I SERIOUSLY am at the end of my leash.
I am fighting back tears, or the will to scream… or both.
Napoleon has completely driven me crazy. I’m supposed to be a newbie dog trainer. I will make mistakes. But when I can’t even control my own dog… I am seriously a ‘frustrated owner’ right now. I feel like I’m in the position of someone who doesn’t know what else to do with their dog.
We were going on a walk, and practicing distractions as well as leash work. He was just doing fantastic. Just wonderful, and then I saw my neighbors, who wanted to chat. That’s fine, great opportunity for him to be ignored right now. Again, wonderful. So far so good…
So, because he was doing so well, he got to play with the neighbor’s boxer for a bit. They are friends, but we have to watch out for-yep, there it is… mounting. My dog always mounts this boxer for some reason. He’s 9 years old, and neutered. And completely … perfect. Then there’s my dog…mounting him. Great. I try to catch it, as I see the signs happening and ‘Ah-ah, NO!’. But he ignored me. I have no training tools with me, and he’s off leash. Great. So, I run over, and pull him off. Then, I have him do something else for a bit – “Puppy Pushups” I like to call them. Sit-Down-Sit-Down and so on and so forth. Eventually, he seems to have relaxed. Well that was embarrassing (“I’m sorry my dog just completely dominated your dog.”). Ok, they are playing now, good. Good play, everything is going well again…
Until a fucking idiot teenage kid on a skateboard was being pulled by a pit bull ran down the street. Napoleon FREAKED OUT! He started lunging, and snarling, and barking/whining. Behavior I have never seen before. Even in a fight, he’s not like that! Unfortunately, for me, he was off leash. I tried to get control by his collar, and then remove him from the situation. The little fucking asshat teenager decided it was fun seeing my dog all freaked out and then came back again! This time, as I was trying to get control of Napoleon, I was able to [somehow] slip the Halti back on, and secure it so I had more control.
Yeah, I decided that was enough of that, and that we needed to go. I wasn’t going to take him home yet, because he was too worked up. We walked around the block, and we went real slow until he calmed down.
When we got home, he was back to his out of control ‘I-want-dinner-now-mom’ attitude. I don’t respond to that at all, and he doesn’t get fed until he calms down. So, he was ignored. . . which resulted in ear-splitting howls and whines. This, again, doesn’t usually happen unless he’s in the kennel. So, the Pet Convincer was used on him. Then, another uncharacteristic thing- growling at me. This has never happened. So, I stood there, and waited for him to calm down. Then put him in the bedroom by himself to ‘cool off’.
My boy – having a temper tantrum is what it looked like. It was like my high energy lab, just turned into a huge problem. Hmm… wow. Either I royally screwed up on something, or something is really wrong.
I feed the cats, and then eventually let Napoleon out again. He is jumping, knocking me over in the hallway, getting in the kitchen (he’s not allowed), and jumped COMPLETELY OVER a sofa and smashed into the window.
WHAT.THE.HELL.IS.GOING.ON??? No. No. NO. NO! I don’t even care right now. I am up to my eyeballs in these negative feelings.
I give up… feeling words:
-KILL ME NOW
I want to ‘fix’ him. I want so badly to do this. I want to know how to solve ‘difficult’ problems like this one, and it feels like the whole damn world is against me. I ask for help from the organization I am a member of, and they tell me ‘It might be because he should be getting a 5 mile walk every day’, and ‘it’s something you might just have to deal with’.
Yeah. Well, if I have to ‘deal with this’ … seriously: Please kill me. Put me out of my misery and take me out back and just shoot me. I could run him 5 miles, and it wouldn’t make a difference. It really, REALLY doesn’t. It’s not an exercise problem. He’s OVER-ADRENALIZED. I was very unhappy with these responses, so now I’m even more frustrated.
FAILURE. I CAN’T DO THIS EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF FOREVER WITH MY BOY. He is so good when he’s not over-stimulated. I just can’t do it all the time. I need a break every once in a while. Ignorance was bliss. Before I knew what ‘over-adrenalized’ meant and before I realized that he wasn’t just ‘a really happy dog’, we were all really happy. Now, it feels like I have one of the worst dogs in the world. My poor boy, getting all these emotions from me. If he can read my mind – I’m sure he feels awful. See, there I go -putting human emotions on a dog. FAIL.
But if he could talk, I think he would be saying, ‘But Mom! I’m really trying! I’m working so hard, see? See me work so hard? ‘. And now, GUILT.
I can’t even talk to my husband. It’ll start a fight. When I get like this, I have to attack something/someone. And I don’t want to start a fight. I think I’ll just sleep downstairs. By myself.