Testimonial - Apology - Appreciation

Discussion of Victoria's TV show, It's Me or the Dog.

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Testimonial - Apology - Appreciation

Post by SadPetLover » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:13 pm

I just became a member because efforts to email Ms. Stilwell appear to be a waste of time. I am very distraught and only recently became aware of her TV Show on Animal Planet. Thus far, I have been able to catch approx. 5 or 6 episodes that most concern Dogs allowed to become outta control by their Owners. I was extremely impressed by Ms. Stilwell's sensible approach to what looks like gravely hopeless undisciplined Dogs.

Which segues me to the testimonial part of this Post. Sadly, it has taken me 3 attempts to finally learn my hands down favorite Dog, the Weimaraner is not the dog for me. As hard as I've tried, I finally concluded the Weimaraner is unmanageable for someone with my particular lifestyle.

The 1st Weimy I encountered was a rescue from the City's Animal Shelter. He was a relatively healthy 2 yrs Male, very strong body and what I deemed as having a great disposition. I was looking for a companion at the time and found him in the Pound. Although his tail was cropped, there were no other alterations from his natural state that his previous Owners decided upon. I was informed that the pads on his feet were infected most likely from the cement flooring of the Kennel. After purchasing him and immediately making certain all of his shots were taken care of, I spent the next 4 to 5 weeks lifting him up and into the tub twice a day to administer the medication given to me for his feet. This treatment worked very well and he was 100% healthy once again.

I had no idea how much these dogs feel in love with their Owners because he instantly became my #1 buddy. I allowed him to go with me everywhere other than work and the bond between us became as strong as any could image. Unfortunately little by little, I began noticing his overly protectiveness and given his incredible size and physical appearance, he was a very threatening display to anyone not knowing him. Whenever I had company, he would simply sit by my side and watch their every move or gesture like a Hawk. If someone were to give me a hug, they were immediately met with a very sincere growl. Smokey, however never attacked anyone and would instantly backdown upon my command. I'd say he was either very well trained or he just had great instincts or respect for my authority. Aside from always needing to watch out for his aggressive behavior, I didn't help matters much because I allowed him to essentially become a human. He slept on the bed with me and went were I went. He sat in the front seat and occasionally, if a friend were to come with me for a drive in the car, Smokey had a hard time relinquishing the front seat. To him, that was his seat and all other passengers had the back. I would eat dinner on the bed and watch TV while he would be allowed to take his share of my food from the same plate.

The good side was, when we played, we played hard and he got an amazing amount of exercise given there was a park just across the street from my house complete with a Lake that he enjoyed swimming in and chasing after whatever I tossed into the water. I would ride my 10 Wheeler while he ran along side and I took care not to ride too fast but just enough for him to get a good run for the day. All was good in my opinion until the dreadful day 'She' came into my life. This is where my responsibility began to flounder and I have yet to forgive myself of this. I fell deeply in love with a lady I met and instantly everything changed.

Collectively, She & I decided to move to the opposite Coast together complete with a plan to transport Smokey once we arrived. I found out how to safely transport him, how much, how quickly and what provisions I needed and subsequently did what I thought was the right thing. I gave all the funds to the household of people whom I lived with and even purchased the Kennel for transport and then left with my lady. About 3 weeks later, now on the opposite side of the Country, I called the house only to learn within the short amount of time, no one was around. The phone had been disconnected and I wasn't able to find any of the people I lived with. In short, I lost Smokey for ever and that was that.

Years later, I decided to purchase a Weimy pup from a Breeder. This time, it was a female and I soon learned, she was more than I was prepared for. When she came into our home,she was merely weeks old and all was good I suppose then but as she rapidly grew, her actions were more of what she wanted to do rather than what I wanted her to do. Without going into detail, it became apparent that given our current circumstances, she was not a good fit for our house and we sold her to a family that lived on a small farm that stated they just wanted a pet for their children and one who would be a good guard dog.

Most recently (last year) iven I love Weimaraners so much, I decided to make one more attempt and once again purchased a male Pup recently separated from its' mother's nursing. And sadly, I found that I was horrible at training these overly active animals. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking of Smokey and tried to convince myself that if I could only get to the 2 yr mark, he would begin to settle down. But his wildness commanded immediate action. I called a Trainer to come to our house and a woman arrived, met our 6 month old Weimy and declared that he was a little more than she thought she could handle. I thought however he had potential and still kept the faith that soon he would begin to settle down. We have a swimming pool and that provided much workout for him but still there were obvious problems that began to disrupt our home. To the point where for the third time, I thought it was probably a good idea to allow someone who didn't work 8 hrs a day have him. I put an ad in the papers and a woman with two boys came and claimed they instantly feel in love with him. Although it was heartbreaking for me, we sold him and I cried.

Two days later, I receive a call asking if I could take him back because he was more than they could handle. She claimed he had viciously attacked their youngest boy and I knew that was an out & out lie but I was actually happy to have him back. As of the moment he returned, he first ran in and picked up where he left off as if he had only gone for a day trip with other people but he immediately began to display another behavior I'd not seen before going away. He came back to us barking at just about every movement that took place and paid no attention to our commands to be quiet. Ultimately, he continued to become more difficult to manage and I started to see that caring for him was more of a job than caring for a member of the family. The only quality time we shared was at a nearby park that is designated for dogs to run freely that is fenced. This was the last time I placed an Ad in the paper for the proper companion, knowing that given I once again failed at being a good owner at least I should be diligent enough to make certain any new placement were thoroughly examined.

* I have not confessed to these events for absolution from anyone but rather to tell a tale of why it is so important to understand what you can handle and why before attempting to bring any pet into their life. It's hard for me to call myself an Animal Lover even though I know how I feel about animals of all kind big & small.

I wish someone even half as good as Victoria Stilwell could have come into my life and helped me better understand the needs of a dog like the Weimy. Even though I know this dog is not suited for my style of life, I continue to love this Dog above all others. I am now without a dog in my life and I dearly wish I knew what type of dog would be best suited for how we live.

Lastly, I must tip my hat to Ms. Stilwell from the almost instant behavior correction I've witnessed from her tv programs, over out of control dogs. She has to be the very best Trainer I've ever seen.

For Weimaraners in the World, I am forever sorry I love you and I promise I will never consider bringing one of your kind into my life again until I'm convinced I have the right type of home, the right type of accommodations and the ability to provide the exercise you require on a daily basis.


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Post by catrinsparkles » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:20 am

Well i hope you story can act as a warning to others.

I see you are hoping to be able to get a another dog in the future when your accomodation and ability to exercise a dog is right, the one thing that you have not mentioned there and i feel is as vital as the other two is the knowledge and commitment to train and socialise a dog.

Although i have had adult rescue dogs in the past and been an APDT dog trainer i waited unitl i was 34 to get a puppy of my own as i only wanted one when i could be at home to train and socialize it.

Even though i had every confidence that i could train a puppy i still spent the months leading up to her arriving researching, and reading up on what I would need to know about having a pup. I set about socializing her in a very structered manner and even had a list detaling all the experiences i wanted her to have before she was 14 weeks old. Although i knew i could train her i took her to classes from 8 weeks old.

She is now 5 months and is wonderful.

As you have learnt, to yours and the dogs detriment, preparation is vital - why don't you use the time now to find out as much as you can about dog training using positive methods. Sites like these and the clicker training sites are great as their is a wealth of information about using positive reinforcement.

Good luck with the preparation for your future dog.

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