Author Topic: Struggling first time owner - help!  (Read 1328 times)

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Offline ejp

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Re: Struggling first time owner - help!
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2020, 08:16:18 PM »
Goodness, that is a lot for a young dog, no wonder she is insecure.  I think you are both doing great, and there will be days where you doubt your judgement and/or sanity.  We all do.  Daisy was going to be pts for aggression before a rescue stepped in, and we were asked to take her, because at that time we didn't have dogs.  She wasn't aggressive, she was just scared.  The trainer told me that it was essentially her shouting 'keep away, keep away'.  We have had her a number of years now, and we have reached a stage where we know things are as good as they will be.  Time will make a huge difference.  Just get to know each other, take it easy and don't give yourself a hard time, this is going much better than you think.

Offline OffMyCocker

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Re: Struggling first time owner - help!
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2020, 12:19:33 PM »
Hi everyone, I'm back again! I've now had Lady for 4 months and... a lot of things are still really difficult, but how I feel has changed dramatically. We started working with a behaviourist, which gave us a lot of confidence. Lady has had a season and we got through that (her reactivity was through the roof during!) and we've got a date for a spaying in the autumn.

With the behaviourist, Lady has now met and gone for walks with 4 different dogs. I also recently introduced her to a friend's puppy and it was really successful. We still have a long way to go, and sometimes I just want to pack it all in. Yesterday she started barking at SOMETHING outside (goodness knows what) and I just burst into tears! But on the flip side, my behaviourist this Saturday told me that my handling skills are exceptional, and the bond we have (Lady responding to me/my DH) are outstanding.

When I originally posted, I really felt like I would never make it to 3 months with Lady. I was counting the weeks every single Monday, waiting for something...anything... to happen, but now I feel so much less stressed. Owning a reactive dog, especially one that also has separation anxiety, is hard work, but it's true that how you feel about the situation can change so much. It really has for me! I'm now just taking each new challenge as it comes, and introducing Lady to the world little by little.

Thanks to everyone who gave such lovely messages of support at the beginning - this really is such a lovely group.

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Struggling first time owner - help!
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2020, 01:25:50 PM »
So glad you‘re starting to feel better about things. Taking on a puppy is an enormous step, you have this little bundle of fluff that is forced to abandon a lot of the behaviour that‘s inborn and learn to fit into the human world with all the restrictions and expectations that our society imposes. We on the other hand are trying to teach them to do that with only our human experiences and instincts to fall back on; is it any wonder we have moments of despair? :lol2: We‘ve ALL been there at some point, even the old hands on here had to start somewhere, tears at bedtime are quite normal!!  :lol2:
You sound as if you‘re doing fine, you‘ve been responsible and sought help where you needed it and it sounds very much as if Lady‘s responding well. Its great that the behaviourist has reassured you, I think we all just need that bit of assurance from time to time and as Lady progresses your own confidence will grow (and before you know it, you‘ll be supporting newbies on here going through the same thing. ;) ).
They say you form the strongest bond with the more difficult dogs, - she’s still very young, but stick with it, keep a sense of humour and you‘ll be the dream team one of these days!!  ;)

Offline ejp

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Re: Struggling first time owner - help!
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2020, 05:23:28 PM »
I am so glad you have posted again, I did wonder how things were going.  Being reactive in a class is not unusual, Daisy was a nightmare, and I used to have to take her out for a breather and go back in.  For me, the classes were more about me learning what to do than her.  Even now there are times when she takes us by surprise, I really think you have made impressive progress, and to have that bond with Lady is everything.  Keep dipping in and out of here if you can, and are happy to do so.

Offline PennyB

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Re: Struggling first time owner - help!
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2020, 09:40:58 PM »
It also sounds like you've worked pretty hard for her too. I have a reactive dog so know how hard some days can be
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Offline OffMyCocker

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Re: Struggling first time owner - help!
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2020, 12:51:55 PM »
It also sounds like you've worked pretty hard for her too. I have a reactive dog so know how hard some days can be

It definitely is hard work owning a reactive! There are a LOT of ups and downs, but today I'm feeling positive and counting my blessings that my little girl is extremely cuddly at home!

How long have you had your reactive dog and how's it going?