So as I mentioned in my last post, I started training with Max, AND we got a puppy.
Training with Max has been fun and challenging. Its clear that he can do it, but he's stubborn and he has a lot of bad habits. I find that its more about training ME, and how to handle him. How to let him know that I am in charge. I am taking private lessons and I feel I am benefiting from it- as well as Max benefitting from me knowing how to communicate with him.
I cried for half of the first lesson. I really have a lot of feelings about him. Frustration, embarrassment and some resentment. Like I have said, he isn't the dog I wanted, but the man wanted him. He didn't get trained, life got busy and I am the one who takes care of him. So now, 5 years later, I am trying to undo the results of what I didn't do to begin with. Luckily, he does know some basics and that is helping.
It is nice to see that there will come a day that I can take a nice walk with my dog and I won't end up hurting my shoulder, or having a sore arm. Or like last week when I was trying to get his harness on him, he jumped on me, sending me falling back to hit my head on a propane tank. Hard.
I need to build my own confidence with Max. He's a big strong stubborn dog and I admit I feel foolish half of the time in class. However, there are those moments when he heels, and stays with me, and sits when we stop. It's a good feeling, and I was glad when the trainer said that it showed that I have been working with him. I have to also build up every bit of patience that I have. With Max, and with myself. This isn't comfortable for me. It's not natural. Its quite the opposite really. However, a trained dog is something I want, and I know that if I want something, I have to work for it myself.
We also got a new puppy. She is a Maltese Mix and a very sweet little girl. I was lucky to find her photo online at the shelter one evening and the next morning I was the first one there to visit and snatch her up. She is fun loving and sweet. She also likes to play and chew so I'm working with her to keep her distracted and chewing on the things shes allowed to chew on. Not the puppy pads, or her water bowl which she loves to move around, spilling water everywhere.
Bella is the cutest damn thing ever, and I adore her- but we will start training with her very soon as I am not about to have two wild dogs in my house. She's just 14 weeks, and I'm going to put her and Jerkface in a puppy training class together. He adores her and so far it is helping him feel less lonely.
We did introduce the two dogs. Max was very excited and it scared her. So when SHE gets her confidence up a little, we will try again. I know if she had barked at him, he would have backed down. He's a big scaredy cat.
The cats are curious about Bella. Penny comes around and sits close to her ex-pen, and Bella wants to play. She play bows and wags her tail, but Penny just hissed her back. Right now Bella is still in confinement, but soon I will give her access to the office when I won't have my back turned. Puppy steps.
Adorable. I am so in love.