Every now and again I am presented with a dog trainer dilemma, a seemingly overwhelming task to perform. This particular dog trainer dilemma was “turning around” a mismatched owner-dog relationship.
Here are the details of the case
Mr. and Mrs. Smith had had numerous German Shepherd dogs – all males – during their 50 years of marriage.
They were veteran dog owners to say the least.
They were both 75 years of age.
They had been without a dog for some time when they acquired their last male German Shepherd puppy at 8 weeks of age. They named him Buddy.
When Buddy was 4 months of age, Mr. Smith suddenly passed away leaving Mrs. Smith to deal with raising a new puppy.
She decided to keep the puppy for companionship and fulfill her commitment to Buddy.
Additional discovery revealed the following about Buddy as a puppy:
- Buddy was fed a grocery store variety dog food
- Buddy was walked on a flat buckle collar and 6’ leash
- Crate trained and loved his crate.
- Crated at night and when Mrs. Smith left the house.
- Buddy was very food treat motivated.
But, at the bossy age of 6 months, Mrs. Smith was faced with the following dog behavior problems:
Buddy began to challenge Mrs. Smith which presented the following dog behavior problems:
- Being very mouthy with her
- Jumping on her
- Destructive with couch pillows, magazines and her shoes.
- Leash pulling and biting the leash limited him to a short once a day walk
Joining a dog obedience class was a fiasco because she was unable to control him around the other dogs.
Your dog trainer dilemma
Sometimes the dog size, strength and temperament is such a mismatch with the owner’s size, capabilities and intestinal fortitude that you feel obligated to suggest re-homing the dog. On the other hand it’s not easy to come up with the best way to present that option – especially without first working with Mrs. Smith and Buddy.
So, what would you do to help Mrs. Smith?
What would you recommend as solutions to the following 3 dilemmas? Let’s talk about this in the comments section below.
- A quick-fix to immediately get Buddy under control in the house
- One thing you would teach her to get better behavior in the house
- Easier walking solution to increase control and walking time outside
As always, I am interested in in helping you and hearing what you have to say.