Cathartic Release (AKA I Called a New Dog Trainer)

This morning I called a new dog trainer, we need a second opinion. We like our current trainer well enough, but with how much money and time we’ve spent on training, shouldn’t our dog be able to sit on the floor calmly for more then 20 seconds? And stop jumping on the counters? And maybe not bark anytime both Mr. MPB and I are in the kitchen?

I figure at this point, a second opinion cannot hurt.

This new trainer, she comes highly recommended. We actually didn’t use her to begin with because she cost so much. But honestly, at this point, we need another set of eyes and another set of ideas.

As I talked to the new trainer, telling her all about Doodle MPB, I tears began running down my cheeks.

As I talk, I realize just how much Doodle MPB has changed our lives and how annoyed I am at her. She’s basically the biggest mistake of my life, and she’s exhausting me. Her barking is literally driving us crazy. The resulting arguments between myself and Mr. MPB, isn’t healthy. Mr. MPB is back to threatening to put a bark collar on her, and I’m back to saying no, let the clomicalm take effect – it feels as though we suddenly are back to the early days with our arguing. Somehow we, the humans, have regressed this week. Maybe our regression is because our hopes for the clomicalm were too high and now we are disappointed? And maybe the other family drama is just making the normally tolerable, intolerable?

I tell her how cute Doodle MPB is, and that she is crate trained and that she’s not bad walking on a leash. But I tell her that’s where the good things seem to end most days.

I tell her about the foot injury. I tell her about the techniques that are mostly working (crate in another room with a blanket over it when the house is busy, feeding puzzles/toys, long walks, etc.). I tell her that Mr. MPB wont give up on her.

I admit, getting a puppy with a 2 year old was a huge mistake, because time is limited and I managed to pick out an extra special crazy dog. I talk about how we just don’t have time in the day for everything, and on days when either Mr. MPB are away with work, walking the dog with the child isn’t an option – it’s just not safe at this point in time as the child is a runner and the dog is crazy, we are bound to have someone get hit by a car or get scratched and jumped on. Not being able to take them out together is a huge problem from an actual hours in the day perspective.

I tell her I used to dream of having a well trained dog, who knows tricks and walks right beside me. Now, I just dream of having Doodle MPB not bark so much and having her out in the house, sitting calmly on the floor or the couch after Little MPB goes to bed, being part of the family. But because she is so crazy, now she spends way too much time in a crate. And if I could have three things, I’d also love for keep all four paws on the ground rather then be part kangaroo.

I tell her, I literally feel as though I cannot do anymore. I’m at my breaking point, yet I also cannot imagine actually giving up on her, because the options as we see them just aren’t good options.

So, we keep trudging ahead. And our frustration grows, hence the phone call this morning. We are not willing to keep just throwing money at Doodle MPB, because at this point we literally just throwing away money. We need to get Doodle MPB into a place of thinking, so that all her trained skills will start to shine through. I know she knows the skills, because she will do them…for 3 seconds before her energy erupts and she’s back to being crazy.

And then, as I keep talking, I realize how bad I feel for her. Her anxiety is not normal. I truly cannot imagine living inside her brain, day-in and day-out. And this, is why I cannot give up on her.

In a way, it was a bit of a cathartic release of everything. I end up apologizing for dumping this all on her, but she seems to actually hear me. She seems to get it.

We agree we need to meet while Little MPB is at daycare, so that we can focus on just Doodle MPB. We agree to book anytime on Monday that will work for Mr. MPB’s schedule – she has promised to keep the entire day clear until she hears back from me. If Mr. MPB cannot make himself available due to work commitments, then just her and I will meet with Doodle MPB.

So, maybe this new trainer will have an idea or two or maybe a magic trick up her sleeve?

I can hope, right?

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11 Comments on “Cathartic Release (AKA I Called a New Dog Trainer)

  1. What a sad scenario, for everyone. I am so sorry you aren’t having the success you were hoping for when adding a furry member to you family. We had a pure bred Red Merle Australian Sheppard when I was in high school and she was not quite right as well. We didn’t deal with barking but she was strung out and unpredictable. She bit me in the face, my dad in the neck. We didn’t give up on her but life wasn’t “normal” with her as our pet. She went in the back room when we had company and we were out for HOURS everyday trying to run off her intense energy. We did doggy training and unfortunately, in our non-existent understanding of how to deal with an animal like her, the techniques we were taught were more damaging than good. Finally our gut instinct was that it was not good for any of us an we quit it but I think some damage was done. We didn’t get her from a breeder so we had no other options. I believe you did get her from a breeder, right? Any breeder that I have gotten a dog from has a clause that they will take back any dogs with health issues or if you can no longer care for the dog they will take them back. I can’t remember if you’ve touched on this in previous posts but maybe it’s time to surrender her back to the breeder? You clearly got a puppy that has significant health issues. Anyway, I really hope you have some success with your new trainer! Hang in there!

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  2. I don’t have any words that can help change this situation that you are in, just know that I’m sending all my positive vibes to you guys in hopes that this new trainer might be able to break through with some new ideas that might help. I really feel for you guys and keep hoping to one day see a post that is about her improvements.

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  3. Our first Jack Russell was a lot like this and I regretted getting him so much. We didn’t even have a child then. He was with us for just over 14yrs and I miss him dearly now. I hope that your pup comes around and this trainer has a positive impact on her.

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  4. We had a dog with high anxiety and aggression (full bites, would attack over resources) for seven years. It was incredibly debilitating and definitely categorize adopting him as the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. I hope this new trainer has done kind of trick up her sleeve that helps!

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  5. My number one advice as a trainer would be hire a dog walker (the kind that takes groups of dogs on off leash hikes in the woods if that’s possible where you live). If that isn’t possible, bring her to doggy daycare a few times a week. Your total cost will be less than training and I would bet the results at this point would be more useful.

    You’re right – there aren’t enough hours to do it all when you can’t take dog and toddler out together. In our case it only works because we live near tons of trails where toddler goes on my back and dogs are off leash.

    If you invest and hire someone to run the pants off her a few times a week for the next year I think things will get so much better. I still think rehoming with home checks and trainer input is a good solution – but tons of exercise can help so.much of the crazy.

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    • Cosigning in this. I know neighborhood folks who spend and hour or two at the dog park daily to get their dogs under control. Hard to imagine, but it seems to be the only way to manage. Lots of walkers with them.

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  6. I can’t wait to hear how it goes. And hugs for you. You have a huge heart and this has been so hard on you in an already busy life. I met a beautiful labradoodle yesterday – he was 12 years old and still pretty excited I felt for an older dog. Maybe the breed naturally has extra energy PLUS you have the anxiety on top of that? I wish the meds had had more impact. So sorry it wasn’t the magic pill 😦

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  7. Awww fingers crossed this trainer will have some new tips for you. I actually just read a FB article (I know I know) about labradoodles called “Those cute labradoodles mask a dark, disturbing truth”. . Maybe try googling it? One sentence made me think of you.. “I opened a Pandora’s box, that’s what I did,” said puppy-breeding manager Wally Conron in 2014. “So many people are just breeding for the money. So many of these dogs have physical problems, and a lot of them are just crazy.” 🤷🏻‍♀️

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  8. Oh my gosh! I feel for you! I can certainly relate to feeling like you can’t handle her and yet being torn about not wanting to abandon her! I am very much the same way in regards to my pets. If I take on a pet, I am committed and will go out of my way to do what is right, but if there are behavioral issues, I would also not want to give up on them.

    I know this is not an option, and it is not a recommendation, as much as sharing a story. My daughter had a dog who was very neurotic, and they went through behavior training and various avenues to calm him. Then at some point, they just decided they had done all they could and would need to learn to live with the behaviors. Mind you, they don’t yet have children, because of their fertility struggles, so that made it slightly easier for them to deal with the behavior! The dog bonded mostly with my son in law, so my daughter decided that she wanted a dog who would bond with her, as she was the main person who wanted a pet to begin with! Due to the dog’s neurotic behavior, he just wasn’t much of a pet, but was just there. He didn’t like being petted or most human interaction… he was just there and that was about it!

    They got another dog, who was an older puppy, around 8 months old! Suddenly their other neurotic dog started behaving better, and he suddenly liked human interaction and turned into a more normal pet! They literally spent a LOT of money trying to fix his behaviors, and then as soon as he had another dog to relate to or compete with, or whatever caused him to change….. but he is now a very nice and loyal pet and while he still has some strange habits, they are not habits that are harmful!

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  9. Eek. Sorry you’re going through this. There are lots of dogs where we are, and so I’ve seen a few crazy ones. One thing I would say is, I never thought of a training collar (we are terrible and have barely trained Dog, but he’s small and easy to deal with) but I saw some really good results locally. It was one that sprayed water. The dog was a frenchie and very barky and a bit crazy. Anyway the owners have dog training experience and they put the collar on her and she’s a different dog. She doesn’t even wear the collar any more. It was just a temporary thing. She still barks a bit but hardly anything compared to before.

    Also. Our Dog was always a bit crazy – but since B and since he got to be 4-5 he calmed down a lot. I realise that’s no consolation now but I am just saying this because we really wondered if he would ever lose the mad puppy stage, and he did. It definitely took a while but he is much calmer now.

    I hope you get some good results with the new trainer!

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