Most of us know at least one friendly mutt or pooch in our lives, even if we are not its proud owner. For me, it is more like three or four. Names like Marti, Rocky, Jack and Max come to mind. Every so often, unfortunately, a dog comes into our space that feels ill at ease. Usually, that issue is one of the dog perceiving the human as an immediate threat to its sense of security, and is usually manifested by growls, barking, and veering motions, all of which can be easily eliminated through extensive obedience training. Recently, I have had a series of encounters with one such dog that seems to defy the general norm of canine misbehavior. The dog, Prince, belongs to fellow condo owners and can be found from time to time in the hallways of the building. A former SPCA dog, Prince has found a new home here and is the absolute joy of his new owners with one exception: every time it sees me, it goes into serious attack mode while on leash. As to the cause of this problem, the owners are at a loss. Prince behaves very well when around anyone but myself and, since there is no indication that I have mistreated the dog, the only realistic explanation is that Prince has a pathology dating back to a previous life. Today’s incident is a reminder that dogs don’t easily forget early trauma, especially as the current association involves human contact that comes with a deep voice, dominant size, and accelerated movement. Whatever is bothering this dog is really the property of its owner. While I may choose to be sympathetic with Prince’s owners, because they are really decent people who are deeply concerned that this behavior seems to defy correction, I have to take quick action to remedy the situation. Instead of reporting my fears to the condo council or the bylaw enforcement people, I have decided to work with the owners. I want them to take Prince back to a trainer for additional work on the finer points of obedience, like dealing with stress. I might even get involved myself if asked. If that doesn’t work out and there is a repeat of the previous bad behavior, I want the dog muzzled any time it is in the building proper, including the grounds. Ultimately, the onus falls on the owners to deal with Prince in a timely manner that allows all of us to move forward with confidence that dogs are welcome in this building.