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  #21  
Old 10-14-2012, 02:47 AM
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Bodhi, I'd have socialised a lot more. She is socially awkward with other dogs, sometimes reactive, sometimes playful, but mostly uninterested. Although, she was like that from a tiny puppy (more interested in people) so maybe its just her makeup. I'd have introduced her to more small children too, as they freak her out.

Fred's a puppy, so we're just trying to do the best we can! I'm slightly paranoid about the socialisation, which is difficult here as I live in a village with nothing. The nearest supermarket is an 18 mile round trip, and its not busy there.... I'll have to drive him an hour to get to a busy town. Lucky I know more people with other dogs and children that he can meet, but only now and then.

In terms of training, we're actually seeing a trainer, which I never did with Bodhi, so...
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  #22  
Old 10-14-2012, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ACooper View Post
Yes and no.

There are many things I did right, and there are many things I feel I could have done better. Same with the last dog and the one before that. Live and learn, I'll correct many of the 'mistakes' I made with the next dog.........and I know I'll make a bucket of new ones *shrugs* it's an endless cycle because I'm always learning and I hope that never changes
This is exactly how I feel. I will admit that I have felt in the past very upset with how things have turned out with Abby. She is reactive to strangers and quite a nervous dog in some settings. There have been a lot of tears... but, she in a lot of ways she is a really awesome dog. With her family her temperament is just gorgeous, she does have lovely house manners and is lively and gregarious with us. I try not to feel so bad about everything because, although I think some of her behaviour could've been modified or even prevented at a very young age, I think at the core I'd always have a dog predisposed to these things. I'm not absolving myself of responsibility as there are many things I would've done differently... for example I would've swapped out of the puppy school I went to and I would've asked for professional help sooner.

But there's lots of stuff I have done right and I continue to do right for this dog every, single day. I did seek professional help, I did socialise (although I fluffed it up) and I have always ensured that she has an enriched life, even if I can't take her offlead or we can't always participate in class in the same ways as others. I try to make sure her needs are met - physically and mentally. She is such a clever little dog (yeah, I know - I'm her mum - of course she is) and so much fun to have around and to learn new things with.

I couldn't possibly keep beating myself up about what could've been because that would sap my positive energy and leave me fretting about the past instead of enjoying the time I have with Abby now.

She's certainly taught me a lot, an absolutely ridiculous amount actually for a single being lol.

Grace made me do things differently with Abby as well. For example, Abby has a lovely loose-lead walk and impeccable manners around food (and boy does she love her food!). I was pretty determined to improve in that area and we did, but obviously those issues compared to the issues we ended up with are fairly minor.

I'm sure my next dog will offer up a completely different set of challenges, whatever they may be, but I'd like to start by aiming for a confident and soundly tempered dog. with a nice loose lead walk, impeccable manners around food and loves getting their nails clipped
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  #23  
Old 10-14-2012, 05:41 AM
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The most important thing to remember, I think, is that we and our dogs are all individuals. So you can't look at what someone else did with their dogs in a certain period of time, and feel like you've failed because you didn't accomplish the same. Maybe that wasn't right for your dog, maybe it wasn't right for you. Maybe you just didn't have the same amount of time to put into it that they did. Just enjoy the dog you have, and the next one will be a whole new learning experience.
Gah, I need to make this my mantra.

Steve's litterbrother trials at a national level in Switzerland. I haven't even managed to trial Steve at ALL. But he is my first agility dog and he has taught me so so much.

Did I screw some stuff up with him? Absolutely. Did I learn from it? Some things. Have I enjoyed the journey. Oh yes. So much yes.
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  #24  
Old 10-14-2012, 06:05 AM
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Not really.

I raised Sunny and I taught him the basic commands but he's just naturally a pretty mellow, all around good dog. I think he did more for himself then I did. I wish I had worked with him a lot more but I am making up for it now and we are currently working on training every day.

Serenity. I'm happy I've worked with her enough that she listens to me, I've never had a dog that listens so well to me. I hate how reactive she is, I know it's my fault she got to how she is but I was new to having a dog like her. So, I'm happy in the sense of what we can do now and how I've raised her so far with the best of my ability, I've given it my best shot and I'm still learning, we are working hard every day and she's improving slowly.

I know by the time I own another dog (won't be for a loooooong time) I'll actually be extremely happy with how I've raised my next dog. I want to learn what I can while owning these two and I want to make sure the next dog that enters my life can have the best possible start to life.
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  #25  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:46 AM
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So far so good. By no means is Katalin perfect nor has her upbringing been. A few difficulties here and there, more than a few fumbles - but it's been an experience and there's something new learned everyday =)

Overall I'm happy - there are a few things I would have changed if I could step back in time but, yeah. We're still in the process anyways lol.
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  #26  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:47 AM
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For the most part, yes. There are a few things I really dropped the ball on (I swore I was going to have a dog who walked well on leash...whoops), but for the most part, Gusto has become exactly what I was aiming for.

Sports wise - he's phenomenal. Meg did such a good job teaching me how to train, and Gusto is reaping the benefits. Oh, it isn't perfect, of course, but I'm completely pleased with where he is. I had such good help all along the way, and it is really paying off. I look forward to the future with such anticipation I can't sleep some nights.

Companion wise - he's a very different dog than Meg, and the "don't compare" thing rings true as well. He's more easily distracted than she ever was, by movement, other dogs, air particles colliding, etc. I need to force myself to go back and heavily reinforce behaviors that I'd gotten lazy about with Meg because she no longer needed it. But he's getting there. My mother pointed out the other day that we can actually keep magazines in the magazine rack now. Talk about improvement!
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  #27  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:58 AM
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Overall? Yes, I'm extremely happy with how I raised him. And quite shocked how good he came out, as I was very clueless about training and raising a dog (on my own). It kind of came... naturally to me. Like, the instant he came home, something clicked in my head and we just had that bond. I was very lucky in that I was off school on a long winter break when I got him so we had over a month to bond, work on the little things (like potty training) and we had a great routine/schedule we started. But really, he's got no major issues (no dog aggression, or human aggression, no real reactivity, no guarding, etc). He's trustworthy anywhere we go. He's always been ready for whatever I've thrown at him, and takes things in stride. Always been a fantastic trick dog -- loves to learn. He's got a few little quirks I could do without (scared of thunder/fireworks, and weird little things will freak him out) but I'm not so sure I could've done anything differently anyways. That's just his quirky self.

There's a few little things I'd certainly do different -- I probably would have actually worked on recall from the moment I brought him home. He started off just following our older dog around outside and never ran away so I always let him out, then when she died and he got a bit older, he became less trustworthy and I didn't truly start working until he was over one. Maybe work on building a toy drive earlier on. But really, wouldn't change a lot.
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  #28  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:33 AM
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With Millie? No. I got her when I was 10 years old and poor Millie was the one who was trained with Milan-ish methods. It didn't even occur to me that there were other ways to train a dog. She was the first dog who was mine, so unfortunately she was also the one I made all the mistakes with. I've learned from them, but I'm sad Millie had to be that dog. However, am I proud of and way more than satisfied with who she is? Hell yes! She's the nearest to "perfect" I've ever lived with. She learned to take things in stride and as I became educated we took lots of steps back to start over with a relationship, not obedience, in mind.

With Fable I already have made some big mistakes, too. She was very sick during the time she needed to be socialized the most, and even once she was better I was so overprotective of her I was wary of taking her places. I'm fortunate that Fable has a pretty fantastic innate temperament and she's pretty easy to work with. Sometimes. I also wish I had separated her from Millie more. At the beginning I loved how much they were bonding, but I've been realized she way too attached. Fable is an amazing pup, though.

To sum up, no, I'm not satisfied with the way I raised my dogs. There are thousands of things I could have done better and I could spend all day listing major and minor mistakes. That being said, I love my dogs the way they are. Not in spite of x, y, and z, but because of z, y, and z.

Last edited by Whisper; 10-14-2012 at 09:46 AM.
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  #29  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:43 AM
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With Lizzie, no. I made huge mistakes.

With Blaze, yes, I am happy. I learned from the previous mistakes and he has turned out stellar. Of course there are a few things I see later that I should have worked on in the beginning. My one biggie that I should have worked harder on is car obsessing. It's such a hard thing to break. If I can put more time into that earlier, we wouldn't be dealing with it now.

You learn with each dog. Yes, I'm very happy with how I raised Blaze. But that doesn't mean next puppy will be done exactly the same. Each dog is different. Some need more of this, some need less of this, etc.
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  #30  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:52 AM
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Yes, I'm happy with how my dogs are. I've made some mistakes and also not done things I could have. But these Chihuahuas are just naturals. They're nice, well mannered, bright dogs and I really think they did most of it themselves or by osmosis. I don't think I really did that much to make them such a joy to live with.
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