Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dog Frustrations

I really need to ask a dog trainer about this…I’m hoping to get them to peek at this post. My dog Lilly is 10 years old this September. We’ve had her since she was 4 months old. I did put her into doggy obedience training when she was 6 months old and she really took to it well… we worked so well together that our teacher suggested that I put Lilly into agility classes. Lilly is a very smart dog and learns quickly. However, I had other things to deal with…like my daughter and life! One thing that we never really solved with Lilly’s obedience training was her pulling on a leash and her leash aggression. She was fine in the classroom with the other dogs, but outside of class she is a terror. I’ve read on numerous dog training websites that Lilly displays this behavior because she wants to be the alpha and is trying to dominate me. However, I don’t believe it. From the behaviors I am seeing in Lilly I truly believe that she is SCARED when she is on a leash. One sure fire way to get Lilly to poop is to put her on a leash! Now to admit my fault in this… Lilly is not exposed to other dogs…at all. She gets to bark at them through the fence, but that’s it. I don’t walk Lilly because she pulls like crazy on the leash…hurting me and herself. Things I’ve noticed… Lilly is scared of other dogs…especially of dogs larger than herself. With dogs smaller than herself she is okay, but she mostly ignores them. Lilly is scared of the leash…I’m sure the pain she feels from choking herself and that head halter forcing her mouth closed don’t help. Lilly is scared of car rides…she mostly goes to the v.e.t. and the groomer when she rides in the car…so she hates them all. Of course it totally doesn’t help that when we took Lilly for a walk the other day she was “attacked” by our neighbor’s dog who was off leash. (the neighbor’s dog just wanted to play with Lilly…but she doesn’t understand this.) I really think that we are most likely just doomed to dealing with this by avoidance for the rest of Lilly’s life. I mean we could spend the money on a dog trainer and get her over it for a while, but we don’t really have the time to continually keep up with whatever the trainer offers us. After writing this I did a bit of googling and did look at some Cesar's stuff... but it is so hard to read through other problems when they don't really apply to you. And there are so many differing opinions on how to train your dog. Like I mentioned above, most think pulling is a dominance problem and I don't agree. Cesar seems to think it would all work out if I did a better job of showing Lilly who the alpha is. (dominance again?) But I know she knows I'm the boss. I also know that it is very hard for me to not be nervous when we walk because I know that she'll freak out if we see hear or smell another animal. oye

1 comment:

  1. A timely post, Renee! I think it is interesting how the "experts" seem to know so much. I have to wonder how they come to know it. Most of them say a cat rubs on you because it is marking you with it's scent. Sorry. I think they rub on you to greet you and they are expecting a response!

    I agree with your assessment of researching this stuff. I couldn't believe how much criticism there is out there about Cesar, but it's hard to know if it's warranted. There is such a thing as genuine cruelty, but on the other hand, nature isn't always what we would call kind in her lessons. Kris is learning to watch out for goat feet because he's been stepped on, ouch!