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Having been in a situation similar to yours, I have to agree that the second explanation just makes more sense. When I was a teenager, I had a golden retriever who adored me. I was a paper girl at the time and used to take my dog with me every day. My mother thought my dog was slowing me down too much and asked me to start leaving her at home. A week or so later, I was walking on my route by myself, not really paying much attention to my surroundings when I was surprised by one of my customer's dogs charging out of their garage straight towards me. My customers had rescued this dog from an abusive situation and she could be rather unpredictable. I tried calming her down and backing away but she kept running and never slowed. Suddenly a large blur of golden fur knocked into the side of the charging dog and the next thing I knew, my never-aggressive-to-anything Abigail had the angry dog pinned on her back. She stood over the dog, growling at her until the owners came running out to collect their dog and make sure I was unharmed. That was the first and only time my golden ever so much as growled. She clearly could not have been conditioned to act in such an aggressive manner. She simply saw that her person was in danger and jumped into the fray to defend me. The only reason I can think of for her behavior is the love between us. I had no idea she'd even been anywhere in the area but after talking with several customers about it I found out that ever since I'd started leaving my dog at home, she'd been sneaking along behind me on the route to simply be with me and thank God she did!
Toggle Commented Mar 3, 2011 on Dog Love at Dog Behavior Blog
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Mar 3, 2011