Wednesday, August 9, 2017

To train or not to train, that is the question

A somewhat-recent addition to our family is a mixed-breed terrier we named Bonnie-Belinda. Here she is, in the photo above, looking a lot like the RCA Victor dog I remember from childhood.

There's no doubt that we love Bonnie. She is very intelligent and has learned many things: some good, some not-so-good.
She has learned how to manipulate her daddy, who thinks she is ever so cute, and who is reluctant to train her how to walk properly on a leash.

My walker in the kitchen
when I first bought it.
The other day, Bonnie and I were out with my walker. I want her to get used to walking alongside me, and it.

My husband came with us to watch out for rabbits, because I can't hold the dog back when she sees a rabbit. See one she did, and leapt into killer-mode, nearly pulling my arm off, while my husband wasn't looking at us.

The bane of my existence, that man I love.
And he loves the dog, yes, I appreciate that, but some of it is misplaced, in my opinion. He lets her pull and tug on the leash, and her short-legged, deep-chested 40 lb. body (18kg) weighs a ton when she's pulling.
He is often away on business, and I have to be able to walk the dog, never as far as he can, 8000 or so steps on his iPhone step-tracker gizmo.

Because I paid for Bonnie at the SPCA, and also for her examination at a veterinary clinic soon after we adopted her, she is supposed to be my dog.
At the clinic, they gave me some special dog food that would help her get rid of pieces of the Kong toy in her stomach. Said to be indestructible, the Kong had succumbed to those powerful jaws Bonnie inherited from some of the bigger, stronger breeds in her DNA.
Although we attempted, somewhat successfully, to have our favourite groomer trim our new girl's toenails, we haven't yet introduced Bonnie to our 'personal' veterinarian, a lovely young woman who makes house calls. She was wonderful with our late Golden girl, Lindy, in her senior and final years. Coming to the house regularly to check on her, she was with her right until the end.

Lindy was definitely Dick's girl, and they went on those long walks together for years, until she couldn't do it any longer. She behaved impeccably. She was a lady, after all.
Bonnie-Belinda, on the other hand, is an excitable, impetuous, athletic growing girl. A horse of a different colour, as it were.

Linking with Lady Fi's wonderful meme Our World Tuesday.


Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Sorry to say it out loud dear friend, but you are correct and hubby has it wrong... BB is a bully breed and MUST be given strong training. It is not just that it could damage you if she pulls your arm out of its socket, or worst still onto your face... but heaven forbid, what damage might occur if she decided to latch on to another animal - or mistakes a small child's body language. No m'dear. TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN... then spoilings can take place as reward for good behaviour, not reinforcing the bad. She's truly Bonnie, your Belinda and she will be just as happy if not more so, when given strong leadership. Wishing you Love and success together. YAM xx

Kay L. Davies said...

Thanks, Yam. I've known these things all my life, almost always having had a dog, but Dick is new to dog ownership, and he thinks of Bonnie-Belinda as a cute walking companion., and the squealing noise she makes when she sees a rabbit is cute.
I guess I'll have to take it on myself to do the work. I'll have to have a trainer come here to work with me and with Bonnie until she learns her manners. Sigh.

TheChieftess said...

Lindy was a Golden Retriever...the mellowest of mellow dogs! is a must with little ones and terrier mixes! Perhaps you can find a dog trainer to help? When we got our previous dog, she had separation anxiety and the vet recommended training as the attention and the discipline calm them. (and our previous one was a Golden mix!) We were going to do group training at the local pet store, but my hubby was working then and missed meetings. So we opted to have one come to our home. It was expensive, but well worth it. By teaching us both how to handle the dog, and the tips she gave us for her anxiety we had a good and successful experience. Good luck Kay! Getting both on the same page for training a dog is the hardest part!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

OH my Kay -- Bonnie B is just full of life -- she's going to keep you young if she doesn't break your arm first! Was Lindy a lady from the very beginning?

Lady Fi said...

You need to train that cute girl right now! Dogs don't like it when they don't know who is boss. A dog trainer would certainly be a big help.

Mara said...

Train train train! I have never owned a dog, but even I know that training is very important, especially if you have to take care of her by yourself for stretches at a time and you can't have a dog pulling the lead and perhaps even pulling you off your feet!


Jenn Jilks said...

My dad's dog failed obedience training. You really need it to heel. Good luck.