It’s something that has been in my wish list for a couple of days now — a pet-based algorithm. It all started when we came into possession of a bulldog that has yet to be named. Despite being told and even shown that he does well around cats, he is apparently very skittish around our own cat for some reason. We believe it may be due to this 70-80 lbs. dog being mauled by a pug while living with its past owners. Yes, this beast of a dog is actually quite gentle… just scared of some stuff apparently.
Oddly though, the bulldog does just fine with our younger French bulldog/Boston terrier mix. Our smaller dog looks like a cross between a pug and a gremlin; clearly if there was fear to be had… logic dictates it ought to happen there.
So here is my thinking. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some kind of wild card eliminating algorithm that could be used to enter in specific data on the dog’s reactions around a set stimulus? Yes, I realize that this is NOT the same as time and the right animal chemistry working out, but I do think it would help to cut down on “avoidable” surprises like a dog who is otherwise fine with cats, wanting to chase ours down as a threat.
It’s an unfortunate situation as we selected this senior dog because we wanted to provide it with a new home to spend its golden years. We are experienced dog owners (my wife has 20+ years) and we are confident that we can handle most things that come along. But as anyone will tell you, if the dog doesn’t get along with a cat already in the home, no amount of data sifting is likely to cure it.
So the best we are hoping for is that we can slowly socialize the two animals under very guarded, controlled conditions. And even then — always keep the dog with us or otherwise secured comfortably for everyone’s safety.
Fact of the matter is that animals are unpredictable. And some types of bulldogs are high prey animals, despite being older like ours. We knew this going into this situation — we will make this work out if at all possible. This dog will have needs met with us that most people would never be willing to support where we are. Being as I work from home, this means I am able to give the dog plenty of care, trips outside, and carefully calculated walks outside considering his age.
About the algorithm, well, it would have been nice in hindsight. But then again, we are not the type of couple to back down from a challenge. We’ll figure out something, pet algorithm or not.
[awsbullet:Help for Your Fearful Dog]