Toby the Puppy has an identity issue.
I won’t call it a “crisis” because our puppy isn’t bothered by it. How does it present itself?
OK, Toby weighs about 11 pounds. When he meets much larger dogs, he tends to act more aggressively than when he encounters fellow canines of similar or smaller size.
Toby the Puppy thinks he’s a pit bull. Or a Rottweiler. Or a German shepherd. Or any variety of Lab.
It might be that he is smitten by the sound of his own voice. Toby’s bark sounds as if it comes from a much larger dog. He speaks sparingly. He barks only for a good reason: someone at the door he doesn’t recognize or someone outside who gets his attention.
We now live in a Fairview neighborhood that is full of dogs. Many of them are much larger than Toby. Some of our neighbors have pit bulls. I’ve seen a couple of English bulldogs. I’ve seen many mixed breeds of considerable size as well. When Toby sees them, he pulls hard on his leash. I have to shush him when he barks or snarls. He listens and then settles down — immediately.
I won’t worry about whether Toby will ever come to grips with the fact that he’s a small dog. He isn’t going to whip many other dogs in a pooch-on-pooch fight. His temperament won’t engage them.
I’ll let him strut around the neighborhood, going through whatever motions male puppies go through.
He will keep my wife and me in stitches every step of the way.