Monday, June 18, 2007

Must Love Dogs

I would like to preface this post by saying that I LOVE dogs. I love them. I have two dogs in my home now. There have only been maybe two periods in my life when I didn't have a dog. When I was a kid, and we would go camping, I would canvas the entire campground and scope out which campsites had dogs, and I would visit them every day that we were there. (I'm sure their owners were thrilled). I am a total dog person.
So please keep this in mind when you read the following, okay?

This is Jack. He is my new BFF(Best Friend Forever). He looooooooves me. I mean, like, serious love. He thinks I am the greatest. He lives in the home of the child I am caring for. Jack is two years old. He is still a baby, mentally. Physically though, he is a sixty pound grown up. Jack is a pain in my A**. Literally. Jack wants my attention at all times. If I won't give it to him, he jumps on me, sits on me while I am on the couch, grabs my arm with his mouth, drools all over me, and basically just makes my life He**. One of his favorite games is to take something off of the counter that doesn't belong to him(toys, books, shoes, dishes, my camera, etc.), and bring it right up to me. The minute I try to take it away, he dashes around the room madly, with said item in his mouth. If I can't get it from him, he sits down and starts to chew on it. Within minutes the item is destroyed. Sometimes it takes me fifteen minutes of running around the couch before I am able to get him to drop it. He thinks this is great fun. I, however, do not. This will happen six to ten times a day! Yes, I do try to put everything out of his reach, but he is tall when he stands on his hind legs! He also refuses to go outside when it is time for us to leave the house. I will go outside and he will follow me, but when I try to get to the sliding glass door to close it, he dashes back inside before I can get to it. This can also go on for fifteen minutes before I am able to get to the door fast enough to get inside and close him out. Again, he thinks this is great! I don't. It is exhausting. When I started this job they told me that had a dog, and he was "very spoiled". I had no idea this meant untrained and highly obnoxious! Like I said before, I never met a dog I didn't like, but this dog is giving me a run for my money. He needs more watching over than the seven year old. Seriously. Anyone have any dog training tips? They tell me he will "calm down" after he gets used to me. I sure hope they are right, because if not it is going to be a long summer.


Gracencameronsmomy said...

OOHHH, but he's so cute!!

redmaryjanes said...

We have a black lab named Cooper. He's a great dog.

M3 said...

He is a cutie, heehee! It sounds like he's behaving a little like a 20-month-old toddler, to tell you the truth. Ours are getting so tall that we've lost all of our "safe zones" on the top of the counters. No object is safe... ;-)

Joannah said...


You can try some simple things my dog trainer taught me when Buffy was making me insane.

1) You're going to need some small treats or kibble

2) To teach him to calm down, hold some kibble in your closed hands. Hold your hands to your chest and look up. Wait him out. He has to lay down before you reward him with a treat. Even the kid you're babysitting can help you train him with this one. The first time it may take 15-20 minutes to get the desired response, but he should catch on after you reward him the first time. Practice daily. He will learn that he gets what he wants when he is calm and seated or in the down position.

3) When he has something he should not have, he needs to learn to respond to the 'leave it' command. Say this in a calm, firm voice. Reward him with a treat when he drops the item.

4) When he is harassing you. Get up and walk away. Do not talk, touch, or look at him until he sits or gets down.

5) Use your hand in a claw-like position to correct him. Touch his shoulder as a correction. This will not hurt him at all, but it will mimic the correction his mother would have given him.

6) Watch The Dog Whisperer or pick up Cesar Milan's book. His techniques really work. He understands the mind of the dog. You must become calm-assertive, and he must be calm-submissive in order for their to be balance in his life. You are the pack leader. His family needs to learn all this stuff, too. I don't understand why anyone would want to live with a dog that is out of control...

Good luck!!! Keep us posted.