Sunday, December 15, 2013
The battle of the wills continues
This is one tired puppy.
It's 6:30 on Sunday night and we both have finally had a chance to sit down and relax before dinner.
Blue finished up his first set of classes and will graduate next week. I've had him for two months and the difference is night and day.
As we work together, new things come up. This is always welcomed and sometimes a surprise. Today the surprise was him starting to jump up on me.
Now some may think that it's cute and friendly, but it's not. Yes, he's being sweet but he is also showing me I don't have him under control 100%.
What triggered it? Most likely the new puppy in class who would cry and carry on every time she was corrected. You would have thought she was being beaten at times. She was never hurt but learned that if she cries, the humans will stop and pick her up.
They will give her sympathy and she learns how to continue her bad behavior.
Blue got nervous when he heard it. He wanted to go over and help her. That is his nature.
Each time he tried, I stopped him and made him sit. I had to constantly correct him. He wasn't being his usual calm self in class today.
At one point in class, the trainer took Blue and walked him away from me. He kept turning his head around to look at me. She would correct him and continue. She had him sit and then had me walk up to him.
He jumped up on me and I immediately walked right into him and kept doing it until he sat down.
Never push a dog back. Never back away. Walk forward and claim your space. You make THEM move out of your way.
After class, I brought him home and spent 1/2 training him like she showed me today. Afterwards, the weather had turned perfect, so I grabbed his leash and out the door we went.
I went to the park and saw two women walking their smaller dogs. I walked towards them and when they saw us, they smiled and waved. Blue met them and their dogs. Both of them love the bully breeds and have done quite a bit of work with them. Both of their dogs were rescues.
Blue did well with his greetings and they knew enough to know what to do. When Blue tried to play, they snapped back at him. I gently pulled him away, stood in front of him and made him sit and look at me.
They understood exactly what I was doing.
I didn't have to deal with "Oh, he's so cute! He's just being friendly!"
Or "He's so sweet! Look how much he likes me! He jumped up on me! What a sweet boy!"
No, Blue was being an asshole and he and I both knew it. Yes, he gets over-excited when he sees other dogs and that's exactly what I want.
I want as many opportunities as possible to teach him. I kept correcting him, over and over, until he finally got it through his blockhead that I will NEVER stop. Ever.
We walked a little further and came across a couple with a beautiful pit bull who is also a rescue. Her name was Molly and Molly does not like other dogs.She snarled and barked at us. I just stood there and made Blue sit while I waved at them. They waved back and came closer. We talked for quite a bit and I gave them the name and phone number of Blue's trainer.
Blue was better behaved with them, but I still had to stay on him to sit.
They were also familiar with the problem humans give us when working with a dog. They knew to never approach a dog directly and appreciated it that I kept my distance and didn't worry about Molly.
Back home, I continued a bit more training with him until he crawled into his crate and fell asleep.
I am putting him in more situations so he will learn.
What is he learning?
Only one thing.
I'm in-charge and he doesn't get to make one decision.
It is in his nature to challenge me, every step of the way. He's at the most difficult age and when he gets through this and understands everything is OK, that is when he will relax and submit.
Friends and family know me well enough to know I will talk to them when I can. I will go see them later or not at all. They support me in what I am doing and are all cheering for us.
I had planned on doing something completely different today, but an opportunity came up to help Blue, so I grabbed it.
Only a dog lover can understand it.
And those that don't, I don't need to hear from them.
So tonight we are done and those things that didn't get done today can wait for another day. My friend is happy, fed, secure, warm and relaxed.
And so the battle of the wills continue.