baa baa black sheep



7:24 a.m.

Okay, I don't have much time! But I wanted to tell you, I got a good laugh over the comments about how cute and sweet Fred must be. Because: no. She's actually turned out to be a very, very bad dog. I think she was spoiled rotten, and has learned that baying gets her attention, as does getting into things she's not supposed to. And it turns out she has some pretty deeply ingrained possessive aggression issues, so much so that I really really thought last night that she was going to bite one of us when we tried to take some trash from her. Growling, snarling, teeth bared, snapping (we were faster than her, fortunately), foam, the whole bit. I imagine, when she was a cute little basset puppy, her owners might have thought it was funny when she growled and tried to protect her toys, so the behavior was not corrected. It probably just got worse. I don't want to go into detail about how ugly the situation was, but it was ugly.

So now, we have an aggressive, attention-seeking dog that can not be left on her own. She's stubborn, pretends to forget commands she knows, and I'm pretty sure her brain is tiny. We're dealing with her the only way we know how. Every time she use a negative attention-seeking device (growling, yowling, barking, clawing) we turn our backs on her and stand with our faces from her and our arms crossed until she stops. Then we turn back around and praise her when she's quiet. We're giving her lots of praise for good behaviors. I think it's going to be a long road with her, but she has to be a good dog. I don't want to be afraid for her to play with other people. I don't want to be afraid she'll bite someone.

So! Here we go, let's train a bad dog! We're going to be patient, because I know she's this way for a reason. We also have to be firm and consistent. She has to respect our authority, and she has to learn to be good. Stupid little adorable moron. I had to remind myself that Monk was sort of an asshole when we got him. He was never aggressive, but he was stubborn and wilfully disobedient and really crazy hyper and mischievous.

The baying for attention is already getting a little bit better, and she has learned "no," and it's pretty amazing that when you turn your back on her the growling/barking for attention stops like magic. We're also using the nothing-in-life-is-free method, where you make the dog obey a command before it gets dinner, before it gets to go outside, etc, so that she learns she's not in charge.

Isn't that exciting? Or boring? You probably really do not care about how I am training our new dog, do you? Oh well! You've gone this far, you can't turn back now!

The dog, combined with our weekend houseguests and the cleaning to prepare, means that I am horribly behind on all things blog-related, and have about a billion posts to read and I'm not going to update the other blog this morning because I am feeling a bit Overwhelmed, at the moment, with work and my weird dog-getting-decision and preparing for houseguests. I just want to get through this work day and have fun with my sister tonight/tomorrow. Sunday I hope to sit on the couch a lot and spend lots of time doing computery things, and also possibly eating snacks.

I have to go to work!

Tell me what you are doing this weekend, and also that you love me and that it's okay to take a break from the other blog for a day or two and that you aren't mad I haven't been to your blog much this week and that I am not In Over My Head with this dog!

black sheeped


Blogger Mommy Daisy said...

It sounds like you'll do a great job with the new dog. She'll get the hang of it. Our dog was a mess when we got him too, but he's pretty great now.

Taking a blog break is fine. It's necessary sometimes.

This weekend...well, we are celebrating my husband's birthday and taking a fall break. We're going hiking Saturday, relaxing Sunday, to the zoo Monday, and an anniversary dinner for his parents on Sunday night. Those are the plans for now.

8:24 AM, October 12, 2007  
Blogger Tessie said...

One of our dogs was a total Pain In The Ass when we first got her too. It gets better.

Mostly I'll just be bitter about the weather over the weekend. AGAIN.

8:26 AM, October 12, 2007  
Blogger Jess said...

I actually think that this stuff really is fascinating, and also that you guys are the perfect owner for this dog because she needs someone who understands dogs and how to train them, and who can love a bad dog while simultaneously training it to be a good dog. And that's exactly what you guys will do.

This weekend we're taking my French host brother to NYC since he's never been there before. And it's fine to take a break from the other blog--there are already so many tips there that we will survive a few days without any new ones. And nobody is mad because we all still love you, and you aren't in over your head with this dog because you are already doing a great job with her.

8:34 AM, October 12, 2007  
Blogger PixelPi said...

You obviously know exactly how to "help" Fred with her behaviors. Whereas I would have had her back to the kennel in less than 12 hours. I'm sorry, I can't help it that I'm a cat person. Do not worry about any blog when a sister coming to visit is involved. That is way more important than blogdom. Not that we won't miss you, but nobody's going to be tapping their wrist watches at 8 a.m. saying, "OK, where is it? She's late again!" Except maybe me. Taking blog breaks is a good thing. I do it all the time. If I don't have anything to say, I don't say it. This strategy, however, may be why I have no readers. Have a great weekend with visitors, cheers for every Fred victory, and I bet your blogs and readers will still be here next week.

8:50 AM, October 12, 2007  
Blogger el-e-e said...

You are so cute and we LOVE YOU! :) Bad dog and all! Hope you have fun with your sister; I wish mine would come visit me. We're going to a surprise birthday party for a 39-year-old, at an indoor go-kart track this weekend. RAN-DOM.

Woof! (or Baaay??) good luck with Fredilicious.

9:18 AM, October 12, 2007  
Blogger Marie Green said...

Yo go! Ceasar Milan the hell out of that dog! She WILL be good. Because with a face like that...

And YES take a break. I've been impressed how much you've been keeping up both blogs with your new job and all. A break is definitely earned! Besides, it'll give all of US a chance to make spider cookies and pumpkin cookies and cute pumpkin tea light holders (I'll have to go back and read that one, because I'm sure it has a better name than that...) See? win/win! =)

Oh, and what are we up to this weekend? David is tuck-pointing the chimney. (We have a brick house. A VERY TALL brick house with a very pointy roof.) Pray for him. That he doesn't fall. Thank you.

The end.

9:25 AM, October 12, 2007  
Blogger Shelly Overlook said...

Hee - "Cesar Milan the hell out of that dog!" Yep, that's what you have to do. Our first dog was a piece of cake, but Sam, not so much. You have to be a stickler for the discipline and above all, be consistent. The work-for-what-you-want really works. Also do stuff like make sure you go in doors/up stairs, etc. before her, make sure you give Monk his food before Fred gets hers. Stuff like that so she knows she is not In Charge and is, in fact, Lowest On The Totem Pole. I think it all adds up and makes a difference.

Hope your weekend is great!

9:50 AM, October 12, 2007  
Blogger Shannon said...

I have no idea how to train dogs but I'm glad there are people ou there with both the patience and the know-how to do it.

We miss you but we will be here when you get the time to blog!

10:28 AM, October 12, 2007  
Blogger Artemisia said...

Oh, honey. If ever there were parents that can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks, it is you and J. Perhaps your lives will be a tad crazy while Fred learns to adjust, but I know that this is the best thing in the world that could have happened to her! You guys are awesome. You will have a lovely, well behaved Fred before too long.

A girlfriend I've known since I was two will be in town with her new hubby and we are having a party for them. When I am not partying with D. and E., A. and I will be cheering for the Rockies.


Have fun with your company! I am sure she will understand if the house is only 99% clean instead of 100%.

10:54 AM, October 12, 2007  
Anonymous Swistle said...

I would rather have TWO newborns than a dog to train, so you don't have to worry that I'LL be secretly wondering why you don't blog as much.

2:35 PM, October 13, 2007  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh Kara. I had this exact same experience with our first dog, Linus. He is a fantastic dog now. He was awful and aggressive and DID bite people when we got him (only friends who did not listen when I said, "Don't pet him. He'll bite you!") Now he is 100% Good Dog. He has bad breath, but that's our fault. It took nearly a year to train him, but it was worth it. Good luck!!

3:08 PM, October 13, 2007  
Blogger jen said...

"Stupid little adorable moron" ha!!!

3:26 PM, October 13, 2007  

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