3rd Strike

There are quite a few things that I do not share with the rest of you regarding Tad. I have specific reasons for that, and I'm quite sure the majority of you understand as we've already had this conversation.

That being said, all of this may come as a total surprise to many of you.

Michael and I had a nice long talk yesterday, instead of training, and reformulated a few things. There was a bite last week, that thankfully, did not puncture the man's...man-bits. Michael told me that he strongly advised that Tad does not go to Pet Fest; which I understand. We then talked about how Tad is a completely different dog in public and without his 'pack' with him. Thus, why none of my other dogs will be at Pet Fest.

So, after reformulating a couple of things, Tad and I visited Old Town Spring yesterday (where Pet Fest will be held). Using the introduction method that was suggested by Michael, the visit was flawless. He enjoyed all the new people and met them with a wagging tail and happy posture. He even kissed a toddler on his cheek.

However, this morning, Tad returned to the clinic with me. We thought we were doing everything right with this introduction, lots of 'good boys' and treats, and it seemed everything was going well. For whatever reason, Tad attacked the dog (seemingly unprovoked) and left a bleeding gash in his ear.

So, as suggested, Tad was immediately put in time out while the other dog was tended to.

Tad has now lost all his freedoms. He drew blood; this was his third strike-he's out. Michael and I discussed crate training Tad, as he goes absolutely ape when he's 'locked' anywhere. So, I will be bringing a massive crate to the clinic that Tad will remain in.

Should I have done this from the start? Maybe so.

I'm actually a little torn between the crate and leaving them all at home. Not allowing him here everyday. Or, a one dog at the clinic at a time. I've not decided what to do yet...and Michael will help me make that decision.

That being said, Tad will STILL be a Pet Fest, against Michael's recommendation. I feel, in my heart, that Tad will be fine on his own, as he always has been. If you are planning on coming to Pet Fest to meet Tad, before you touch him, please get some treats from me. I'm not worried he will bite you, he seems to only bite in the clinic, but we're learning that all people mean yummies and good things. :) I will have a nice stash of treats with me, trust me.

On that note, you should never just RANDOMLY touch any dog, Tad or not...you're asking for a bite. ;)

Michael and I are meeting again in two weeks, and during that time I am going to be a momzilla. I am determined, now more than ever, to ensure that Tad meets the standards and expectations that I put on him.

Michael did tell me that I set the bar of expected behavior VERY high for my dogs. I didn't realize it, but, I do. I think that was an eye opener for me. I've been lucky with Walker and Chica thus far, and here's Tad who is a 'real' dog...and my gosh, I'm at a loss. It's complete turmoil.

If you wish to donate to Tad's training (I've not fixed the donation link yet), you may send a check to the address listed on the Donations and Packages page here on his blog (make it out to me Tiffany Dieringer), or send a PayPal payment to tiffanydieringer@yahoo.com. I appreciate everything you all are doing to help.


  1. Was this the first time Tad attacked another dog? I'm wondering if he didn't encounter this dog during his wandering days (you said he'd been attacked) or maybe with his previous owner.

  2. Hang in there Tiff. You are doing all that can be done. Have a great time tomorrow! ~ Liz Coffinger Humphreys

  3. Well that incident doesn't sound all that serious, although I'm sure you felt horrible about it, and who knows what provoked the confrontation between the two.

    But are you setting Tad up to fail? My vet clinic has some "resident dogs" and they are totally laid back and oblivious of the commotion around them. Like your other dogs are.

    But Tad might not ever have that personality trait and right now his "day job" does not seem to suit him. Being a clinic greeter dog at this time in his life, when he's young and recovering from trauma, might not be the best place for him. If he can be separated to a back area with a companion dog (or Ilene!) that might reduce the over-burden of stimulation.

    Also, you might not want to consider anti-anxiety meds but how about a Thundershirt? I'll spring for one if you want to try it out.

    But bottom line - I'd suggest that you reduce the exposure to "opportunities" right now and let him have a quiet daily routine.

    But def go to Pet Fest!

  4. Tiffany I hope you know how much I respect your knowledge of animals. Please be cautious with Tad at Pet Fest. Michael doesn't recomend Tad being there and you are paying him for his knowledge, but it is your decision so please be careful. We love you and want what is best for both of you.