Last night we finally got to talk to our behaviorist. I have to say, I’m so glad that we have one and I’m even more glad that she is good. After Yun described to her what happened on our terrible, bad day, she asked more questions. I find that to be one of the best things about her. She really tries to get a full picture of what happened. She takes the time to learn about the situation and circumstances before diving into an opinion.
Prior to the seemingly very random bite, Loki and Jujube were playing. He was trying to get her to chase him, but became annoyed when she caught him and snapped back at her. Then apparently, this repeated a few times. Loki kept asking for more play, but was agitated by her at the same time.
I know I may be anthropomorphic here, but I sort of imagine a child who really wants to play, has only one playmate, and gets annoyed when the playmate doesn’t understand the rules of play. Like trying to get someone to play tag with you. You chase your friend and finally catch him. “Tag, you’re it.” Now it’s his turn to chase you. But instead, he’s confused and doesn’t chase you. Now, you get annoyed because he’s not playing the way you had wanted to play. Repeat a few times and now you’re really frustrated. You might still want to play, but at the same time be very agitated.
So the point is, the behaviorist thought that Loki might have still been in an agitated and unstable state when Yun went to pet him. We already know that he’s not the most stable dog. And he and Jujube did have a scuffle in the morning, so that may also have contributed to his unstable mood.
Still, she mentioned that we may never fully know why Loki did what he did. He’s a dog, and we are humans. We can make the best educated guesses possible, but we may never know for sure why dogs do what they do.
In addition, she encouraged us to be even more obvious in our preferential treatment of Loki. At the moment, we still feed the dogs at the same time, and that morning Yun was about to give them rawhides at the same time. She suggested that our actions be further exaggerated in very deliberately showing Loki that he gets food first and that he gets rawhide first. We already did other things to show Loki that he’s top dog, like letting him out of his crate first, but she suggested we do more. She said that the more obvious we are to assure Loki of his top dog status, the more secure and stable he would become.
Lastly, she said that she considers this an isolated incident. One incident after about two months of peace isn’t terrible. She said if this were occurring every week, then we’d be having a different conversation.