About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Devil or Angel?

Well, the dog just got a reprieve, thanks to daughter #2.

Robbie is 3 1/2 years old and really really cute. But when he was around 18 months old, he decided he wanted to be the boss. No way, Jose, I thought and promptly took him for training with a local, well-known and reputable professional.

Six weeks later, we carried on at home with what we'd learned. He was okay - for a while.

Then, last fall he decided again that he was going to be the boss. He started showing aggressive behaviours again, and I started wondering if I should find him a new home.

I was away for almost 2 months, but when I came home I began (again!) to seriously make him aware that I am the Alpha of the family - not him. We go for almost daily walks that are a constant struggle. He lunges at other people and dogs and pulls at the leash for at least half the time we're out. One time I ran into a friend who put her (thankfully gloved) hand down to pat him and he nipped her! I was horrified! and extremely humiliated!

He barks when we leave, he barks when people walk past the house, he barks when people come to the door. He never stops until they go away.

Last night, I sat down to watch TV and Robbie hopped up on the couch without being invited. I said, "Down." He sat there. I said, "Down!" again. He just sat there. After repeating it again and again, he begrudgingly got down so I could put the blanket on the couch. Then I said, "Okay," and he hopped up.
I went to stroke his back when it happened. He turned and put his face in mine and bared his teeth, growling loudly! I had to turn my face aside, but managed to keep my cool as I stated (hopefully sounding matter-of-fact) "Get down." I repeated it several times before he finally did get down, growling all the while.

That's it, I thought. Tomorrow will be his last meal. However, as stated above, Daughter #2 felt it was inhumane and we need to try harder with him.

After a visit to the vet to clear him of any physical ailments and to discuss possible alternatives, we have decided to contact the trainer we had before to see if she can help.

In the meantime, he is not allowed up on any furniture and will get fed when we decide it's time. If he doesn't eat within 1/2 hour, his food is removed and he gets no more until the next feeding time. He doesn't get anymore treats, either.

If we can manage to control his desire to be "alpha," I will then attempt (with trainer's help) to find him a new home. Otherwise, no matter how cute he is, he's toast.


Josie said...

Leslie, he's a very cute little dog, but I think he thinks he's the boss. He's a bit spoiled. He needs to know he's a dog. He definitely needs another chance. See what the trainer can do with him. Robbie's problem is that he's too smart, and he knows he's cute.


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Josie said...

Leslie, I have been meaning to ask you, how is your hand where the "little nipper" nipped you? My burn has turned into an awful scar.


leslie said...

Ah...the "little" nip! 'Tis better and don't need a bandaid at all but it's still a bit sore underneath.

I can't believe the difference in Robbie just since yesterday. We make him wait to go out, come in, follow me up and down the stairs, for his meals, etc. and no up on ANY furniture. He's so much more docile and obedient. I guess I just can't ever relax the "rules" with him - ever. Now if I can just get him to go in the car without barking at everyone he sees...sigh.

Josie said...

He's a very smart little dog. I think you can train him well, to do anything. And then you can really enjoy him.


leslie said...

Well, today was a better day. He's obeying quite well but we still have a ways to go. I think he's a bit confused but so far he's going along with the "rules." Little does he know, though, that one "slip" and he's outta here.

HeiressChild said...

i know that's right leslie. you have to show 'em who's boss, otherwise next he'll be running YOU out of the house, and maybe with his leash. *lol* no, i was just joking about the leash part. *lol* robbie is very cute, but you do have to let him know you're the boss. no different than with a child trying to take over. gotta get firm. grrrrrrrr! *lol*

leslie said...

Yeah, Sylvia - tough love. He's getting better ... or maybe it's US that's getting better.

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