Bad Dog

A few months ago I wrote about Bo, our Boggle (Boston Terrier/Beagle mix). (See July 20, 2010 post)  But there’s something I didn’t tell you about Bo.  As Sam observed this week, Bo is a really good pet, but she’s a really bad dog.

It’s like this: Bo is always sweet around us, her family.  She likes to play and fetch and curl up next to whoever is lying on the couch.  She sits and shakes paws and greets us at the door with tail wags.  She rarely barks and a doo-doo mistake in the house is highly unlikely.  Bo has never bitten anyone and only showed me her teeth once, when I tried to take away her food.  Understandable.  She’s a really good pet.

But when Bo gets anywhere near another dog, she turns into a bloodthirsty maniac.  The hair along her spine rises up and she begins to schnuffle (a barking/snorting thing).  Bo must give off some kind of offensive aura because other dogs also turn into bloodthirsty maniacs in her presence.  In our one attempt to go to the city’s dog park, we cleared it out in a matter of minutes.  Nobody likes to play with Bo.

When we go out for walks, she prances right beside me and smiles up at me….until another dog approaches.  Then she goes into attack mode and I can barely control the ferocious beast.  Quite often, I will turn around and go the other way when I see a probable confrontation converging.  Her reputation in the neighborhood isn’t good.  Nobody knows she’s really a sweet thing, except those of us who live in the house with her.

 Bo looking out the window.

      Bo looking out the window as a dog walks by.

Is this behavior limited to canines?  Do human beings have similar issues?  I mean, do people sometimes act sweet and loving in the house of God and then snarl and schnuffle at others on the street?  Are there some folks who just give off bad vibes and seem to bring out the worst in others?  I’m not pointing any fingers; I’m just asking: are there some really good church-goers who turn into something else outside those walls?

If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.  1 John 4:20-21  (Message)

17 thoughts on “Bad Dog

  1. Hi! I stumbled across your blog as a Googled “Boston Terrier Beagle Mix”, as that’s what I was told my rescue dog is. Interesting enough, my dog is also named Bo and is brindle with white accents.

    My Bo acts the exact same way your Bo does. He’s an absolute sweetheart at home. He loves to snuggle in bed (under the covers with his head on the pillow) and follows me around the apartment 24/7 – even to the bathroom. 🙂 He only barks when someone knocks on the door. But the minute I take him outside on his leash, he goes nuts when he sees another dog. Like you, I turn the other way and do all that I can to avoid a run-in. He also gets mad at horses, large trucks, motorcycles, the EL (Chicago’s public train), geese/pigeons, and on occasion, a bicycle. Fortunately, he does very well at the dog park. He’s different around other dogs when he’s off his leash. He’s what our vet calls “Leash Aggressive”. The vet explained that Bo does not feel like he’s in control of the situation when he’s on a leash and therefore, lashes out and displays his anger.

  2. Thanks for writing! How funny that our dogs sound like kindred spirits! I wonder if the behavior is just part of the breeding. I’ll have to try the dog park again. I’d love for her to be able to run around with other dogs. So glad you shared about your Bo! Finally, someone who understands!

    • Oh my goodness! It’s almost scary! The markings are so similar. Does your Boggle act like my Bo? We got her from an Amish farmer in rural Wisconsin. Thanks for sharing your pic!

  3. Kate, Laura and Dinah….. My Bella which is also a Boggle is the same way….aggressive in the car too. She loves the ride until we see a person walking a dog. In the house she sits in the window just waiting for the neighbor to walk his dog. The only place she is calm with other dogs is the vets. I have taken her for 5 years to a kennel where the dogs socialize, Bella can not do the free time anymore, she is aggressive only to larger dogs and they always have to put her in time out… She loves people, expecially children, i brought her to work in a playpen when she was little. ( I taught Kindergaden) but other dogs intimidate her. She was fine the first two years and did well in behavior training as a pup…just not sure what turns her into an uncontrolable beast. I also have been bitten on several occasions. After she calms down she shows emotions of being sorry for what she has done. My Bella also has that ridge up her back and the base of her tail puffs up. I wanted a brain scan, but I can see this is a breed problem now. Also my husband can not make any quick movements toward me without her attacking him…anyone else have this problem… I also got her from a woman (Karen) in MO. I had her flown to me in NY… I love her with all my heart, just wish we could take a nice walk without me bringing my water gun…lol

    • I am amazed at the similarities among this breed. Our Bo has never bitten anyone, but the aggression against other dogs is definitely a problem. Thanks so much for sharing – it makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one! Blessings!

  4. I adopted a boxer beagle mix on 2/13/14 in Denver and she is the spitting image of Bo. :). She is wonderful , energetic and very smart . She loves puppies and greets everyone. I named her ‘ Meiko’ it is Japanese fir a little bud. She is my little rise bud.

    • Hi Rosey! It seems the Boggles have distinct markings that are very similar across the breed. I’m glad to hear your dog gets along with other puppies. She will be a faithful friend to you! Thanks for sharing!

  5. My daughters dog looks just like Bo, Lex is 3 years old (born on Oct 31) hates the mailman even tries to bite the window when he sees or hears him a block away. People ask him to leave the dog park, it seems like whenever he is enclosed in the window or behind a gate he i misbehaved.Sitting on the deck he barks at everyone passing by, out on a leash he’s fine.

  6. Patricia, that’s so interesting. It must be something about the breeding. I wonder what would happen it we put a bunch of Boggles in a room together…

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  8. I adopted one of these doggies too. I thought her aggression toward other dogs was due to her difficult years with pit bulls before I got her. Your story has me in stitches. Oh well, my doggie is the smartest, most intuitive, doggie ive ever loved.

    • Steven, glad you could relate to our Bo! The aggressive behavior seems to be inbred. We had to say goodbye to Bo last year, due to old age. But she was a good friend and I miss her presence in the house. Thanks for reading!

  9. This dog is the spitting image of our dog, Bruno! He goes through the EXACT SAME THING and he looks IDENTICAL to your Bo. Really weird. He is ok around large crowds and at the dog park, off the leash, but when we take him outside and he sees other people (on their own or in small groups) or other animals he goes insane. We can barely keep him under control and he breaks his leash all the time!

    • I’ve had several comments just like yours! It must be something about the breeding. Although it’s pretty amazing that your Bruno looks identical to our Bo. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to her awhile ago and I miss her faithful friendship. Blessings and thanks for your comment!

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