Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Update on the Doggles

After posting on various sites that we needed to find a home for Juneau, we got a couple of responses.  We looked into them, but we decided they wouldn't be ideal situations for various reasons (no doggy door access, person gone all day, other dogs would be around, etc).  I started to feel hopeless, like we'd never find the perfect home for her, and we'd either have to suffer through always keeping our dogs separate, or turning her over to a shelter.  Neither one of those seemed like viable options, so we went back to the drawing board.  Previously we had sent Juneau to K-9 University and had been very happy with the results.  She came back much more receptive to discipline, less anxious, and less aggressive.  She had learned how to sit, stay, lay down, heel, and was much better at ignoring other dogs when we took her out on walks.  In the past if she had gotten on the bed or couch and I wanted her to move, she would ignore my verbal commands, and snap or growl at me if I tried to physically move her.  Now, she listens when we tell her to get down, and she wants to please us.

Her relationship with our other female dog, Casey, has always been a little strained, but things were copacetic after she got back from training.  Nothing changed on Casey's end, but I think Juneau had gotten a little better at ignoring her.  Unfortunately she got to a breaking point last month, and that's why a fight occurred.  We felt like we had to remove Juneau from our home, but after further thought, we realized that Casey needed help too.  She was always the one instigating fights with Juneau and trying to get under her skin.  We could tell that she felt like she was in charge of Juneau, and would attempt to control and/or reprimand her actions.  We figured part of that was because she wasn't fixed, and Juneau was another female, and part was related to her lack of training/discipline.  So, we bit the bullet and sent Casey off to K-9 University last week.  We knew they had worked wonders with Juneau, and we are hoping for the same results with Casey.  It's not cheap to have your dog boarded/trained for 2 weeks, but it'll be worth it if it works.  The trainers at K-9 are awesome, and they even allowed us to send Juneau up there to get her training refreshed, and to keep her near Casey in a safer environment.  I checked in on the doggles yesterday, and they told me there has already been an improvement in their relationship.  Casey is starting to pick up the training commands, and they've worked them around each other with no fighting.  I really, really hope they finish the program with a different outlook, and can put the past behind them.  This is our last ditch effort to keep all of our dogs, and I don't know what I'll do if it doesn't work.  The big test starts next week when we pick them up and have three dogs under the same roof again.

On a lighter note, it's been funny to see how our male, Riley, acts differently when he's the only one in the house.  Normally during feeding time, he scarfs down his bowl as if it's a race.  Sometimes he'll go so fast that he can't catch his breath, and yet he continues to eat.  If we give rawhides to all the dogs, he'll run in the other room and try to eat his as soon as possible, and then usually ends up going over to Casey to steal hers too.  Now that he's solo, he calmly eats his dinner and takes his time.  When I give him a rawhide, he takes it into the backyard and buries it for later consumption.  It's hilarious.  So much of his previous behavior was influenced by the other dogs being around, and now he's pretty care-free!  Sorry, bubba, those other doggles are coming back soon, so you better start digging up those rawhides and eating them!                 

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