The Other Side of Shio

J and I rarely discuss any serious behavioral issues that we have with Shio on this blog because there haven't been any... until recently. We've always noticed that Shio has some aggression towards his "high-value" treats. This category includes Merrick Flossies and fresh marrow bones. The aggression can be as simple as him growling at dogs that try to take his treats away to getting angry with us for taking it away. We've managed to desensitize him from getting angry with us when we take his treats away and we've tested him when other people take his treats away. So far, so good. Until two weeks ago.

One night, we gave Shio a marrow bone as a treat and he was happily gnawing it all night. We stopped him at 10pm to take him out for his usual "last potty before the day is over" run. We saw the other Shiba that lives in our building and he's the same age as Shio (they were both born in the same month). Even though many dogs don't get along well with this other dog, I've always been happy to see them because Shio gets along so well with this other Shiba. But that night, Shio snapped and started baring his teeth and lunging at the other Shiba whenever we came near him in the lobby. I was very upset and couldn't figure out why. The owner said that it happens frequently because his Shiba has not been neutered and I had to accept that explanation since there was no other apparent reason. Shio went back upstairs and finished his bone and went to bed. This was two weeks ago.

Tonight, I saw the other Shiba while on our walk around the neighborhood and cautiously approached the Shiba and his owner. They winded up playing for 5 minutes outside and behaved nicely. I was shocked and so happy!

My guess is that he was trying to protect his unfinished marrow bone that was upstairs while he was downstairs for his last potty run. I'm surprised that he would be so protective when I don't associate the rest of the apartment building as our home, but my friend said that Shio does so he was protecting his bone. It's possible I guess. Definitely something that we have to closely monitor whenever we give him a marrow bone.