Oh, Happy Day!

More often than not, our little pupsqueak is happy go lucky and loves being around people and receiving attention. I mean look… even her dogtag says so!


“Happy G’Lucky”

Take her on a walk to the park and she’ll be wagging her tail so much that her whole body shakes. (We like to call this her ‘waddle’.) Venture outside so she can do her business, and she’ll be hopping on her hind legs to greet anyone and everyone who is within her line of vision. Squirrel in the bushes? Ohhh you know this dog wants to play! Cat hissing from the 3rd story window? Happy’s thought process = “Hellooooo new furball friend!” In fact, there’s a few neighbor pups within our apartment complex who are all about the same age, and they all just loooove to romp around and go crazy in the grass  (as well as get tangled up in each others’ leashes…but that is story for another day, ha!) Point is… this little pup’s name, Happy, fits her personality to a T.

Most of the time…

Ryan and I have been noticing that whenever we have company over inside our apartment, our little bebe turns into a a big girl d-o-g. A dog with a big ‘ole woof.

Who woulda thought?


Step AWAY from my humans!

(Note: no humans were harmed in the making of this post, this pic was actually taken when Happy was in a very playful mood.)

When we had our friends Gail and Rachel over on Halloween night, Happy didn’t quite know what to make of them. Then again… this may have been due to the fact that they were dressed up as tooth fairies. The frilly costumes and sparkly wands may have thrown her for a loop.


What in the WORLD are these people wearing? And why am I dressed as a football?

Likewise, one of my best friends from Furman stopped by this past weekend and Happy was once again not acting herself. She wasn’t aggressive by any means, but she was definitely… shy? timid? protective of me and Ryan? I guess that’s the best I can describe it. It’s all so interesting to me. When she meets strangers out in public, she is completely fine and not timid at all. But once they enter our apartment, she seems to become pretty territorial.

On the other hand… we’ve hosted out-of-towners for long weekends in our guestroom just fine. No issues at all. Ryan’s mom and stepdad spent a long weekend with us over the Thanksgiving holiday, and a week before that… Ryan’s dad and stepmom stayed with us. Happy did perfectly fine with them beboppin’ around the house. However, now that I think back to it… it did take her a little bit of time to “warm up” to them. After she realized they weren’t a threat, though,  she was all licks, tailwags and waddles.


Ohhhh mom, I just want you to be safe. That’s all. Really.

So my question to y’all who have/have had a dog… is your dog protective of you when you have company over? If so, how did you work to overcome this? Does your dog act differently outside the house than inside? My guess is that Happy is just being territorial… and deep down, she truly does love everyone. She just needs to learn to give everyone a chance and let her guard down when people enter our home.


You don't have to tell me. I already know. I'm just too cute for words...



Filed under family, Happy, Oh, Happy Day!

32 responses to “Oh, Happy Day!

  1. Look how sweet 🙂 I do not have an inside dog so I can’t say for sure but she is probably acting like any daughter/son would. My daughters become very territorial and jealous when they notice my attention is being given to someone else.

  2. Dogs are definitely territorial over their people and their house. It’s perfectly normal for her to take some time to warm up to people…doesn’t it take humans time too?

    We just kind of have new people ignore my dog at first, giving her a chance to go up, sniff them, go hide if she wants to, then come out when things have calmed down and join the crowd. It works perfectly! The more attention she gets when someone first walks in the door, the more she backs off and gets nervous, but if everyone kind of ignores her for a few minutes, she’ll come out on her own time.

  3. I don’t have a dog, but my boyfriend does and he gets very territorial too. He doesn’t like strangers in his home, and he’ll make sure to bark very loudly to try to get his way.

  4. Our pups are so playful and calm when its just my husband and I in the house. But the minute the door bell rings or someone comes in the door to visit, they bark like they are screaming “Get out of my domain”!
    Ripley barks more than Journey. Ripley is so very protective and it takes a while for her to warm up to someone. Journey gets over it and usually warms up pretty quickly.
    But when they do bark, I grab their snouts, squeeze it down shut and say “No Bark”.
    Thought I am not sure they will ever be broke of the barking due to their protectiveness of their owners.
    I’d like some good tips on how to handle this too!

  5. My dog milla is SO territorial. I think it’s a dachshund thing. She even barks at the tv if another animal is on it. I think she thinks they are real.

    I would say that it’s completely normal…just keep inviting people over and let him get used to it and hopefully it will improve.

  6. What an ADORABLE puppy!!!!!! So cute!!!! 🙂

    Enjoy your Sunday 🙂

  7. Thats just like our dog…she likes to act all tough.

  8. Gaahhhh she’s adoooorable. But yes, I have two miniature pinschers that live at my dad’s house, and they DO NOT like company. They don’t get out much, so the only time I really see it is when they’re in the house. They will bark for at least a half hour. And if the person sits down then, heaven forbid, stands up, they start barking like they’ve never seen the person before. But they will eventually warm up to them if they’re there long enough.

  9. What a cute little dog! Happy is definitely just protecting you—and that’s a good quality to have, to protect the ones you love, dog or human!

  10. Basil (our dachshund) does the Full Body Wag too… he is so cute I can’t stand it!

    Basil will bark and growl at delivery men or anyone knocking on the door… and sometimes people coming over that aren’t “regulars” – friends + family that are over a lot. After a while, though, he will calm down and be their best friend.

    Little tough tube… he doesn’t even know he’s small! 🙂

  11. I tend to think that this is more of a problem with small dogs, rather than with large ones.
    My Lilly (an Aussie/Border) LOVES people. She trembles in anticipation of getting to see anyone new (one of our nicknames for her is “Tremble Foot”). She just wants to love up on anyone, in our house, especially. Outside, she is more guarded, but definitely not shy, nor aggressive.
    However, she is good at being a “guard dog” too. She has learned that it is okay to bark at new/strange things outside… the neighbor’s cat, strange noises inside or out, the UPS truck, she even did her warning bark at the snowman in the yard across the street, while sitting inside looking out the window. (She is VERY aware of her surroundings, and instantly notices anything that is different, even if it isn’t moving).

    However, my parent’s dog, Bella – is a barker. She is a small dog, and a mixed mutt of unknown origin. There is definitely some Terrier in her, though!
    Once when dog-sitting her at our house, T had a friend over to watch a football game. Bella barked at him, and even after greeting him, seeing that we were okay with him being in the house, etc. … continued to bark at him off and on for the duration of the game. So annoying!
    She also does NOT like costumes of any kind. You shan’t even dare to put your winter/snow hat on in front of her – without her going berserk. Nevermind Halloween costumes! ha.

    I really think it’s all about the breed… not that you certainly couldn’t train them otherwise. But I do think it’s ingrained in them one way or another.


    • Oh I agree… I’ve heard terriers are just more prone to barking. Happy isn’t really a barker, though. And she isn’t really aggressive… I would just say she’s cautious/timid when new people come over. She definitely warmed up to our friend this past weekend once he gave her some carrots (one of her favorite treats!) And she’s completely fine when we’re out and about with her. My guess is that we’ll be able to work with her so that she’ll be more “welcoming”… I just think it’ll take time!

  12. Aww she is just so precious!

    Oreo loves having people come over, but he just HAS to be in the middle of everything all the time. He just has to have everyone’s affection and love. He tends to get in the way, though, so we’re looking forward to the warmer weather when we can put him in the backyard (don’t worry, it’s fenced in!) while we have friends over. He loves being outside and we love not having to worry about him bugging our friends. 😉

    As for Happy… that really does sound like a territorial thing. Which is sweet, but also not good because when dogs feel like that they are usually pretty stressed out. 😦

    I know that Victoria Stilwell (from It’s Me or the Dog) suggests having friends over more often so Happy can get used to the idea of it being okay to have people over and to have your friends give treats to Happy to teach her that having friends over is a good thing. I know Oreo used to get nervous with new people, but the more we have over, the more he gets used to it. 🙂

    • That’s exactly what we did! We had our friend offer her treats, and after that it seemed like she trusted him more. So I definitely think we’ll be able to overcome this…

      Oreo sounds like such a loving ball of energy! I wanna meet him 🙂

  13. Paula

    What Stacy said. I would recommend having company ignore her when they come in. After a few minutes, give them little doggie treats that they can feed Happy, but let her come to them on her terms and have your friends look away and possibly get down on her level (no looming over her, in other words). If I remember her age correctly, she is in a “fear period” that most puppies go through and she can work through it with gentle socialization right now.

    PS. She is ADORABLE!

  14. Omg, your puppy is too adorable! I need to meet her!

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  16. Bonnie

    Okay, better late than never, right? I have to say that Happy is one of the cutest pooches that I’ve seen 🙂 Too cute for words must be why I’m just now getting to it. Love the cutlines you write for the photos.

  17. She is so cute! I have a lab mix who acts the same way. He is protective at first and then becomes best friends with guests! We got him when he was older so it has been really hard to try to break him of it. Our little dog, Daisy (a chiahuhua mix) is super friendly to anyone no matter what. 🙂

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