Internal War *Rant, Long*

BigDog2191

Big German Shepherd
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#1
I loved dogs. One could say I was obsessed with them, at one point. I went to a dog training class and that’s where my love for dogs increased substantially. But this is also the place that led to my gradual decrease of love for dogs.

But it wasn’t so much the place as it was the incident that happened at the place and the inaction that was taken (or rather, not taken) from the incident. This place I am speaking of is a socialization class for dogs. We go out into this huge piece of land surrounded by a gate and we basically let the dogs run loose, the owners just walk around in circles and chat and what-not. The trainer was a good guy… kind of stiff, even rude at times, but he knew what he was doing and Rocky benefited a lot from his socialization class and an earlier obedience class that I had taken. I made good friends there, I settled in. It was an all around great place.

It was on one socialization class… this new guy came. He had a GSD puppy. Rocky for some reason found his dog to be a little too interesting and followed it everywhere. It was as if Rocky saw the dog as a steak on legs or something. The guy apparently didn’t want any dogs around and he told me to get my dog away or ‘he was going to take care of it’, I kind of gave him a look and thought ‘what’s he going to do? It’s a socialization class and this is natural behavior’.

And then, he kicked Rocky in the face. Rocky yelped. And I went over to see if he was OK and told him calmly, as steaming as I was, that he had no right to do that as this is a SOCIALIZATION class and what they were doing was perfectly normal. He told me my dog was intimidating his and to keep walking and I swear I almost punched him in the throat. It took a lot of restraint on my part not beat the **** out of him. It was probably because I was surrounded by adults, I didn’t want to get kicked out and my adult friends were watching me (who defended me) and I suppose that’s why my inaction, my flight… still bugs me to this day.

I talked to my trainer two or three times and he did nothing about it. If he did it again, he would be out, he said. This wasn’t good enough for me.

I went one last time to this class and I found I had to basically restrain Rocky because for some reason he HAD to pick this one dog to follow around and “intimidate”. And my trainer and the guy who kicked my dog were walking together, talking and laughing.

That was it for me. I felt so bad that I completely stopped going. Abandoned Rock’s socialization, abandoned the friends that I had made…it’s just hard for me to even think about it because I get so angry, there are times where I’ve thought about this and I had to go walking for two hours just to calm myself down some. And now, there’s no money to go to another trainer… he was the cheapest and probably the best trainer there was in Louisiana but he was just too passive in such situations.

And I didn’t want Rocky’s socialization to reverse in case the idiot decided to hit him again. And it just became overall, a lot more uncomfortable to go there because of that guy. But the fact is, Rocky’s socialization has been reversed anyway because he hasn’t been socialized anymore since then. And I’m still trying to find a job so that I can try to help Rocky out with at least SOME of his problems.

Since then, it seems that I’ve gradually lost my interest in dogs. My dad is constantly nagging me about the things he does, no matter how much I do… constantly complaining. It just makes it that much harder to own a dog, especially one like Rocky. He chews on the house and destroys things that we’re trying to renew no matter how much I exercise him which just gets me in trouble with my dad, whenever a friend comes over I have to separate him cause he goes crazy (something I want to work on with a trainer when the money comes). With school and everything, it’s gotten progessively harder to manage him.

And I don’t plan on getting rid of him; I’ve fought too hard to keep him. It just seems like now I don’t really like dogs because I’ve had so many bad experiences doing things with Rocky. And I think ‘is all this going to happen every time I own a dog?’ And I love Rocky, he’s a great dog, I think I’ve just got a case of doggy blues. But everything I mentioned, it’s almost like an internal war that’s being fought all the time and I had to rant. Thanks for reading if you’ve gotten his far.
 

RD

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#2
BD, how old is Rocky? IIRC he's under 2 . . . Still very much a pup, mentally. Border Collies are quick to mature, and Dakota started "growing up" at around 18 months.

I still go through doggy blues with Ripley. I probably always will. He is sometimes difficult to get along with and always difficult to live with, but I still love him. Sometimes when he's driving me insane, I have to stop and think that most of his problems aren't his fault. When I spend a lot of time training with him (he seriously gets 3-4 hours a day of constant attention) he is better, but he still demands even more time. I could understand if he was a puppy, but he's 3 years old now and his demanding, crazed behavior isn't showing any signs of slowing down. I think of how much he'd love to live with an older, retired person with all day to spend with him, but then I stop and think about the fact that he's pretty happy with me.

When Dakota was younger, I really went through a period where I did NOT like dogs. I was burned out on dogs, Dakota and Ripley combined were a lot to handle during the school year. Now, Dakota seriously makes life easier. He's not perfect, but he's pretty close to it. He seems to understand if I'm busy and will just chill out on my bed with a chew toy until I have time to spend with him.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I know how you feel. It's not just you. And it does get better as they mature. Male GSDs are notoriously "immature" for quite some time . . .
 

dogstarsleddogs

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#3
You'll snap out of it. I think its just a normal part of owning dogs, you've got your bad days and your good days. There's plenty of times I think and wonder if life might actually be better with out the gang. The money they've cost, the constant routine, the time it takes, thier many problems, etc. But then, I just go out and play with them. Run them, just spend time with them, and all those thoughts vanish. So what it's cost over $1200 so far this year? So what that it takes me 2 hours a day just to feed/scoop? So what I do the same thing with them, day after day, year after year? So what I dont have enough fingers and toes to count all thier problems on? This dogs are my love and my life. They're a part of me, and I, a part of them.
Maybe try taking him to a place like PetCo, to keep socializing him with people and dogs? Take him to public places. It doesnt have to be a dog park. Any park. Have him meet as many new people as possible. You dont have to go to a trainer to socialize. Try giving him "safe" things to chew on. Stuffed Kongs, a frozen hunk of meat, whatever. Just spend time with him. Make every moment count.
 

Melissa_W

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#4
Aw, I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. :(

Are there any free dog parks you could take Rocky to? We have those here in NC. All the dogs are really friendly and well socialized and all the people are very helpful.
 

mrose_s

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#5
its ok. you'll be ok. you'll get back your passion once you start seeing results. stick to chaz. its constant support
 

Squidbert

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#6
Sorry you're feeling so poopie.. :(

I can't believe what happened at the class! How could the instructor do absolutely nothing?! Sigh.. it's no wonder you're so upset about that.. I don't even think I would have been able to restrain myself from punching that guy in the throat.. If I ever saw someone intentionally hurt my dogs I know I'd just flip..

I completly know how you feel about the doggy blues.. I also think it's all a part of owning a dog..
When squid was a little younger he was just being awful! So difficult to housetrain.. partly because I think I was doing it all wrong :rolleyes: but I just constantly felt like a failure..
An even when he would do a little something right it would be followed up by something even more awful..
It's rough when you're not in your own place too.. cause if it were your own place and your own stuff you at least wouldn't feel as bad about things getting destroyed. When I was staying at my dads house (and I was even alone there all summer) Squid decided to destroy some things.. a lamp.. shoes.. part of the couch.. and I knew if these were all my things in my home I wouldn't even be bothered.. just makes it so much worse when the things belong to someone else.. added stress makes it even harder to not feel down about it..
It'll get better though.. hopefully you'll be able to find a good dog park or something.. how about calling the friends you made at the class and see if anyone would like to get together with you and their dogs sometime?
Hope it gets better soon..
(((hugs)))
 
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#7
Remember, DoggyDaddy, it's the human factor that's let you down, not Rocky :)

Rocky's still an adolescent, but I'll bet you're already seeing signs of him chilling out from that frenetic stage they go through.

Remember me telling you about Kharma destroying all the remotes? ;)
 

Debi

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#8
aww Big, I agree...we ALL get those doggy blues sometimes. I've had days where I think I could be doing anything else instead of the time spent on the dogs. then....we can never go away. I can't kennel Hammie, and nobody wants to be bothered trying to get to know them enough, sooo...that's a big bummer at times. but then I just look at those faces...and melt. lol that guy was a major jerk, and I'm sooo sorry it ruined things for you. Rock just misses you when you are gone. Hammie is the very same....he won't eat, he gets restless, etc. can you put Rock in the basement, or laundryroom..where all things possible can be put up? it's good to vent, and you know we care. it'll be ok...just take Rock for walks, that'll keep him in contact with people. (((((HUGS))))))
 

BigDog2191

Big German Shepherd
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#9
Are there any free dog parks you could take Rocky to? We have those here in NC. All the dogs are really friendly and well socialized and all the people are very helpful.
I'm looking around for something similar. And it's not really the other dogs I'm worried about... Rocky's the one who has socialization problems.

keep him in contact with people. (((((HUGS))))))
I try to whenever it's possible. But he's got this nasty habit of jumping I'm still trying to correct and he has some big ole claws... like bear claws and they hurt when he jumps.

And when people start coming towards him, he starls lunging and snarling and barking. This behavior had faded during socialization classes but they've found their way back. He needs a better trainer - and for that, I need a job.
 

RD

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#10
I know you aren't really into pure-positive training, but a few books really helped me understand Ripley's aggression and work on it without classes. A lot of his issues are the same as Rocky's - undersocialized (I *thought* I was doing a good job at the time, but I wasn't exposing him to nearly enough.) dominant and very active/demanding.

"The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell, "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson and "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons were all very helpful to me.

I know you probably aren't going to want to be reading about dogs when you're burned out on dogs, but when you get back in the mood for training, pick those up. :)
 

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