Not Gone

Gertie, after the incident

Then there’s Kepler and Gertie. The two of them got jammed up against each other by the back door after Kate fed them lunch. Bloody. Gertie has, again, multiple wounds. A tough situation for us. The incidents are always situational, that is, something unexpected puts the two of them in a tight space or Gertie nips at Kep. Then, full on dog on dog aggression. Well, maybe not full on. Kep never goes for her throat.

We’ve learned from research and from vets that this kind of behavior is not extinguishable. Predator/prey instinct is at the base of the doggy brain, not gone. When it’s triggered, the dog is a hunter, or a self defender, both behaviors beyond any executive function that might have been trained into them.

Kep last week

We love both of them. Not rational, but we’re going to keep them both. In Tully’s case her Wolfhound on Whippet aggression was not situational. It was fully switched on and we had to keep them separate at all times. This was years ago, but we faced the same dilemma. We love Tully, we love Kona and Hilo. So, we managed it.

The Kep situation is, in some ways, tougher since it’s unpredictable. 99% of the time he and Gertie play, eat together, rest together. Are genuinely friendly with no residuals from Kep’s biting. Then, bam!

I’m keeping them apart right now. Kep’s up here in the loft as I write, wandering around since he’s usually not up here for any length of time. He prefers being outside.

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