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Puppy Power?

O.K. I need your help quick. Here’s some background first…

Russell went over to his grandpa’s for his annual summer get-a-way. My dad has the perfect place for a boy to hang. There are lots of man-toys – backhoes, tractors, trucks, guns and plenty of room to run. Dad called me this morning and said that he needed to talk. I thought maybe Russell was hurt. Everything was fine, but I may have sorta kinda given my dad permission to get Russell a dog.

My dad is a firm believer that every kid should have a dog. He grew up with dogs, and I subsequently was raised with dogs. My first dog was a schnauzer when I was eight-years-old. In my dad’s eyes, Russell is overdue at 14.

Lyle on the other hand comes from a family that never had dogs. They view them as smelly, barking poop machines. His disdain for man’s best friend is complicated by the fact that every ill-mannered dog he encounters immediately wants to lick his face, jump on his lap or hump his leg.

Russell of course has guaranteed that he will take total responsibility for the pet, including but not limited to, walking, feeding and poop scooping. I am a realist. I anticipate his enthusiasm to perhaps last through the summer (if I’m lucky). I guaranteed Lyle that the dog won’t cause any problems, and I promised to take full responsibility for said pet.

I’ve wanted a dog for a long time so I’m prepared to take on the task, but here’s where I need your help. I need suggestions regarding dogs. I’ve seen well-behaved dogs, but I have no clue on how to raise one. I was a kid when I last shared space with dogs, we lived in the country, and my mom pretty much took care of them. I teased, well, maybe even tortured them on occasion, which created little neurotic beasts that were not pleasant to be around.

What training methods have you found helpful? From what I’ve read so far it is important to establish dominance – wooo hoooo something that has to listen to me! What is the best way to do this? Do you keep your pets in a cage when not at home? What books/videos do you find helpful?

I’m putting my neck out for my kid on this one, and I have to get up to speed quick! I don’t get a lot of comments on the blog, but I would really appreciate all your suggestions. It’s easy to post a comment. At the bottom of this post in orange it says “no comments.” Click that and it will give you the opportunity to post. I’m pleading…please help a girl out!


5 Responses

  1. Hi Melissa…since we have 4 x 4 of the 4 legged kind, (Shih Tzus) have to respond to this one..BEST ADVICE…go to http://www.victoriastilwell.com her training methods are amazing, no raised voices, no physical contact….this will really help…we know…it works. Hugs. S.

  2. Thanks Shirley! I’ll check out the website. We broke the news to Lyle tonight. He has about 5 days to get used to the idea before he meets Sony face to face. Wish me luck!

  3. I remember your schnauzer, you do need help! What kind of dog is it? We just went through this 2 years ago with a lab/Great Dane mix. While a puppy, we crated him while gone from the house and at night. I use to think that was mean but he really digged “his” space. It was great with house training, too. The crate was next to my bed, so he was not banished to the garage or anything. Today, the crate is not used. To each their own on that one. My husband was the “Alpha Dog” to Ike. Ike totally respected Jim’s authority. Ike treated me as the “Beta Dog”, so I went to obedience school….with Ike of course. It was the best thing. So, find a good obedience class. I went through our local junior college for one. Vets are a good source for classes. Keep Sony socialized with other dogs as he grows so he does not become agressive with them. Please post pictures of the new addition to your family in your spare time. Enjoy! Nanc

  4. I am surprised it has taken so long! What fun for all! You have nothing else to do besides train a dog, right? Just kidding, enjoy!!!

  5. Thanks for reminding me Nancy! Strudel was about as neurotic as they come – I suppose it didn’t help that we would throw things at her when she was sleeping to startle her.

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