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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bear Sent to Boot Camp

Bear is the ninth dog in my life ... before him I loved Gypsy, Jake, Jock, Sam, Duke, Kelly, Sabrina, and finally the BEST DOG EVER .... ROSIE; three mutts, three Great Danes, an Irish Setter and a Bouvier, five males and three females; I trained them myself with no problem. They may not have been perfect in every way, but they were reasonable, polite dogs who respected me. Well, I am flabbergasted to report, I could not train Bear. I guess he had such problems when I got him that he was beyond my simple methods.

Apparently this angelic, seemingly timid little dude was hiding a DEMON DOG under that sweet face! The more comfortable he became at our house, the worse his behavior became. He started tearing our grass out by the roots, chewing the carpet, our clothing, hands, feet (the shoes were on the agenda, but I never let it get to that point). He cried in that piercing puppy whine when I confined him, and cried and scratched at the door when I left him out in the back yard alone. He jumped onto our bed repeatedly, so that we had to shove him off bodily. I offered him treats to train him to sit, lie down, and stay, and he was obedient off and on. Yesterday he began lunging at the hand with the treat in it, engulfing my hand in a sharp-toothed mouth. Gordon played with him last night and he started barking at Gordon! Not a playful bark, an aggressive bark!

I am accustomed to a dog mouthing my hand, and I have always trained my dogs to be gentle, by yelping when their mouths gripped too firmly. They always responded by being gentler, but not Bear. He actually took my wrist in his mouth and clamped down.

The upshot is, we had him taken away to a boarding training facility. He is supposed to return a changed dog, without cruel treatment or fear-based methods. CROSS YOUR FINGERS! He should be back next Monday.

Last night I slept the entire night without being interrupted by a dog trying to bite the sheets, jump onto the bed, or paw me, for the first time since we got him. It was heavenly quiet. When he gets back, we have to learn the correction method, which utilizes the choke collar. I know the basics of that method, but this place claims they can train the dog to lie down unattended in the yard with other dogs playing around him for HOURS. We shall see!


Osprey said...

Is he back yet? What's the verdict?

Enjah said...

======================:-( )