Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

Feel like I owe a dog update

We still have the dog.  As much as I kinda wanted to give her back to the shelter that her annoying bitey face came from, the idea made me feel super guilty.  Also, Josie loves the dog, and who's to say that if we get another dog it won't have a whole new set of issues?  People told me two things about puppies: they're a lot of work, and they're trainable.  I feel like that's a positive, workable context there.

We're still calling her Judy.  I tried to rename her... Loony, a hybrid of Judy and Luna, was a popular suggestion we tried to work in for a while.  But it was just too hard to change it in our minds.  And she really did seem to answer to Judy better than anything else.  So she's Judy forever.

Anyway Judy has the following strengths:
1) Has not eaten a guinea pig.  Yup, we've still got all four, and they're still in the open pen.  Sometimes she sniffs them, and they go over and sniff her, and then everyone just goes their separate ways.
2) Stays with us.  Once we accidentally left the gate open and she got out, and we arrived home to find her just sitting in the middle of the driveway.
3) Relatively few housebreaking accidents, especially since Marc has toned down his scolding levels.

Judy has the following opportunities:
1) Needs to bite less.
2) Needs to not take out her frustrations on Josie's toys.
3) Needs to indicate in some way that she's capable of listening to us.

So our seven week training class started.  Our teacher has four dogs and fosters extras, and claims to have encountered every weird puppy trait you can possibly run across.  She gave us some good tips the first night.  The first night was just lecture without the dogs, and the rest of the nights will have other dogs & families, but there are only five families total so I think we'll get a good amount of attention.

I was telling Marc, a lot of the things our trainer said were things I've read online, since I've been combing dog training websites and ASPCA and all that.  But online you get conflicting information.  The nice thing about a trainer is that we can go with one philosophy (hers) and we won't get mixed up on different tracks.  When is "ignoring" a better punishment than "reprimanding"?  How do you make it clear when you're playing and when you're not?  How does a dog understand what specific behavior you're discouraging?  There are just way too many schools of thought along these lines to keep them straight in my head.

Also we had an area improve.  When we first got Judy she would not go ANYWHERE on a leash.  She'd drive her feet into the ground as soon as we got to the gate.  But now with some tips and help from our neighbor, she walks with us.  There's some pulling and an obvious fear of all cars to deal with, but she's walking, and that's encouraging.  Kinda gives me hope, here.
Tags: dog
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded