Bo from Kranky K9 Dog Training came to our house on Saturday to work with Tiberius, Emmy, and Cookie, and see what the situation was. It turns out Cookie is definitely the instigator, and has a pretty serious case of dog aggression (not an ounce of human aggression though.) We took them all on a long walk to tire them out a little. I was amazed at how well they walked. Up until now I have never consistently walked my dogs, because they pull on the leash something awful and it’s a miserable experience. But Bo told me to get prong collars for them. I’ve always been against them, but obviously my method of training wasn’t working, so I decided to give it a try. I tried it on myself first and gave it a good yank so I’d know what they would be feeling, and it’s not nearly as painful as I expected. Not fun, but not awful, and not injuring. And they walk almost perfectly now!
After an hour and a half, Bo said, “I don’t know, you might have to find her a new home,” which almost made me cry. But he’s not one to give up, so we kept at it. Another hour and he was hopeful we could work the mess out. But he strongly recommended 3 weeks of board and train, where Cookie will get 3 sessions every day with Bo. Knowing that the situation is far beyond my limited capabilities, I sadly agreed. He picked her up yesterday morning at 9:00. I already miss my Cookie Monster. But I’m hopeful Bo will be able to get everything worked out. He’s been training dogs for 10 years and was the first in the area to deal with severe aggression cases. He knows what he’s doing.
In the meantime, we’re also taking Tiberius and Emmy to 10 sessions with Bo. The first was on Sunday, and I’m already amazed at how much we’re all learning. I really enjoy working with them daily, and can’t wait for our next session on Thursday to find out what we’ll learn then. They’re already starting to learn to walk right alongside us instead of pulling ahead, and to pay attention to us. We’re also working on crate training. I learned that crate training is far more than getting your dog to go into a crate for a treat. It’s getting your dog to go into a crate on command, for NO treat, and for him to stay in there, even if the door is wide open. Bo told me Tiberius has some crate anxiety, which I didn’t realize. I thought he just whimpered because he didn’t want me to leave. True, but that equals anxiety. He’s already getting more comfortable in his crate. And they’re learning not to walk through doors ahead of us. Before going through any door in the house, they have to sit and wait for us to tell them it’s ok to go through, even if I walk halfway down the hall before saying so. I am amazed at how quickly they’re learning all this.
Part of the training is to walk them twice a day. So I’ll be getting up an hour earlier every morning to take them on a long walk, and walking them again in the evening. This will be good for me too – forces me to FINALLY start a regular exercise routine! And since they walk very nicely now, it’s also very enjoyable, and it’s nice for John and me to do something outside of the house. We tend to be homebodies if left to our own devices.
If you’re curious, here’s Kranky K9’s YouTube page. Bo said he’ll post some videos of Cookie. There aren’t any up yet as of typing this, but I can’t wait to see how she does. We’ll also get to see her Thursday, because he’s going to bring her to our training session with Tibs and Emmy to see what progress he’s made already.