Thank you for answering. Sorry you are in a lot of pain today. I really appreciate your answer.Nettle wrote:Diane, take my sympathy as read - I can only type so much and today is a pain day for me too.
Does he really thing these animals are going to attack through the TV? He doesn't realize they are not real, even when we change the channel or turn off the TV? There is no animal smell just picture and noise.Now then - humans can empathise - dogs can't. Open your empathy box and see that the following is how your dog saw the interaction:
Understand that you frightened your dog witless. He is already scared because he knows the risk of animals coming through the TV screen at him, knows the deadly music that precedes this, knows that only his barking and charging at them keeps them in the screen until they go away.
I realize that he thinks he has found a prize, but most of these things are unhealthy.Then he gets hold of something and you attack him. Remember that anything in a dog's mouth belongs to the dog. It's not for us to judge whether the item should or shouldn't be valuable to the dog - it is in the mouth so it is valuable. Then you attacked him. Consider your relative sizes a moment.
The first trainer we had told us (and my husband is better than I on how to grab his jaw and remove the item.
My brother had a dog that had to have emergency surgery to remove tissues that were blocking his intestines and even pulled a branch through the dog's anus.
Isn't it better to prevent problems than to let the dog eat it and then undergo surgery?
I had taught him drop it and take it. It had worked in the past for gummy bears and gum stuck on the carpet. I still do not understand why he wouldn't rather have yummy chicken than a rag.
All he can do to protect himself in that moment of pure terror when his protector attacks him - is bite.
Then you throw a beserker. You roll on the floor making loud savage noises. He needs to send you away before you kill him. His world has imploded.
He does not know that you have done all you have done for him[/quote]
I wasn't on the floor this time (but in the past when I have tripped and fallen) but I was screaming. I had thought that if you scream, then the dog knows you are in pain. I though, obviously wrongly, that he would be concerned not ready to attack.
Definitely, he does have an unknown history. But, I would have thought that after more than 3 and half years with us that he would trust us and know that we are there to help me not hurt him.All he knows is that he is all alone in the world once more and people are attacking him once more. You have a fabulous intellect to think with - he is only a dog. Not just a dog, but a dog with an unknown history which clearly has involved a lot of fear and abuse in his eyes.
You cannot train away fear - you can only give security. You cannot make any sentient being what it isn't: you can only accept what he is. You can't make him into the dog of your dreams and wishes.
Yes, you are right about adult kids. I was thinking more of young children as I see Sandy more like a two year old and for training, such as learning what the word "no" means or how to ask for something or let you know when a child needs potty or is hungry. I have yet to figure out when Sandy needs to go potty. How many times, I have taken him out, only to stand like a statue, refusing to budge.I understand you didn't want him, but he couldn't choose his owner or lifestyle either. Every time you made the effort to understand him and work with him through us, you got a good result. He cannot help any of your health issues, he can't help your life issues. It probably seems as if you are always dancing to someone else's tune, and I sympathise. But if you break all this down and stop being offended, stop taking it all personally, realise you left a petrified dog with no other options, you will I hope get the whole sorry business into proportion.
Where to go from here? Wipe the slate clean. Work with us. Work (yes, again) with him. The deal with dogs is that you DO have to continue training all their lives. That's all dogs. They aren't computers where you punch in a program and press 'go'. Even nice easy dogs like mine have their training reinforced every day and their lives arranged for maximum kindness. That is a big part of why they are easy.
Don't kid yourself that children are easier dogs don't get into debt, don't take drugs, don't divorce and move back home, don't take up with strange special interest groups. You always know where you are with dogs - they can only be dogs.
Nettle, this is a good idea. I have learned a lot, but as you mentioned, I thought that training a dog was like programming a computer. Once they learn something, then they have learned it.Ask Sandy's forgiveness, and forgive yourself too. This is a hiccup, not the end of the world. If it is the shock that sets you back on the right road, then it was worth while. Get the incident into proportion and turn your negative thoughts to positive ones. As a lesson in communication, you listened to it far better than you would have listened to any forum, book or individual trainer. All we have done here is provide the translation from what you thought happened to what really happened.
You are right, Scarlet, this was a very difficult thread to start. I feel like a failure and after everyone has been so helpful over the last year.ScarletSci wrote:Diane, I'm sorry that this happened, and that you're so upset by it all. For what it's worth, although it's hard to read, and it must be very hard to admit that at times, you hate your dog - I do commend you for being open about how you feel here. It can't be easy, knowing how we all feel about dogs, to admit to how you're feeling now.
Yes, you are right, I still have to do 30 hours continuing education every two years at least for one more time as I will officially retire in 3 years.Training is a lifelong thing, but it gets easier as time goes on, particularly when it's consistent. You also have to really accept what Nettle said about how Sandy didn't choose this life either, hes doing the best he can with what he has got. When you were a nurse, you would have had periodic training updates wouldn't you?
I understand this. This was the lifestyle we had before we got him. It was much easier then. And now with my parents having failing health (mom with dementia), it has added a new dimension to our travels. And, our married son from my first marriage lives in Israel with two young granddaughters. I desperately want to fly to visit with them next year. Since Sandy had been in the shelter more than once, we don't want to put him in a kennel as you mention, that he would have no idea if we will ever show up again. Like young children, dogs have no sense of time. And as you mention in your car ride story, Sandy may think he has been given up for adoption again. Unlike others have mentioned, my parents are too sickly to care for Sandy, and we have no other relatives or friends who could do it. Thus, it means that I will probably have to travel alone and leave my husband with Sandy. Before we got Sandy, both of us could have traveled together.It's going to be even slower and harder for you because you travel so much - again, something Sandy didn't choose, and something even the most well-balanced and good natured dog would find very difficult to adjust to. Each time, it's going to set him back. Dogs value security and routine... something he doesn't get much of when you are rarely in the same place for longer than four months. Account for that.
I tend to take a lot of things personally, even from people, not just from Sandy. I am sure that he has picked up on my feelings, too. I have not been affectionate and more cold and matter of fact towards him. And, my husband has been doing most of the interaction with Sandy.can promise that Sandy doesn't hate you, isn't ungrateful, isn't spiteful. Dogs don't work that way, and you wouldn't have made the progress you have already if he did. This is the first time he's bitten you in the three and a half years you've had him, isn't it? And I'm sure you see now, with the above explanations, why it made complete sense that he did then. It hurts, of course, but you do have to step back and not take it so personally. Think of the times you've lashed out at someone verbally because you've been upset, angry, or afraid - that's exactly what he did. Forgive him for that, and forgive yourself for provoking it. You can move forward from this.
Although I'm sure he doesn't hate you, I'm sure he can also pick up on your feelings and your frustration with him. Dogs are incredibly attuned to our moods and our facial expressions. He may not understand why, but it'll all contribute to his feelings of insecurity and damage your bond with him.
If I were in your shoes now, I would take a break from him for a few days. Let your husband do all the work with him, and process your hurt and your disappointment. Then I'd be gearing up for a fresh start.
Thanks for the suggestions also from Minkee, Claremarsh (you understand chis), and CarolineLovesDogs.Start focusing on what he can do well. Go back to clicker training, and instead of working on the big goals like counter conditioning, start doing some fun things with him you can do in the house, like trick training, or 101 things to do with a box. Since he's so good at finding things in hotel rooms, use that! Play hide and seek with him, get him fetching certain toys, teach him which toy is which. Something where you can see progress, can enjoy spending time with him, and start building a new relationship with him. It'll also help keep his energy focused in a healthy way, especially while he isn't going for walks much.
What do you think? Please keep us updated, and sending ((((hugs))))
Most of you repeated what has been said. I agree that I actually think it is nice when Sandy does a leave it and turns to me for a piece of chicken. My husband thinks it is too much and would rather just reward when Sandy gets back in the car.
And Scarlet, thanks for the information about how your dog is when you are with your dad. I guess dogs get jealous just like people. Sandy has seemed more drawn to my husband, but as you explained, it makes sense. I have been hot and cold towards Sand from day one. I am sure he has picked up on it.
It was nice when visiting my parents how Sandy sat with my mom on the couch and let her pet him. (I will attach a photo later.) My dad is always yelling at me, mom, and my husband, so Sandy reacts by barking at dad. And dad doesn't get why Sandy doesn't seem to like him.
I also as I mentioned above had no idea how dogs view people or other dogs in pain. Thanks for the explanation. I tend to express my pain and other emotions quite openly.
I really wish my husband would learn about the positive training that I have been using. He thinks he knows all about dogs and is not one to take advice easily. In Maine, I took him with us on one of our walks to show how I had learned from all of you. I wish he would use the harness, too. So, Sandy knows that with me it is harness, but daddy lets him be free. Like Jack of Jacksdad, Sandy is a nudist. And he shakes like crazy to get the harness off. It interferes when we take him to the park and drives my husband crazy. But, considering how many times that Sandy plays Houdini, I really think it is necessary. Also, when Sandy goes bezerk when he sees dogs at the park, it is easier to scoop him up with the harness.
And that leaves the other question: any suggestions on how to train Sandy that the animals on TV are not a threat and to just accept them as being "outside"?
Thanks for all the hugs, too. I feel so much better now and ready to try to make our lives with Sandy a much better one for all of us.
)))HUGS((( back to all of you who replied (I am sure I forgot someone including Ari_RR.)
I feel better and more positive. Actually, I hear Sandy outside our door so I will go and take him out and make friends.