Our dog Miguel is a shepherd/herding dog mix that we rescued in 2006 while we were in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.
Like most dogs, he has a few quirks and odd habits. I’m sure some of them can be attributed to the fact that he lived on the street for the first several months of his life, but I have no idea about the origins of the others. Here are some of his most endearing/annoying ones:
1. He’s an ambivalent eater – I know lots of dogs are picky eaters, but Miguel is a former stray dog that was skin and bones when we found him, so you’d think he would scarf down anything we put in front of him. Nope. Sometimes he’ll go a couple of days without eating anything, including his favorite treats – cheese and butter. We’ve taken him to the vet to see if he had any physical problems, but they didn’t find anything wrong. Eating just isn’t a priority for him.
2. He takes MONTHS to finish bones. My sister gave him a bone for a holiday present when she visited in December and he didn’t finish it until the end of March. Again, odd behavior for a former street dog.
3. Using treats to tease us. When he first gets a larger treat like a bone he’ll drop it in front of me and DARE me to take it. If I try to grab he’ll pick it up and race around the house until he finds my wife and do the same thing to her. He’ll go back and forth between us a few times before he’ll sit down and eat it.
4. Used food to tease our Lab. He loved to use his food to tease our Chocolate Lab Dylan when he was alive. Like most Labs, Dylan was fanatical about food and would gobble down anything we put in front of him in seconds and then lick every inch of his bowl to ensure he got every last morsel. He would also lick Miguel’s bowl when he finished.
Knowing Dylan was waiting to lick his bowl, Miguel would wait until Dylan finished his food before he would start eating as sloooooowly as possibly while Dylan had to wait, watch, and drool until he was finished. And sometimes he would walk away from his bowl and pretend to be finished, but when Dylan would start to approach it, Miguel would rush back and growl at him to get away from his food.
5. He hates feet. Miguel does not like human feet. If we are all sitting in the same room and my wife or I move our feet he will emit a deep, low growl until we stop. And although he loves to hang out under our dining room table he won’t do it when we eat because our feet are under the table.
I think we know the origin of this behavior. Almost immediately after we brought him home from Mexico he had to have surgery to fix a hernia. The vet said he probably got it when someone kicked him, and I imagine when he lived on the street more than one person tried to kick him to get him away from their door.
6. He barks at his food dish. We have to take off Miguel’s collar when he eats because if his tags clank against his metal food dish he’ll start barking at it.
7. He won’t walk over bridges. Apparently Miguel doesn’t trust modern engineering because he doesn’t believe bridges over water are structurally sound enough to hold him up.
8. He supervises everything we do. We call Miguel “the Supervisor” because no matter what we do around the house he HAS to be close by and monitor our work.
9. He herds us into the same room. Miguel doesn’t like us to be in different places, so he will try to herd us into the same room, usually by sitting and staring at one of us until we go into the room where the other person is.
10. He head butts us or our furniture to get petted. When he’s ready for some petting, he will push his head into our leg or against whatever we happen to be sitting in and refuse to move until we start petting him. And if we stop too soon, he will stand motionless in that position until we start up again.
What are your dog’s quirky habits?