Your pet- a Lover or a Fighter?

My dog Lewis is BIG… but not especially brave.

I happen to also have small children (with LOUD voices), and when they start yelling, Lewis runs to another room…

A while ago I had an incident in the clinic with a disgruntled client swearing, throwing chairs around the room, and Lewis took off out the back of the clinic.

Man’s best friend?… friend yes, but protector…..ah no

And if a dog shows aggression on the trail, he’ll usually do what he can to avoid it.

SO… he’s a lover.

The good thing is he doesn’t get into dog fights, and he’s very social at my work (where he hangs out eating cat food and other human food products from my staff:-)

But in spite of all of this, I love Lewis just the same… he’s part of my family, not some big guard dog.

That’s just his personality.

So my question for today…

Is your pet a lover or fighter?

And if so, How did this happen?

Is it nature or nurture?

For Lewis a bit of both – and now he’s Mr. Mellow.

Feel free to respond below.

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

20 thoughts on “Your pet- a Lover or a Fighter?”

  1. I have 3 rescue dogs, one older and 2 others that are year old Tennessee Walker coonhound mix. I have had the two younger ones, Jake and Bob, since they were 3 months old. They are extremely aggressive with other dogs (my older one excluded). They get so aggessive when we are walking them, that when they can’t get at the other dog they see they try to bite each other. It takes two people to control them when this situation arises. At times I have said that we will not walk them anymore, but they do so love their walks and I cannot deprive them. They are very loving with us at home and visitors but outside with other animals it is a horror.

  2. My dog is definitely a lover not a fighter. When there is any fighting going on he is leaving. He would not protect me either because he does not have any aggressive behavior at all towards people. He likes almost all people. He is not real crazy about kids because he has not been around many. He is the best dog ever!!!!!

  3. My dogs r lovers & protective of both ourselves, always playful companions, love walks, sorry I haven’t responded sooner, been productively transferring records to the computer & saving them on the hard disc drive to burn to c.d.


  4. All my dogs have been rescue dogs. And pretty much they are not the least agressive.
    Once little Doodle, a poodle mix, went after my brother’s husky puppy. It was like watching a mouse attack an elephant. All we can figure is he was in HER house. She never behaved like that before or after.
    I did have a dog, Spook, many, many years ago who was afraid of unknown children and would bite if they tried to grab her. Given time to warm up to them she was fine. She happily put up with my friends kids and my nephew.
    All in all my dogs have been polite and welcome in my friends houses. In fact when Spook died a friend eulogized her by saying, “Spook was not a dog she was a person.”

  5. My present pet, Bugsie the Chihuahua, is what you’d call a lover. He’s very sweet, loves to play, and is a little wary of new folks at times. I think
    it’s just cuz he’s so small (6 lbs!). Not very protective at all, just cute. As far as other dogs, he likes to look, and he tried to play w/my neighbor’s Lab-Shepard mix the other day, only to have Rowdy try to jump at him. No more play with Rowdy – Rowdy weighs maybe 30x’s what Bugsie does.
    I’ve had protective pets as well – Keeper, my Wolfweiller, was VERY protective of his mom! And my Rocky the Rottie was also protective of me.
    Although I love my lil Bugsie, I sure wish I could have a big dog again! But the big guys are so different when it comes to being around other dogs – I guess they KNOW they can play, but they’re very picky as to who they play with. ???

  6. I think my dog is both. I have a nine year old pitbull & he can be the most docile dog on the planet until he gets excited about something. He is a loving dog & a great protector. He doesn’t like it when people argue in his presence…if there ends up being pushing & shoving he goes in to break it up. He scares strangers away from the door…I always feel safe when I am home alone with him. He is also a lover in that when strangers do come in the house instead of attacking or biting them he grabs ahold of them & tries to hump them.

  7. Don’t forget about cats! I know that cats are generally known to be aloof and distant. I have a pair that are from the same litter. The female, Misty, tends to be a one-woman cat. She’s very cute and playful, but loving only to my Mom. Her large brother, Smokey, is extremely affectionate and will cuddle with anybody who will pet him. Smokey is also frightened easily: afraid of loud voices, the tv, and Mom’s wheelchair. Both cats are quite intelligent, but little Misty is definitely the aggressor.

  8. I have one of each. Both are rescues. Lily looks like a Canaan Dog, but may be Greyhound/ACD. She is very much a sweet, gentle dog like a Grey. Moira is Border Collie/Lab, so she’s not so gentle. Like most herding dogs, she is very protective. Barks until she is sure a visitor means me no harm. She can be controlled. On walks, Lily pretty much ignores other animals and Moira is selective. Some are fine and some set her off. Both furgirls are loving sweethearts who are happy to have a home. I am ever so happy to have them.

  9. Can you remove my last night name? I didn’t post it, but autofill kept putting it in. Thank you. Do not post this one, of course.

  10. I think it’s a little of both. Breed definitely plays into it, too. My (almost) 10 month old Cairn terrier is a lover, but if he doesn’t like a dog–he goes ballistic! I think part of the problem lies in hormones, and how the human deals with situations.

  11. My dogs are both rescues and I got them as they were already 6 years old, never got socialised to other dogs as they were little. So they are fighters. It took a few weeks to get along with each other (I had to step in and be their pack leader and all aggression just melted away), now at 8 years they love each other! BUT – no other dogs. I did lots of research and found that sudden aggression can be a sign of thyroid problems – and you guessed it, both my dogs suffer from that. They are now on medication and are getting a bit better. I never give up and walk along fenced dogs (for safety reasons) and day by day I can see improvement. Are they lovers or fighters? Depends. They love people, kids, the postman (he brings treats), their walks and of course their food, they fight with most other dogs (if I would allow it). My dream is that they can play one day with other dogs, it is a long way, maybe they will not make it in their lifetime, but it is definitely worth a try. And if not? I will love them anyway.

  12. My Sam is very lovable-with family and anyone who comes inside the house. However, if he even hears kids or other dogs, he starts growling and barking and snarling. He does the same when anyone raises their voice.

    When he is outside, nobody can come anywhere near me-even if he does know them. He is horrible with other dogs-I think that is because twice while on our porch, and several times on a walk, other dogs have approached and atacked him. When he sees another dog, his hair goes up, he barks and growls, but he also leans against me at the same time–which I take as fear aggression.

    He’s a large dog, loves cats and is very protective and also very loving when he feels all is well.

  13. I have an energetic 16 month old Siberian Husky (looks like a Shetland Sheepdog right now) – who is a lover to the point of annoying other dogs. He is several hands higher than my daughter’s rescue dog – and just plain obnoxious. He wants to play to the point of hurting the other dog. We play ball several times a day – we play with the water hose – we fill up his water tubs everyday so he can’swim’ them empty. He has his own covered sandpit to lounge in. When I put him on a leash to walk – he does well at my knee until he decides to grab my pants leg, my blouse. He is a sweet dog – just a big overbearing pup right now.
    The black cat(who looks like a Havana Brown in the sunshine)is a sneaky stalker – she has been declawed, but she can do some damage to unsuspecting ankles in the mornings and late afternoons. She is a rescue kitty – and makes it a point to check out the visitors when the door bell rings. Abby is more of a watch dog than the dog.

  14. My dog, Jack, is both a lover and can be a fighter when circumstances are right. He is a Chihuahua/Terrier mix and loves to be cuddled, picked up, and is a lap dog from the word “go”. He also thinks he is a big dog, because all of his friends that he plays with are German Sheppards and Labs. But if a dog goes by that he does not like – boy oh boy – he turns into Mr. Ferocious with his hair down his back sticking up like a mohawk and barking/growling! Good thing we don’t see that side of him very much. HA HA!! We love him dearly…..all 24 pounds of him!

  15. I have a big,beautiful 2yr old white German Shepherd.She might protect licking an attacker to death!!! I have never seen a sign of aggression from her,even though she’s had plenty of provocation-mainly from little dogs-who always seem to feel the need to bark and growl at her.She just looks at them as if to say”Why are you doing that,don’t you want to play??”!
    To see my 2yr old and 9mth old grandchildren snuggling with her,or looking at her teeth(which they both seem fascinated by!!)is wonderful..she adores them.
    Two of the vets in our local practice have made a point of complimenting her temperament,and said what a pleasure she is to treat.
    Nature or nurture-I think it’s a bit of both. I think she was born with a good temperament, and I like to think the way I’ve handled her,and the situations we’ve come across,has added to her stability.She’d rather have a cuddle than a fight.

  16. I LOVE cats and have had many. One was both a lover and a fighter. He was amazing. (The vet thought he was a bombay as he was found a few miles from a bombay cattery and fit the description to a T. He was sooooo loving my husband used to tease me that one day I’d have to get that cat “surgically removed” and referred to him as my “appendage” because he could NOT sit in the room without touching me, even if it was to rest his head or feet on me.
    He went everywhere. When I’d have to get an appliance serviced and a strange man would come to the house, he would NOT let them near me. He would always firmly plant himself between us, so they could only get so close. I loved him dearly.
    He died at 19yrs old. (All my cats were indoor cats and of the many, the youngest they ever passed was my last who was almost 17yr when he died -MUCH too young). That one too was a lover & fighter, only he fought with me LOL! (Play fighting. He’d lay upside down, then unsuspectingly grab at you when you went by him.
    Sometimes I would fight him with my toe. Poking him lightly and annoying him. He was so cute. He’d let out this incredible “war cry” – a distinctive sound that said, “I mean BUSINESS”, then would attack and attempt to disembowel my foot. Of course, all I had to do was say his name and bend over and pet him and it would stop.
    He was just playing. When it camed to other people, only about a handful ever SAW him in his 16 year with us as he ran from them. This never bothered me a bit as I am quite reclusive in many aspects, prefering my animal friends to my human ones. They make for much better company in my book.

  17. My 4 cats are definately BOTH–LOVER & FIGHTER. They are HIGHLY acclimated to receiving and rewarding me with different types of love and also will fight, anything, in order to ensure my safety and the safety of the family. It’s really nice, knowing I’m both safe and loved!!!

  18. I have 10 pets…four sheep, three dogs, two cats, and a fish.

    My sheep are all lovers <3 But, if you don’t feed them immediatley with their grain, they become monsters and try to climb all over me to get to the grain bucket…my one, Ciqala (aka Kiki) tries ramming into me when she doesn’t get her food first (yes, she’s selfish, the other three are her children, but she doesn’t care lol).

    My oldest dog, Pepper, will be 15 in January ’10. He is deaf and blind, so he doesn’t really care too much about what’s happening around him. Maggie, she’s aggressive when the thing she’s barking at is outside, but totally submissive if it’s in front of her — she hates confrontation. Grizzly is the most expressive dog; he always adds sound effects to everything he does — yawning, plopping down to sit/lay, and practically everything else XD But Maggie and Grizzly bark at anything that moves outside, though. We actually had someone attempt to break into our house a couple of months ago, but my dogs scared them off because they kept barking so loudly.

    My cats…Frank is a barn cat, but he’s not neutered, so he fights any cats that try to steal his ladies. But, if he comes inside (which he often does), he is the most loveable cat ever, and he doesn’t mind my other cat, Tigger, mainly because he probably knows he doesn’t have his manly-ness lol. Tigger is scared of everything, so we don’t see him too often. All I know is that hes plump and fluffy.

    My fish. I’ve never actually got to really see my fish’s personality, other than he, Pumpkin, loves to eat. He’s a carnival goldfish we’ve had for 3 years now. We’ve bought many fish as “companions” like from Wal-Mart, Pets-Mart, PetCo, etc but they all died on us 🙁

    So, I’d say my animals are half and half — they love us dearly, and they will protect us.

  19. My GSD Ace is both: the biggest softy going with anyone he knows but woe betide anyone who is in any way dodgy. My stafford Hooch is soft as butter with people but will attack other dogs and my border collie Rex will hide if there is any trouble unless I or my wife are threatened whereupon he becomes very aggressive. They are all rescues, and all intact males who get on together with only very occasional scraps when they meet head-on in confined spaces.

  20. I’m not sure what my Siberian Husky “Spiritus” 8 week old pup is?

    I got him when he was a few days shy of 6 weeks old. Siberians usually are easy going, but he is downright agressive and yet totally submissive at times. He fights with dogs 5 times his size…not playfully…but snarling,growling and curling up his upper lip biting type fighting. He lunges at everyone when excited or for no apparent reason. We don’t rough house or tug of war play with him even though that’s the type of play he always wants to do. He calmly spends time out in his crate, takes a nap and then the same senerio starts all over again.

    I wanted a home guard dog to replace the Akita we had, she had to be put to sleep at 15 years old her health conditons were to far advanced to do anything else but let her go. It looks like I might get what I wanted, but not sure in how to go the distance in getting there.

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