I read Susan Garrett's training blog on Wednesday and have a good think about what she said in this post and I thought I agree with her; but yesterday morning, I read Diana's blog, what she said is also make sense, and I agree with her too! How confused am I? Then, today, I read Susan's another related post, so what am I thinking now?
... I think I am still confused!!! I have a dog related to all the issues.
When I wanted to add the 3rd dog to our family, I searched for a long time. I thought I knew what I was looking then. I have two sables (Sing is a Shaded and Seagull is a Golden), so I want either a blue merle or a tri. You know a blue merle is so hard to come by so I was down to tri. I saw an ad on epupz and arranged with the breeder to go and see him.
As usual, we were all excited about this new puppy that we are going to see. It was quite a long drive to get to see him, (I am not complaining as all mine come from miles. I will travel to anywhere to get the right dog!) in the good old days, we haven't got a Sat Nav, so we got lost in Wales, can't read the Welsh names and map doesn't match and we were circling around Cardiff for hours and hours! At the end, we have to ring the breeder to come and fetch us, Ha!
Before seeing him, I have never thought that any sheltie puppies are not gorgeous. There were four puppies in the litter, 2 tri girls, 1 blue merle girl and he is the only tri boy. We knew we are going to see him when we spoke to the breeder then, as I only want BOY. For some reason, I haven't have the "special" feeling when I see him, I had seen his picture before making this arrangement but when I was there, looking at him, we just cannot "click". I was waiting for the "sparkle" to happen but after spending two hours in the breeder's house, I whisper to Colin, I want to leave this puppy and go home. Colin was shocked, he thought he was so cute, extremely gorgeous and cannot understand why I do not want him!! He determined he wants to take him home. I told him I have no feeling for him and he nevers come to approach me for all the time I was there, Colin said I was being sensitive and he was only 6 weeks old. He then said to the breeder, he will take him there and then!
So, this tiny tri boy comes home with us as a 6 weeks old puppy. I thought, that's faith and I have to accept him and he will accept me in no time. I was wrong and I am still wrong! Once he got home, I started to love him. Well, you cannot NOT love a puppy, he was so tiny and cute. He was very cheeky too, so I DID fell in love with him after a few hours!
When I have a puppy, I expect him to follow me everywhere, but he never did! When there is someone else present, he always go to him/her. At home, he always run to Colin, my nephews and Ling for comfort/cuddle. When I took the dogs out walking, if he spotted someone else, he will follow them instead of me (that happened everytime when he was young but he is ok now, he understand he belongs to my pack). I am ALWAYS the last person he wants to be with. I feel HURT, really hurt. All my dogs love me, adore me, they think I am the most wonderful person to be with, they don't even have their eyes set on anybody else but not him.
I voice this out to every single person I met, all they told me is ... be patient, he is still very young, gives him time, he will love you like the others.
When he was about 6-7 months old, I started taking him to our club to do some puppy foundation training, you know what is going to happen, aren't you? All he wants is to run to Eleanor (my trainer) for a cuddle or to say hello to other doggies' mum. Then, Eleanor suggested I need to bond with this dog. HayHoo! I have tried so hard, I gave him special treat so he could come to me and not run to Eleanor (Eleanor tried to help me by ignoring him and not giving him any treat) but NOPE! Other is still the best! When Eleanor ignored him, he ran to the other doggie's mum! How do you think I feel? At one point, I thought these people must think I have been cruel to him at home so he dislike me. Do you know I cried and cried and cried ... but no one understand our relationship!
I was so helpless and thinking of given up on him but Colin and I agreed, all our dogs are not a gift, they are our children, our family, they are for life, so we need to stick with them whatever they are! Then, a disaster happened at training. He got bitten by an aggressive Border Terrier TWICE. That put him off from agility, so it seems to be the right thing to give him a break then.
If we have visitors (friends or sale person or gas reading man), instead of barking like the others do, he run straight up to them for a cuddle! I always worried if one day we had a robbery (touch wood!), he probably run up to them and give them kisses!!! This is another reason why I didn't run him in agility. I train him, other than he is still cannot weave on his own, he can do all equipments. He is very fast with no fear at all. His best obstacle is the see-saw. He could run up in speed, honest, very fast and stop dead and wait for the see-saw to tilt! He is the only dog in my pack did the most beautiful see-saw. I have tried to compete with him to get some experience, every single time, he has to go and greet the judge, the scrimer, the ring party, the photograher ... etc. Like, jump, jump, jump OFF he goes, jump, jump, jump OFF her goes ... At first I thought all baby dogs do that but he carried on like that at every single show! At the end, I gave up running him, so Ryan ran him for a little while. They loved each other so much, they have fun together but once Titan get used to Ryan, he started to do the "saying hello" to ring party trick again! It was very stressful and frustrated for me to watch his bad attitude towards Ryan.
I have learned over the years, he likes new people, he will work beautifully for someone NEW, once he get used to him, he will play his party trick. He has been running for quite a few people, the beginning bit is always so good but it didn't last. He definitely like everyone excluding me! He would be a wonderful PAT dog. Anyone who knows him know how loving and affectionate he is. If we have visitors, he will be always be the first one to push to have attention and never want to get off your lap.
Don't get me wrong, I love this dog, but not the same way I love the others. Now, you tell me, what situation I am in?