|♠- Ruger- ♠|| |
|Barked: Wed Feb 25, '09 5:49am PST |
|I think I just need to vent...
I'd like to start by saying I wholeheartedly believe dogs are lifetime commitments, and unless you have an extreme case or circumstance you should troubleshoot any problems that arise, be them training, behavior, health, etc.
Having said that, I'm kind of at wits end with Ruger. He and my husband do not get along. And my husband was here first. The problem stems from Ruger's uncontrollable hyperness, his extreme energy level, and his compulsive licking.
Now, average day for us includes at least one long walk around the neighborhood, lots of backyard play time, play time with Payson, three to five times a week we hike over to a lake and he swims for long periods of time, and gets tons of off-leash run time, we usually get to the dog park two to three times a week, and practice agility. I'm home all the time, he goes almost everywhere with me, on the weekends he goes over to a family member's house who has property and a puppy for him and Payson to play with. He does not lack on exercise. I also spend at least one twenty minute training session a day teaching tricks and such, and as soon as he starts to get one down I start teaching a new one, while practicing all the old tricks. So I wouldn't think he's lacking on mental stimulation either.
He is only a year old.
He listens very well, will recall no matter where he is, even if he can't see you. He's got the basics down to where he can be yards away from you and you can tell him to sit or lay down and he'll immediately do it.
Now, my husband grew up on a working cattle ranch. He's always had queensland heelers. He knows and understands the mentality of a herding dog, and while most of his heelers were working cow dogs, he did have one that was a pet, and was a tennis ball spazz, but still wasn't nearly as psychotic as Ruger.
The issue comes, as I said, from Ruger's seemingly uncontrollable energy. He can't turn it off. The minute you try to pet him, or talk to him, or give him a treat, he completely spazzes. If you do try to pet him, he licks compulsively. If there are three people petting him, and someone reaches over and pats Payson, Ruger immediately pushes himself in the way, knocking everyone over including Payson, to get to the one person who patted her. If he is being calm around people, and you try to calmly reward him in any way, he turns into a complete freak again. If you even talk to him he spazzes. He's constantly knocking down people, not from jumping or anything, but just from being so hyper and running/spinning into them. We get after him and he'll calm for thirty seconds, then forget it.
For example, last weekend we were over at the cousin's house and he played all day. When we got home, my husband got out of the bronco and told the dogs to come on. Payson doesn't usually listen to him, so he called Ruger. Instead of Ruger getting out of the truck, he shoved his way from the back seat to underneath my feet in the driver's seat. My husband has never hit, or even really gotten after Ruger. He was calling him in a calm, kind voice. Payson started to get out, then saw Ruger spazzing under my feet, and she cowered into the back. My husband just shrugged and walked away.
One of the reasons I fell in love with my husband was because he was the first and only person I'd ever seen Brandywine and Nannook take to instantly. They loved him, and followed him around everywhere. He's so good with dogs, horses, even cats... all animals really. But Ruger for some odd reason is extra freaky around him.
This problem has gotten worse over the last three or four months. I've tried everything I can think of, everything I've ever seen Dogsters suggest, everything I've looked up on the net... it seems the more you try to calm him down, the more he spazzes.
I've had him since he was just under five weeks old. His mom was hit and killed by a car and he was bottle fed. Cheyenne was his surrogate mother, and kept him in check, but as soon as she died when he was six months old, and that's when I really started working with him (I did before, but after she died I stepped it up several notches just to give him a distraction).
Anyway, there's a lot of tension between him and my husband, to where when my husband gets home Ruger goes outside. I think it annoys other people as well when they try to pet him and he spazzes out and licks compulsively. Even my daughter, who loves animals, gets mad at Ruger all the time when he does things like sniffs her face or licks her. Payson can do anything, but Ruger she gets mad at.
My husband has flat out told me (we have a very open and honest relationship) that Ruger bugs him, and that he just plain does not like him. I've come out and asked him if he wants me to get rid of Ruger... he always tells me that he doesn't care, that Ruger isn't his dog, he's my dog, he was bought for me, and what I do with him is entirely up to me...
Sorry it was so long, I just really needed to vent... am I just not offering Ruger enough? Does he need to be in a home with livestock? Will he calm down with age? I know he's still young, but this also doesn't seem like a puppy thing to me... or my husband.
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