Seeking hope

I know some of you have dogs - can you tell me if this will get better? I need reassurance. Right now, Hero is pretty much misery. He can't follow any commands (which I know says more about his training, or lack thereof). He steals all of our stuff. He's a nightmare to walk - my hands are all scraped up from holding onto his leash while he pulls and tugs. We've got him gated from the upstairs and downstairs of the house, but even so he can't just hang out in the main level without causing problems. He has like 900 toys, but he insists on taking stuff that isn't his and eating it. This is not really how I pictured having a puppy to be. Unless he's in his pen, I can't ever not be engaging him, or he'll misbehave. And I can't play fetch for 8 hours a day while Hubs is at work. I have my own stuff to do. I just need to know: will it ever be fun?

I looked into a guy who'd come and train Hero at our house twice, for 2.5 hours each time. He's insanely expensive though. Like, ridiculous. And we don't want to spend the money. But sometimes I daydream about this Dog Lord, knocking on our front door and swiftly and competently righting things.



mommy2twinkies-Deb said...

OH! I'm so sorry! I've never had a dog, so I have no idea... But at least he's not peeing all over your house like our siamese did! Silver linings??? :-)

11:43 AM
Anonymous said...

Oh sweetie, yes, yes, yes, I promise it will get better. How old is Hero? I know you've mentioned it, but I forget. What about looking into obedience classes at PetCo or PetSmart? I've heard great things about both places. I so wish we would have taken our dogs to obedience school as puppies because now the oldest one is SOOOOOOOOOOOO stubborn (but lazy and peaceful) and the youngest one is scared of everything and doesn't exactly listen. But they got through the chewing-on-everything puppy phase, and their energy level has definitely dropped, even in the last 6-12 months. You might also try crating him for a few hours a day so you can get some work done. We got each dog a massive crate at PetSmart (or Walmart has them too) and that is where our dogs stay while we're at work. They actually like being in them and they sometimes will go down and nap in their crates if we're home, just because it's their little "area". The crates are like $50-$100 depending on the size of it, and I promise you're not being "mean" by putting Hero in there for 3-4 hours at a time, he will grow to like it more and more and since it's "his" space, he can't destroy anything. You can email me if you need any other suggestions, it will get better I promise.

11:55 AM
Anonymous said...

I don't have a dog (hub is allergic) but I grew up in a house full of dogs. My mother took them to obedience class religiously every week and then did 'homework' with them the rest of the time. They got used to her being the boss (and the rest of us sometimes too) and turned out to be lovable well behaved dogs.

Yes, it's possible. But I don't think an expensive Dog Lord is the answer.

12:05 PM
Streakin Iron said...

Rule Number 1:

If you say no, you must mean it, and you must discipline the dog. Keep a rolled up newspaper or magazine handy and spank him with it when he does something he's not supposed to do.

Rule Number 2:

If you want to pet him, fine, but he must first "Sit" to be petted. So teach him how to sit. Push his butt to the ground and say, Sit. When he sits, rub him. If he gets up and wants to be petted or pushy, make him sit again and rub him.

I've had several dogs- all of which could do tricks. The key is to be consistent, and mean something when you say it. I never used an obedience school. You might find a local 4-H club that has someone in the dog program (read a kiddo that's training/showing dogs) that will help you.

Or you could just hollar at me with questions.

12:14 PM
HeatherPride said...

Hang in there girl!! It gets better!! I swear. I can't even count the number of Victoria's Secret panties my dog chewed up before he finally decided tennis balls were a better option! (note he never went for the cheap stuff!)

Good luck!

3:37 PM
DeeMarie said...

I don't have a dog, and my baby, Tiffany, was well-behaved from Day 1. Well, probably not, but I was only 8 at the time and can't remember her not being cute and a good listener (except for the time she drug home a deer hide, but still)... hang in there. It may take some time but I'm sure you'll have a devoted doggy who can entertain himself soon!

3:40 PM
Bob said...

Reward good behavior, ignore bad behavior by turning your head when he looks at your for attention. This is a normal animal response (getting shunned is shameful). Get a book (online or library) to find out how to teach Hero, so he learns what it takes to become a law-abiding member of the family.

12:09 AM
Anonymous said...

It WILL get better, hang in there!
Often they do things to get more attention. Give him a command, make him do it, give him a treat, repeat, repeat, repeat...
Hang in there :)

12:40 AM
P. said...

Bob is exactly right in this. IGNORE bad behavior but reward good behavior. We rescued my black lab Sierra when she was 4 and totally untrained. We used her own food in a little separate baggy as her "treats" so she wouldn't get any extra calories and rewarded her when she did good things. Lying down by herself... treat. Not barking when someone walks by... treat. I wish we did this with Tippy- maybe he wouldn't have barked/ ran away so often back then. :)

8:49 AM
Bob said...

WOW!!! what a new look you have here!! You've been busy. oh, I emailed you about the painting I did of Charlotte, NC.

11:03 PM
Swishy said...

OK, I know nothing about dog training but ... cute new layout!!! I have no idea how to do ANY of that stuff. I have been saying forever I am going to redesign my blog but I don't know where to start.

11:17 PM
DeeMarie said...

Love your new layout!!!

11:03 AM
Kelli said...

Awesome new look! It's so retro and I Love Lucy. :) I hope Hero didn't drive you to drink over the weekend. New pets are a challenge but worth it. Hang in there.

11:12 AM
Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

It will get better. You might try some training classes with him...they would probably be cheaper than the trainer coming to your house, and it would probably be good for him to get some play time with other dogs. Do you watch the dog whisperer? My mom swears by him, she says she's learned a lot by watching his show.

7:15 PM