Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We're Bad Parents

Soooo Austin loves dogs. Like really LOVES dogs. They are EVERYWHERE. Which is cool if your dog loves other random dogs and people just chillin or walking around town. Stew? meh. not so much. We will say he's just a little bit unpredictable. There are so many places to bring, play, and exercise your dog here that sometimes we feel limited in what we are able to do. Enough is enough.

We've been determined to kick his bad habits for some time now but haven't been successful with the classes and training we've done so far. We've even been really good about not letting our little cuddlebug sleep with us on the bed or up on the couch. Those of you with dogs know how hard this can be when you just need a little extra TLC or your hubby is gone for the weekend.

Now, don't get us wrong. Our trainer back in Cali was pretty awesome. Stew came away from classes with some great party tricks (we'll show you next time you come to visit) and general obedience commands that are used day in and day out here at the Vance house. So what changed? Well, Austin has some pretty strict dog laws (any dog who punctures skin- even a scratch- is subject to have their dog quarantined for up to 10 days for rabies) though and we knew that with family and friends frequently visiting this year we wanted to take an aggressive approach and make some drastic changes around here.

After a lot of research (do people really think that you will pay $400 for group classes????!!!) we made the call to a wonderful place called, Training by Tara. Jess called and set up a consultation for Stewart. We knew this place was different when they sent us a bunch of surveys and questionnaires to fill out before our first session. They asked questions about how often he eats, how he plays, and even where he sleeps.

On Monday, Tara arrived to speak with Jake and see Stewie in his element. Although Jess wasn't around let's just say that the meeting can be summed up in two words: bad parents. No, jk. Well, kinda. The short version: Stewart is one confused little guy. He doesn't know whether he is the pack leader (if you think we are going Dog Whisperer on ya'll we kinda are, female version though) or if we are.

Calm, assertive energy.



She also said that he had a lot of anxiety because we were showing him that energy. She made some positive comments (parents trying to save face here) along with some great tips about dogs and how the whole dog/pack world works. The best news we heard was that she has had cases way worse than this. It was almost as though we let out a huge sigh and could stop holding our breathe.

The last (and first) time we had someone visit us here in Texas (Perm, still waiting for pics so we can finish our post....) Jessica's poor brother had to play fetch with Stew using an annoying squeaky toy every time he came in the house. Every time. Even when we went to the pool that's only 10 steps away from our front door. Not something we want to subject our future guests, family, and future children too.

even the squeaky toy is tired of fetch sometimes.



Moral of the story? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree (sorry Stew!) and we need to change the way to run the house to change how our son responds to ....well..everything. She claimed that we only need 3 sessions with her, but we know that it will take a lot of work and change on our end too. But, that's OK.

When people say that dogs are training for kids we're kinda thinking that they might be right. Although we laughed off these claimed early on, we're beginning to think that there's probably a lot of truth in what they're saying. No kids on the plate for now guys. Hold your horses.

if only.


2 comments:

Franco said...

thats not bad we paid $3500 about 10 years ago with my brothers dog he was a dobi it was 1on1 he trained 3 of us all at seperate times, and after the sessions i have been able to train 4 dogs now Playboy a huge pit, lucky a hyperactive boxer, and now rocco the easiest, and bella the "absolute hardest to train"... Maybe i need a refresher course. :o) great idea guys it will be way way worth every penny.

Jakeandjess said...

i know 400 isn't too bad but that's in a regular class setting with 9 other dogs. stewie needs one on one and one lady charges around 2000. i know the money will be worth it but we were fortunately able to find someone both amazing and really affordable!

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