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Bowdu, as I mentioned, is more of a face dog — as in, IN YOUR FACE upon first greeting. At least, that’s how it used to be. I’ll be the first to admit that he wasn’t the most well-socialized Shiba pup growing up in Taiwan, and so to this day, he’s still lacking in some canine social graces.

At the dog park the other day, Bowdu was not looking where he was going, and ran head-first into the side of a muscly boxer-pit mix. Because the other dog was on leash, he couldn’t really clear the way for Bowdu. This, of course, pissed Bowdu off to no end and he held his ground, staring daggers into the dog’s eyes and blocking the way for both dog and human.

Even though Bowdu was the one to run into the other dog, he acted all offended, like his Shiba soup can had been violated by that clumsy oaf. What I did in that situation was I kept walking as I called his name in a happy voice. Within seconds, the tension eased up, and he let it go.

The Bowdu of before, particularly before thyroid medication, would surely have started a ruckus right there. He’s had his outbursts over even slighter transgressions, and it’s been a long, slow process working with him to make up for what he should have had in puppyhood. He is so much better around strange dogs now, but there are still a few types that test his tolerance.

Bowdu’s Angry Face List:

  • Hyperactive puppies
  • Huskies and Malamutes
  • Boxers
  • Energetic, brachycephalic dogs like Boston Terriers
  • Pretty much any bouncy, long-legged breed that outweighs him.

… The exception to that last group seems to be long-legged breeds that are so tall, he can walk right under them. So he’s fine with Great Danes and Greyhounds. But if their stature allows him to meet them anywhere near eye level, then dammit, he’s going to at least try and give them the staredown.

20100210 Effrontery
Photo taken 11 February 2010. Malamute gang vs. the Shiba upstart.

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