Sunday, November 18, 2012

I'm not a dog trainer, but I play one on TV.

Remember when I was all, "My dog is destroying my life?"


Longtime friend of noodleroux Patti left an impassioned comment about her own personal canine hell.

... I saw a picture of a cute puppy on FB and next thing I knew I had an 8 wk old spawn of satan. ... My free dog has cost me $300 in training and she is still a wild ass monster. ... I hold you responsible Cha Cha after all your cute dog pictures and talk of puppy love. I obviously overlooked the parts about ruined bedding and destroyed possessions, but someone has to be responsible for this mayhem that I have visited on my life so I choose you ... I could be on dog shaming every single day of the week. My dog's sign would say "I am a face licking, door scratching, fence digging, shoe eating, couch ripping cushion digging food stealing counter jumping dinner begging arm breaking old lady tripping cat chasing mother f-ing nightmare except I make sure everyone is AWAKE by my loud and endless barking" signed Olive. Help me.... 

Oh, sister.

First of all, get a bottle of wine. Not a glass. A bottle.

Now then.

I'm so, so sorry.

Keep in mind that this entire blog is basically 1 giant exercise in "do as I say not as I do." Just for the record, I do not condone having 4 dogs, 3 of whom are assholes. I do not suggest letting them rule who sits where on the couch, and I don't recommend being "flexible" (read: "completely inept") with the training. Legally, I assume no responsibility for shit you get yourself into after reading this here blog ... so Patti, honey? Don't you dare drop your dog off at my house in the middle of the night. I will know it was you, and I will make sure Olive finds her way back to you.

That said ... I don't actually have experience with puppies. All of my dogs have come into my life as adults. Your puppy sounds like a coked-up toddler. At least you know there's no reasoning with her - I mean, she's a coked-up toddler, and there's not much you can do with that except ride it out.

Training is good. Routines and good. Crates are awesome and absolutely necessary. And getting the pup as tired as possible is good. But you know all these things.

Here's my black-market dog advice:

1. Get some Rescue Remedy. They make a doggie version, and you can either put a few drops on the dog's food or put a few drops on the top of her head, specifically at the high point of the skull, kinda in between the ears. It's calming.

2. Learn the Vulcan death grip. Back when I was working with a homeopathic vet, trying to work miracles for Geriatric Poodle, I learned a little doggie acupuncture. Put your thumb on that high skull point I just described, and put a finger on the back of each ear. Consistent pressure on these 3 points is supposed to be calming. It worked on the Geriatric Poodle, but I will say that dachshunds consider this move to be voodoo bullshit and refuse to be calmed by it.

3. Git you some Nature's Miracle. The cleaners are great, although the No More Marking spray hasn't quite lived up to its name at my house. (Foxie Doxie, I'm looking at you. It's been 9 years. You can stop peeing on the furniture legs any time.)

4. Puppy-proof your house. If there's stuff that you would die if it got ruined, put it away for now. You can get your nice bedding back out and be more laissez-faire about putting your shoes away once your toddler has come down from the cocaine high. Recognize that you are living with a crazy being, but that the insanity is temporary.

5. I really like RELAX Riesling. And it's only like $9 a bottle. Get a case.

6. Focus on the puppy cuteness. God made babies and puppies cute so that we don't kill 'em.
Readers, what puppy advice do you have for Patti?


smalltownme said...

My advice? Become a cat person. Ha ha, just kidding, I think, although my mother in law regrets adopting s poodle.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

my advice, having raised 2 sweet labs from 7 weeks and also having gotten 2 adult dogs: you feel relieved when you realize they are 2+ years old and no longer the challenge that cute little puppies are :) it takes time.....

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Training. We got an adult dog for a reason--much calmer, already trained. The little work we had to do was easy with some professional help. And educational, too.

Rainbow Motel said...

I like my wine dry and un-sweet. Just like the mood I'm in when our rescued kitten leaves poopy skid marks on my new sofa.

itsjustme said...

I've always been a vodka girl...but beyond that you gave great advice. Put the stuff away. Chewing - put cayenne pepper on everything with legs... then watch them sneeze.

The really hard part is exercise. If I remember correctly we were doing 30 - an hour twice a day EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The barking is a beating, but get a spray bottle of water and spray the crap out her when she barks OR you can get a can (probably beer from the massive amt of drinking dog ownership requires) fill it with pennies and shake the crap out of it when she does something you don't like. You have to say NO and then shake the can. It requires a weird time of coordination to get the timing right, but the no has to come first.

Dogs are pack animals. YOU are the pack leader. Say that to yourself constantly. And be prepared to totally focus on dog training every waking minute for at least 2 months... seriously, they start to get it after that.

And drink. A lot. No getting around that part.

Patti said...

Cha Cha, thank you so much for your advice and helpful suggestions! They were all new to me and I am on the way to get the Rescue Remedy today (I have some for myself that I have been using to survive). I also appreciate all the advice from others. We have been through private puppy school, and when we had a special session to determine why she absolutely fucking loses it when I get out the broom, rake, shovel, mop or vacuum he said she may be the most stubborn dog he has seen in 25 years of dog training. Yeah.
There are good days in with the bad. She is sweet as well as horrible. I am hoping to manifest a thanksgiving where she does not break any hips on my elderly guests or eat the turkey or ham before the dinner. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and come back with really great stories as usual!!