked any other animal we brought in the house, so I got a keeshond, who outweighed the cat by 2-3x. Sasha the Keeshond was so fluffy that whenever Pooster the Evil Cat attacked her, the dog didn’t notice and the cat spat hairballs for a week. If the cat got too crazy, Sasha the dog laid on him, just pinned him down and laid on him. Within a month or two, they were friends, and the Evil Cat reformed into a Great Cat, and then we got more cats. It worked great. Get a BIG dog to train your little dog.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Amanda – I also have a schnauzer – just the opposite to Elroy. His name is Zac and he just adores dogs. He lives for two things: 1. Fooooood 2. Dogs You might tell which is the winner though. I have found that being firm and letting him know who is boss has helped. He has improved on walks – used to nip at the heels of people passing by. I had to just be excessively firm with him about this. Maybe look at some information from Caesar Milan – if you go to http://www.cesarsway.com/channel/dog-behavior/dog-aggression you can see some info he has about why the aggression occurs and how to manage it. I know that having some background about what dogs were bred for helps to understand why they behave as they do. Schnauzers were bred to be ratters – so I guess the aggression is part of this. I have had two and both were aggressive – to different things. One was female and she was more timid. Zac is a male and will take on anything. He loves playing with large dogs – eg Malamutes and Irish setters and Alsatians. Hope you have success with Elroy and can get a new dog. Some of the ideas posted here may also have some results for you. SK

  • Oakley Sunglasses Sale UK I’m task to run my own weblog however I think its too general and I would like to focus more about smaller sized subjects.Oakley Crosshair 2.0 Sunglasses

  • Anonymous says:

    Amanda,

    I am a veterinarian in western Wisconsin. I read through a few of the posts on here, not all of them. Definitely don’t do any punishment!!! We only want positive experiences. Also I agree with the poster that mentioned Dr. Yin. I went to some continuing education presentations by her at a veterinary conference (she’s amazing!). Best recommendation would be a behaviorist, and better yet, one that can come to your home to work with you guys 1-on-1. I can’t leave contact info, so I could private message you on facebook or goodreads and you could write back with further questions if you have any. Thanks! P.S. Love your books!

    NM

  • I hope you will be cautious with trainers and training methods. A good rule is: Don’t let anybody talk you into doing anything to or with your dog that you are not 100% comfortable with. I have definitely heard of and dealt with fallout from terrible, abusive trainers and it amazing me what people will do to their dog because a supposed expert tells them to.

    I will also say — and I have been a trainer, btw — that you could try muzzling your dog (just in case) and letting him loose with a quite young but large and confident puppy — something like an 8 week old Golden or Lab mix. Normal adult dogs, even if aggressive, are VERY strongly inhibited from actually attacking and physically hurting a young puppy. Being snarly with and scaring the puppy might happen, but a confident puppy shouldn’t be scarred for life by one snarly adult dog. And you should be able to quickly determine whether your dog will be able to adjust and include the newcomer in his pack, as he has clearly included his own family and cats.

  • angiethomsen says:

    I would recommend Neuman K9 Academy. http://www.mndogtraining.com/ They use to be out of St. Peter but looks like they moved a little north. Watch the videos of dogs they have trained. Crazy good!
    Another one out of Mankato is http://www.keycitykennelclub.org/ Not too far.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m not so sure my opinion would help but here goes. I grew up with dogs and we’ve had two schnauzers. One was a little B***h in her attitude. She loved running off and chewing on the Doberman down the road who seemed to adore her. My Mom was the only one who could control her and I think she did it by establishing the fact that SHE was the boss, not Misty. It’s a little Cesar “Dog Whisperer” Millian-ish, but this worked way before he became popular.
    Our second schnauzer (the first one was killed in an accident) was a doll-baby. We had Chica and a black poodle mix getting along together just fine. We had Sugar (the poodle) first, then added Chica. Again, my mom established who was boss.
    Fast forward to just a few years ago–wait! It’s been nearly 12 years ago!–and my neighbor, who is also a very good friend, got a schnauzer. She already had an outdoor dog, but she wanted an indoor dog and I convinced her that a schnauzer was a good choice. Precious was a spoiled rotten puppy–partly my fault–but she learned who was boss very quickly. She had troubles when the family later split up, but both owners have had to establish who is the boss at home.
    Precious lives with her “daddy” now, and he regularly takes her on walks. She’s also a diabetic so walking is even more important. I credit the walks with helping her settling down after the divorce as I’ve seen her get “touchy” with the outdoor dog when she’s with “mommy”, who doesn’t walk her as much as “daddy” does. Precious, as a puppy, learned to get along with two cats, the outdoor dog, and visiting animals by learning who was boss–and spending time shut up in her indoor kennel. She’s great now, with neighborhood friends who come to visit. I miss her since I’ve moved….
    I’d still recomend Cesar Millan’s techniques for establishing “boss-ness” and daily walks. I’d also take the new potential dog for a walk with my schnauzer as I did with Precious and Nakita, my neighbor’s outdoor dog. They learned to get along together better when I walked them both together (but you might want to walk Elroy before you try him out with the “new” dog first.
    Loved the writing!!! You give ME hope of becoming a published author someday!

  • Anonymous says:

    My dog always seemed to have a problem with other dogs, but when we brought in a younger dog it turned out okay. The only downside was that the younger dog always wanted to play and he was just too tired for all that.

    So try bringing in a younger dog and see if maybe that will kick in his instincts for protecting/liking it!

  • Hi Amanda!
    I am a new fan of yours and an aspiring dog training and dog nutrition writer. Yes, I am a dog trainer and behavioral consultant. Once upon a time I was a newspaper editor and obsessive compulsive writer just like you (me from age 7 illustrating my own fantasy books.)
    I can solve your dog training problem in a heartbeat in addition to teaching how you can get Elroy to accept a new dog on the spot. It is not hard but for some reason even many trainers don’t know the secret. I guess it is all the rescue work I have done including even with Schnauzers. I have been an animal lover since childhood. We grew up in the country with horses and all sorts of animals so I guess it just runs in my blood! 🙂 I have a connection with animals that is much more than physical. I guess my ability to “read their minds” has taught me everything I need to know straight from a dog’s point of view.