You can probably guess from his name, Grumpy Gus, that our Gus is rather moody. This comes from his ‘alpha-tism’ as I like to call it.
Gus is a major alpha, which is why he has so many rules (see Christmas post). He does not like to feel vulnerable and while he is making progress in trusting us he still doesn’t fully relax. Keep in mind we’ve only had him about a month.
Well today is the first day I got to pet his belly! Sounds silly probably as most dogs love their belly scratched, but this is also a submissive state, something that Gus never does.
Today we were up in the attic hanging out, we have a futon mattress on the floor up there so we invited him up to sit with us. This, I think, became neutral territory because within 20 minutes or so Gus was flopped over playing with us and letting me rub his belly.
Usually if we sit on the floor with him (anywhere else in the house) he attempts to stand over us and grumble in a dominating way. So we rarely sit on the floor with him, we are working on it but slowly. He is not allowed on furniture and already had these manners when we got him. He actually gets annoyed at us if we call him up on the couch or bed, he paces a bit then walks away, so this is why I thought maybe the attic can be a special neutral place. It’s a room that is always closed unless we are up there, so he isn’t up there alone dominating anything and can only go up if invited.
Hopefully this is the beginning of some serious future love.