Boogie Monster Update

March 9, 2009 at 7:41 am Leave a comment

Posted Date: : Mar 9, 2009 11:09 AM

Poor neglected blog.

I have posted before that Boogie has a lunging problem and this doesn’t seem to be going away. I try to make him sit, but when he is in that zone, he completely ignores me. Yeah, Boogie is pretty much the same as before. When we are out walking and he sees a new dog – he lunges with teeth bared, snarling. If I pull him back, stop and chat with the other dog’s owner and slowly allow Boogie to sniff the other dog’s behind, then he is more likely to chill out and be nice. If we don’t stop and go through a controlled butt-sniffing introduction ritual, he acts like a freakin’ red zonecase. He is fine with dogs that he already knows. The problem is with new dogs.

On the weekend, Christa’s Butch and Emma came to stay. The dogs get along well if there are no toys involved for the boys to fight over. They also walk well together (or should I say I am getting better working three leashes at the same time).

Just one problem… When a strange dog passes us by, Boogie would go into ATTACK MODE. Most of the time I see the other dog before he does, and we cross the street or move away in a different direction. But on the odd occasion that Boogie sees the other dog before I can do anything about it, Boogie is already the zone, pulling and lunging, deaf to all commands. And then Butch barks, and before you know it, Boogie is fighting Butch and Butch is fighting back and we have a scary situation.

In addition to this bad behavior, recently Boogie chased the mailman and circled him, barking. He did not come when I called, so intent he was on giving the guy a hard time. My poor mailman looked down at the dog that he would so love to pat, and then over to me (running panicked to the scene) “Whatever have I done to this dog to deserve this?”

It was embarrassing.

Anyway, I think it’s time for a trainer. Yes, it will cost some $$$ in times when money is tight, but I have thought about this many times… Wes wants to put a muzzle on Boogie when we are out and about but I really don’t like the idea.

I did some research online and found a trainer called John Van Olden who has received lots of positive testimonials. I really like that he has not only trained military dogs and knows the Cesar Millan method but that he also wrote in his blog:

while I do think it’s necessary to teach a dog basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, “heel”, and “come”, what I really do is try to teach people a different way to relate to their dogs. Again, I differ from some of the personalities you see on television who often imply that you can’t spoil your dog, and who advocate affection as the least important thing to show your dog. (In fact, I believe that it’s the MOST important. What’s the point of having a dog if you have to administer discipline and exercise before you can show them affection???) What I do is first help people digest the massive amount of information and misinformation they have been given about their animals, then teach them a consistent way to communicate with their animal in a way that their dog can understand, while also helping them correct their dogs behavior issues so that they can live more peaceful and calm lives together.

Like I was saying to Wes – I want well-behaved, “calm-submissive” dog, but I don’t want to have to kick him out of my bed every night. I love that Boogie sleeps under the covers. I can’t let go of the “affection” part.

John Van Olden is in the Bay Area, so I am considering getting a trainer in L.A. who has worked with him and who uses the same philosophy and methods. Researching right now….

I’m open to your feedback! Would love to hear some training stories…

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Entry filed under: Social stuff, Training.

Boogie’s new shirts First ever consultation with a dog trainer

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