One of my best friends is a wonderful woman that is trying to parent her two children on her own. Her husband died when she was eight months pregnant with their second child. She works full time and still manages to do a great job in parenting the children. Her husband has been dead for eight years. During that time, both of her parents also passed away along with the dog that she had for twelve years. Two years ago she decided to get another dog. She bought a very headstrong terrier. When it was a puppy, she talked about enrolling him in dog obedience training, but the breeder told her to wait until the dog was a year old.
My husband and I raise and train hunting dogs. We begin dog obedience training as soon as they are weaned from the litter. I explained this to my friend, but she thought she should listen to the breeder. She thought it made a difference that her dog was a terrier and ours are Labrador Retrievers. Her dog has always been quite challenging to be around. He barks and jumps up on people when they come to the door. She does tell him no and removes him from the situation, but he was given no other training. When she takes him on a walk, she uses and extension leash, so the dog has full control over the situation.
Now that the dog is two years old and weighs fifty pounds, she is trying to discipline him, and she is running into resistance. He still barks and jumps on people. Over the summer, he bit a child in hand. Her son told her that this child has been mean to the dog in the past. The bite did not require medical attention, and the parents of the child did not pursue any action. My friend thought this was an isolated incident and that it had occurred due to this child being mean to the dog. Two months ago, the dog jumped on a neighbor’s child and scratched his face. The scratches were so deep that the child required stitches. My friend decided that she needed to get the dog obedience training immediately or she may be facing a lawsuit. The humane society suggested that she hire a trainer that comes into the home and works with the family and the animal to correct behavior problems. This situation seemed to go beyond the realm of basic dog obedience training.
The trainer came to the house and met the dog and my friend and her children. The trainer listened to the concerns and then developed the dog obedience training specifically for their dog. The process is supposed to take about six weeks to correct the dog’s behaviors. My friend agrees that she should have listened to me and started the dog obedience training when her dog was a puppy.