A 51 Pound Dog Still Has To Teethe

Sometimes it seems unreal that Maximus could still be a baby.  He weighs 51 pounds at 5 months of age.  When he barks the entire house vibrates.  He scares the crap out of the Chihuahuas; his head is bigger than any one of them, and he puts his feet on them and won’t let them up.  That just pisses them off!  He outweighs Bandit by 20 pounds and Bandit is over a year old.  He grabs Bandit by his collar and drags him all over the house.  But Bandit grabs Max by his lip so that has to have a payback, I suppose.  Neither of them cry in pain from their encounters, so I think it hurts me worse to watch than for them to play that rough.
But then there’s times like tonight when after the rough-housing is over, Maximus goes over to his blankie and sucks on it because he’s still trying to cut jaw teeth.  He looks so defenseless and young just laying there, looking up at us, and sucking that blanket for all he’s worth.  Touches my heart.  And it is HIS blanket.  No one would dare touch it upon threat of death or the thundrous voice vibrating off the walls when he barks and screams at the offender.  It scares the crap out of me, too!  He sounds like he’s going to tear someone’s head off.
I’ve had to learn not to be afraid of Maximus.  He started out as this tiny, defenseless baby whose eyes were not even open yet.  I fed him with an eye-dropper the first 48 hours until I could find a nipple he would take.  Then I bottle-fed him for another 5 weeks.  All of a sudden he became this behemoth that shook the walls at 3 months of age.  It took me a couple of weeks to come to terms with the fact that he was the same dog.  Now I can actually grab him by the collar and drag him into his crate if he acts up with the other dogs.  And, wonder of wonder, he sits in his crate very peacefully and when I let him out he’s so contrite and quiet.  He stays close to me for the first minute or so as if to say, “I’m sorry, Mom.  I didn’t mean to upset you”.  Then he goes about his way as if nothing happened.
And he loves to go with me/us.  He’s learning to be a good boy with other humans but still gets upset when other dogs come around us.  I think he’s defending me (mom) not getting aggressive but I don’t know that for sure.  We start him in obedience school next Tuesday and I think it is time for him and I to learn how to deal with each other and the rest of the world in relation to us.  I know there’s got to be a million things I’m doing wrong but I won’t learn them without some training, so this is it.  I may have to do classes for Bandit, as well, but we’re going to start with Max.  Bandit is so easy to teach and such a good dog that I think we can probably teach him with what we learn with Max.   Hope so anyway.  I hope it’s not that hard for me to learn…I’ve heard that you can teach an old dog new tricks…….

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