Holdin' out for a Hero

The trainer came this morning. She's very impressed with the progress Hero made in just the last week and is very optimistic now about his future. I hadn't mentioned it before, because it was too scary and sad, but she'd actually told us that he might need to be put down after her initial visit - she worried that his personality combined with his biting could be too problematic. But today she said she'd have him back playing with the kids next door soon! She said what she saw during this visit was very encouraging. (We did a lot in the last week to keep his anxiety at bay and set up behavioral boundaries in our home.)

She's a great trainer (she trained our vet's dog, so she's legit - the best in the area) - she was here for an hour and already he's learned a lot. She taught us some good, fast, practical ways to instill in him that calm, controlled, gentle behavior on his part yield positive results (treats, affection, etc.).

So YAY for Hero! Keep up the good work, little guy! On Monday we report back to her about our weekend implementing today's new training, and next weekend we start him in an eight-week class. Followed by one more home visit and then a second eight-week class. I think we can really rehabilitate him! I'm so glad we decided to try. He's worth all the time, money, and energy.



Michelle said...

We had a naughty male dog who was a serious biter. I took him in and had him neutered. He has never bitten again. Maybe it would help Hero.
Thanks for getting that song stuck in my head BTW!!

12:51 PM
Cat said...

That is great news! I'm so happy that you've found an alternative to the worst-case scenario

word verification is jam pie, and now I'm hungry

1:37 PM
DeeMarie said...

He just doesn't look like a mean dog. He looks like he needs nuzzled. Which makes me think he'll make it!! Yay, Hero. Yay, EC!!! :)
And I'm singing it too!

2:33 PM
Mommy2Twinkies-Deb said...

That's awesome. He's just tooooo cute. You must be so happy about the progress. Keep up the hard work. BTW-any progress on the job front?

7:47 PM
momofonefornow said...

If he were any cuter it would be a crime! He is like one of those big fuzzy stuffed puppy dogs that you just want to squeeze on.

7:49 PM
Melissa said...

I'm so glad she's so encouraged by his improvements...what a relief! I love that little face of his!
Have you ever heard of a "fish-eye" camera? They are inexpensive film camera, and the lens is a dome, if you will. I think Hero has THE perfect face for a fish-eye shot!

12:43 AM
Heinous said...

A little tough love and encouragemetn goes a long way. Congrats!

12:30 PM
Christine Slay said...

YEA!! Go little guy!

1:08 PM
Bob said...

We've been having some problems with Moxie chewing things (mostly Jen's undies and shoes) plus he keeps sneaking about and pooping in secret places. NOT GOOD! Now we are considering a trainer to show us how to keep him, otherwise, he's off to some other home. Good luck with Hero and keep us posted on the progress.

1:28 PM
Casey said...

Oh that's great news! Our dog caught a squirrel AND a snake this morning, the week is not starting out right.

9:57 AM
HeatherPride said...

You guys are really hanging in there for little Hero, and I'm proud of you! It's not easy when they seem so ungrateful. Good for you for giving it your best shot!

12:27 PM
~Jennifer~ said...

Yay for Hero!

2:06 PM
bernthis said...

It's very hard to imagine that that adorable little dog could/would do anything but lick you to death. I'm so glad things are looking up.

6:00 PM
Swishy said...

He is just too cute! I'm glad things are going better.

9:19 PM
Anonymous said...

He is too cute to put down, and he seems to be responding well so maybe everything will work out fine.

We have a super sweet Westie who was great with our son, until he started crawling. Then she got pissed and would growl and snap at him agressively - scaring the shit out of me. I figured she had never seen a human crawl before so I spent a week keeping them apart and crawling around the house full time growling and snapping at her. I even bit her once just so she would know better.

Moral of the story - most trainers told me that our dog was not going to be good with kids and to find her a new home. And she now sleeps with our 2 year old each night and never leaves his side (unless there is food involved).

12:47 AM
Bina said...

I'm so happy for you, and for Hero!
I had to have two dogs put down for biting. They were both Dalmations. The first one was the BEST dog, a lap dog, and loved kids. After she had puppies she started biting anyone who wasn't in the family. After the third time, we were told by a trainer who trains K-9 dogs that there was nothing they could do. We kept a male puppy, had him trained by the K-9 trainer, and my God the things that dog could do, but once he hit about 2, he started biting and we had to put him down as well. I cried my freaking eyes out.

10:12 AM
Cat said...

Thinking about you.

1:12 PM
Kelli said...

I hope everything is okay with you. I have missed your posts. Take care.


8:55 PM