MemberAugust 1, 2011 at 1:45 am27
Mike… Thanks again for your time, I really appreciate it.
My initial goals for this dog were (1) to save him from the existence that he was enduring, (2) get him healthy (has recovered from anaplasmosis, has been vaccinated, teeth cleaned and received a clean bill of health), (3) provide him with the basics – food, shelter, water and a safe environment, (4) love him unconditionally and do everything in my power to provide him with an opportunity to flourish and become the great companion that I believe in my heart, he can be.
I want him to be confident, reliable and well behaved. I want to be able to trust him with me, other people and all of his pack members. I should mention that we live in a rural setting and outside we have doves, chickens, a big duck, a rabbit, pigeons, two turtles (with acrylic shells-automobile casualties) a red eared slider (water turtle-also automobile casualty) and several wild birds that feed and water here each day, including a one legged Road Runner. We also have a flock of exotic (special needs) birds indoors. It’s literally a place for those that have no other place or are wanted by no one else, that’s why they wind up here or are brought here. I mention this because I find it fascinating that he pays no mind to all the animals that I have just mentioned, especially after I see him rip into a fuzzy lime green toy on the end of a rope like he does or maim a squeaky toy to death!
In a perfect world, I would like to rehabilitate him and extinguish all of the unacceptable behaviors, but I know this may not be possible. I remain hopeful, however. And, if it is not possible, then I will have to accept it and rehab what I can and manage the rest, in a manner that prevents harm to me, to him, other people and all members of his pack. I am completely unwilling to say that it is too much work, but I can honestly say that I may not possess all the wisdom and knowledge necessary to achieve the goals at this moment, but if they are obtainable, I hope that I can find them. For him, I hope that I can be successful in this endeavor, as with his present behavioral issues, his future would be questionable at best if he were not here with our family. Re-homing him or euthanizing him is NOT an option!
I am interested in resolving all of his aggressive/guarding issues, if at all possible. No matter how much work, no matter how long. I would like to see him fully trained in obedience at least through phase 2, but I’m uncertain about the use of the collar implemented in phase 3; thus, I would have to give that additional thought. If he cannot be trained to down because of his fears, then that will be okay as well and as you mentioned may be doable in the future. I’m not looking for perfection, I just want him as happy and well behaved as he is capable of being, so that I do not have to worry about anyone or anything being hurt. And before I forget, yes… if he was more well rounded, secure, knew all the doggie rules and was trustworthy (do not want any harm to come to any living thing!) that would certainly make life easier! 🙂
Again, I am really grateful for your willingness to offer assistance (and Teresa too). There are a vast amount of opinions from trainers in our area, which can certainly get you confused in a hurry. Right now, I am just going with my gut instincts and often find myself flying by the seat of my pants! I can say he has made leaps and bounds since his arrival. Wasn’t sure that he would ever be able to eat in the presence of others or without a leash around his neck, but he now he does! I can hardly believe my eyes sometimes when I give him the sit/stay out in the yard and walk 50-60 feet away and he never breaks the command until I release him. And to think, he has accomplished all of this even though I have not had a leash on him since the 2nd week (except for trips outside the home), just lots of patience, making my expectations clear to him and practicing through repetition and lots of praise. In closing, I want to give most of the credit to him for giving his best and working hard to understand what I am trying to convey to him and doing his best to get it right! He is after all a VERY GOOD BOY!
Kindest personal regards and thanks a million!