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Friday, February 28 2014

As we have already established, what started out as a delightful puppy grew to become a first caliber troll. This begs several questions. How? Was he always a troll? Could we have done something different? Will he ever change?

So let’s analyze the Troll Dog.

Trace is a troll because he is your classic 'resource guarder.' In layman’s terms that means Trace classifies everything in his world as

1) belonging to/or important to Trace’s survival/fun,
2) not belonging to/ or unimportant to Trace’s survival/fun

Here are examples of things the Troll values:

* Food
* Water
* Human attention
* Vehicles (trucks, 4-wheelers, mules, etc… “if it rolls, it’s Troll’s!)
* Toys
* Anything another dog wants

It is interesting to note that Troll’s aggression is ONLY aimed at other dogs. He has never shown aggression to humans. Despite the fact that he will rip another dog’s face off for walking near his food bowl, a human can reach down and pick it up without incident. He is quite submissive to humans.

Troll is not an overly dominant dog. He is actually only above the Labrador on the Doggy Totem Pole. His status in the pack does not affect his aggression in the least. Given the opportunity, he will launch himself at Cowboy and Briar at meal times, and - they will always kick his little arse. He does not learn, and will not hesitate to do it again. Troll is such a monster that at the hint of meal time or vehicle time, he will race across the yard, snarling and drooling like a, duh, troll. He will attack any dog in his path with absolutely no provocation. Because of this, he is only allowed loose outside with Cowboy, Ranger or Briar, because he intimidates Lily, and Dillon will flat-out kill him.

Did we create this? No, I doubt it. He was always fed separately and never had to fight for food or anything else. We also do not indulge his behavior. We don’t think it’s cute, but we don’t bow to his brattiness either. Trace was selected for us by the breeder. I wanted a male. He had two males. Someone else chose the white one first, so we ended up with Trace. Had I seen his behavior in the puppy pack, I seriously doubt I would have brought this dog home to a multi-dog household.

Ironically, if we didn’t have other dogs, we might not ever notice his extreme troll-like behavior, because he confines his aggression to other dogs. It is possible he might try this crap with children if given the opportunity but he is not allowed free access to kids so we’ll never know.

Will he ever change? No, I seriously doubt it. Trace is a troll. A leopard doesn’t change his spots. We simply accept that he is a troll and protect the other dogs from him, and we protect him from himself. (i.e. keep him away from sweet-natured Dillon who is slow to anger but will makes an earnest attempt to murder Troll when he is attacked by the little snot)

So there you have it, the anatomy of a troll. It isn’t pretty, but then we didn’t buy The Beast to be a family dog. He was purchased to be a working cow dog. His parents were kept in an outside kennel and not part of a pack. I seriously doubt his breeder had any interest whatsoever in doggy social skills as part of his breeding program. (But trust me, I will ask about that with any future dogs!)  Would I reproduce this creature?

No. Absolutely not.  Do we love him anyway? Yes. He is, in fact, a delightful little creature in many ways. One simply has to remember that he has the heart of a troll, and not blame a troll for being, well - a troll.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 04:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
As Popeye used to say, "I y'am what I y'am.." He fits in your family, in his own outdoors pack and you have figured out how to manage him...until there is thunder and lightning....then the fearsome troll turns into a fearful little pup who needs comfort! (Just like humans who can be trolls....)
Posted by clairesmum on 02/28/2014 - 04:56 PM
EXACTLY! That's pretty much it!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 02/28/2014 - 09:50 PM

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