Jekyll and Hyde Ray?

The last two Posts covered Ray’s behavior while Carol and I were doing some gardening. I am not totally convinced whether his role was protector (watching out for us), or guard (making sure we didn’t escape), or supervisor (ensuring that his garden was not ruined). I would tend to lean towards the first two!

While we were working away in the front garden, and Ray was tethered to a shrub, an elderly lady with a slight gait issue came down the sidewalk.ย  She was approaching Ray from what would be his blind side but, fortunately, Carol noticed and coaxed him out on to the sidewalk. Each of them could then see the other and so no surprises! All went well.

Probably about an hour later, the same lady was coming back, but this time she would be in full view of Ray. For some reason, when she got close to us, she obviously decided to walk down the side of the road. It was probably because of the amount of grass and soil that were piled up on the sidewalk at that time.

I was busy and did not see her coming… but Ray did! He suddenly decided that the lady was too close and decided to go through his lunge and bark routine. Given that he was still tethered, he was severely restricted and did not present much of a physical threat, but his voice was loud! The lady was clearly caught a little by surprise, but did not seem unduly concerned.

It is interesting when you look at the pics in the last two Posts just how chilled he is and, some may believe, how cuddly and friendly he looks. Do not be deceived! It is always good to remember that while both German Shepherds and Rottweilers are apparently extremely loving and loyal breeds, they are very suspicious of people they don’t know and it takes time for them to accept another person… especially when on their perceived territory. Ray is a mix of both of those breeds!

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16 thoughts on “Jekyll and Hyde Ray?

  1. I had a blue heeler cross who was very much the same as Ray. protective and loyal and all show, bless his soul, he passed on a few years ago. He was really the sweetest dog and I was never actually concerned that he would bite anyone because he was actually all show but what a show he would put on. I worried us a few times that passers by would die of a heart attack as he jumped and snarled and barked and for some reason he was most bothered by old people. he was my first dog and he required a lot of training and exercise and socialization but was worth every bit of effort!

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    • So many similarities there! Ray is my first dog… and puts on a great show! He has never actually bitten, but did grab a person’s arm with his teeth once. As a trainer later told me “He was not trying to bite because he could have severed the person’s arm if he wanted to!” I am still not sure as to how reassuring that was! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Hi Prajakta. When we first got him… yes! He was afraid of people and other dogs, and dealt with it by lunging and barking to make them go away. A dog behaviorist recommended a muzzle for him because people generally will not approach a dog who is wearing a muzzle. It worked! He suddenly did not get people intruding into his personal “space”! We also went through a Behavior Adjustment Training (B.A.T.) program with him which was a major education in reading his body language. Today, he is quite the social butterfly and the only time we take total control is if a small child approaches him.

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  2. The pit bull across the street, Tank, will come put his head on my knee inside his house and let me absently scratch his chin and jowls as I talk to his “momma,” but let me come out the back door to my side yard (within his view from where he’s tethered out front of his) to put books in my Little Free Library and he barks long and loud, pulling at his tether to “get at me.” Usually I can put out my babyish, sweetest voice and talk him down, but it is a reminder he IS a pit bull.

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    • Ray typically is all show. However, due presumably to some event(s) in his past, he has startle response so goes into immediate aggressive survival mode if surprised. He has not bitten anybody, but has made contact in two unusual circumstances (both are noted in his book). Ray will never be off-leash when outside for numerous reasons!

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