Yesterday I took my three-month-old, black toy poodle to the vet for his second set of shots and a routine examination here in Ruidoso. Well, throughout the appointment he was quite squirrley, trying to escape the thermometer in his rear end, the examination of his testicles (both of which dropped, whatever that means), and exploratory video of the inside of his ears, which was displayed on a television screen for my veiwing pleasure/disgust.
The doctor asked questions about where I got him, how many puppies were in the litter, etc. I explained he was one of three male puppies, and from what the lady at the pet shop told me, he was the biggest. I guess for the three or so days between when I first saw him and when I bought him, two chihuahua puppies crawled all over him while he just chilled and was like, "Whatever, it's the 90s."
The diagnosis is this: I have a perfectly healthy, papered, alpha male toy poodle. Yes, kids, my almost-four-pound, five-to-six-inch tall puppy is an alpha male. The vet said his behavior (the squirminess, the lack of eye contact, and general "I'm the shizz" disposition) is because he was the ruler of the litter, and probably those two little bastard chihuahuas.
So listen to Sarah, the dog whisperer, because soon I will have my own syndicated column about dogs (not really)... If your doggy is an alpha, you can do three things to help establish dominance without violence:
1. Hold your puppy in your hands so its head is at eye-level with you. Make him look you in the eye. If he's an alpha, you'll have to practice for about 30 seconds three or four times a day until he'll look you in the eye.
2. Hold the puppy like a baby you're rocking in your arms, loosely grasping his two front legs, until he'll lay still.
3. Grab the puppy by the scruff on his neck (this doesn't hurt them, this is the way their mothers would carry and punish them) and gently lay him on his side, again loosely grasping the two front legs. Make him lay still for about 30 seconds.
So now I must establish my dominance with my baby dog, who is such a drama queen... he howled like he was going to die yesterday when he got his shots, but was trying to eat the treats the vet gave him at the same time. It was hilarious.
*The picture is a product of a Google image search for "alpha male." I think it's an album cover...