Fixing the Broken Dogs

I tend to wonder what my rescue dogs would be like if I had gotten them, socialized them, and trained them from puppies. Tatum is the one I wonder about the most. I think she would be a complete confident terror if I would have gotten her at 12 weeks old from a responsible breeder who had also taken steps to expose her to everything possible when she was little. She is still pretty afraid of new situations and places she has never been to before. At the agility trial, her tail was up and she was curious about everything. Checking out people and dogs and not having any issues. When we walked to another building on Saturday, she changed to ‘scaredie dog’ and tucked her tail and wanted to dart away.

If she had been exposed to all these things as a puppy, she would face everything with confidence in herself and curiousity to explore. Hopefully I’ll be able to fix her, I hope completely, of her fears. Only time will tell.

I also wonder about Muffit. He’s about 4 years old, and I get to fix his pulling on a leash, his yapping and barking when I leave him crated, his frantic behavior when he’s over stimulated. He is, also, a broken dog that needs fixing. Granted he is not as bad as he could be… he’s not aggressive at all, and he’s not as fearful as Tatum. But he’s very under confident and he rolls on his back for approval and acceptance.

Chase does some of the approval seeking too. His tail wagging, his jumping up on people.. he’s just saying “will you like me please?” and Muffit is the same way. Tatum is not, but she’s a girl collie and she has that sassiness typical of the female collies in her. She doesn’t pawn and fuss for approval, instead she just wants to make sure she’s not in any danger and no one will hurt her or restrain her.

Of course even puppies from good breeders can have issues. Some they are born with, some us handlers give to them without even knowing it. And yes I admit to that, too. That is just part of life. Just like people tend to mess up their kids, us handlers can mess up our young dogs, too. But that’s neither here nor there. The rescues have it worse off. They didn’t get a good start, and they need a lot of extra understanding.

I swear sometimes I think 70% of people who have dogs, shouldn’t. Having a dog companion is not something to make a rash decision about. It’s serious caring for another living being. And even if you don’t totally understand how dogs learn and think and behave (like dogs, they are not people in suits), you still have to accept them as dogs, as individuals, and work with and learn from them.

The experience of having a dog companion is unlike any other in the world. It’s amazing and enriching. And I feel bad for those people who will never experience it.

15 thoughts on “Fixing the Broken Dogs”

  1. I could not agree more, once again, with what you say in this post about dog ownership. Since I work at home, I was on hand to hear the ceaseless barking and howling of all the neighborhood dogs (before we moved) that had been ditched in the backyard while the owners were away 8, 10, 12 hours a day. Sometimes when they got home, the dog would stay ditched out in the back, barking, howling while the owners just carried on indoors as though they couldn’t hear. What heartbreak!! That is genuine animal suffering and apparently that’s OK with some people. Those are households that should not have ever had dogs.

    So, it’s great to live out in the country now with my spoiled doggy with me, that I wait on hand and foot. Wish it could be so for those poor marooned city dogs… Gee, I guess your message hit a real tender spot with me. Keep up the great blogging, it’s a very enjoyable blog you have going! Good work. Thnaks, Bonnie and Pepper

    Bonnie Story’s last blog post..Apply fragrance to the pulse points —

  2. I could not agree more, once again, with what you say in this post about dog ownership. Since I work at home, I was on hand to hear the ceaseless barking and howling of all the neighborhood dogs (before we moved) that had been ditched in the backyard while the owners were away 8, 10, 12 hours a day. Sometimes when they got home, the dog would stay ditched out in the back, barking, howling while the owners just carried on indoors as though they couldn't hear. What heartbreak!! That is genuine animal suffering and apparently that's OK with some people. Those are households that should not have ever had dogs.

    So, it's great to live out in the country now with my spoiled doggy with me, that I wait on hand and foot. Wish it could be so for those poor marooned city dogs… Gee, I guess your message hit a real tender spot with me. Keep up the great blogging, it's a very enjoyable blog you have going! Good work. Thnaks, Bonnie and Pepper <em>Bonnie Story's last blog post..<a href='http://sonomadoggybloggy.blogspot.com/2008/03/app…rel="nofollow">Apply fragrance to the pulse points —</a></em>

  3. I could not agree more, once again, with what you say in this post about dog ownership. Since I work at home, I was on hand to hear the ceaseless barking and howling of all the neighborhood dogs (before we moved) that had been ditched in the backyard while the owners were away 8, 10, 12 hours a day. Sometimes when they got home, the dog would stay ditched out in the back, barking, howling while the owners just carried on indoors as though they couldn't hear. What heartbreak!! That is genuine animal suffering and apparently that's OK with some people. Those are households that should not have ever had dogs.

    So, it's great to live out in the country now with my spoiled doggy with me, that I wait on hand and foot. Wish it could be so for those poor marooned city dogs… Gee, I guess your message hit a real tender spot with me. Keep up the great blogging, it's a very enjoyable blog you have going! Good work. Thnaks, Bonnie and Pepper <em>Bonnie Story's last blog post..<a href='http://sonomadoggybloggy.blogspot.com/2008/03/app…rel="nofollow">Apply fragrance to the pulse points —</a></em>

  4. That’s what I’ve always liked about rescue dogs: the hope that you can make a difference in their lives. Some have been phenomenal changes, some not at all; you never know.

    And I absolutely love that you bring up the fact that even pups from reputable breeders, where everything has been done right, can have issues! Thank goodness Bree is working through hers as she grows up, but we went through a real rough patch where she was afraid of her shadow.

    I agree that many people shouldn’t have dogs… for a variety of reasons.

    pam’s last blog post..My team do neighborhood PR

  5. That's what I've always liked about rescue dogs: the hope that you can make a difference in their lives. Some have been phenomenal changes, some not at all; you never know.

    And I absolutely love that you bring up the fact that even pups from reputable breeders, where everything has been done right, can have issues! Thank goodness Bree is working through hers as she grows up, but we went through a real rough patch where she was afraid of her shadow.

    I agree that many people shouldn't have dogs… for a variety of reasons. <em>pam's last blog post..<a href='http://www.pamibe.com/?p=2173&#039; rel="nofollow">My team do neighborhood PR</a></em>

  6. That's what I've always liked about rescue dogs: the hope that you can make a difference in their lives. Some have been phenomenal changes, some not at all; you never know.

    And I absolutely love that you bring up the fact that even pups from reputable breeders, where everything has been done right, can have issues! Thank goodness Bree is working through hers as she grows up, but we went through a real rough patch where she was afraid of her shadow.

    I agree that many people shouldn't have dogs… for a variety of reasons. <em>pam's last blog post..<a href='http://www.pamibe.com/?p=2173&#039; rel="nofollow">My team do neighborhood PR</a></em>

  7. Hi Bonnie.. when I go for walks around the block and see the poor dogs always outside or tied up, breaks my heart. Dogs are pack/family animals just like we are and they need love. 🙁

    Very cool you get to live in a rural area and spoil you dog rotten! As it should be. 😉

  8. Hi Bonnie.. when I go for walks around the block and see the poor dogs always outside or tied up, breaks my heart. Dogs are pack/family animals just like we are and they need love. 🙁

    Very cool you get to live in a rural area and spoil you dog rotten! As it should be. 😉

  9. Hi Pam.. yeah, I admit it too, Levi has some messes I caused and have had to clean up too. 🙂 But my two, Lucy and Levi, that I got as puppies, are much more well adjusted than the rescues. And for goodness sake, I can handle their feet and trim their toes… something that neither Tatum nor Muffit are liking one bit!

    We are working with feet and the clicker.

  10. Hi Pam.. yeah, I admit it too, Levi has some messes I caused and have had to clean up too. 🙂 But my two, Lucy and Levi, that I got as puppies, are much more well adjusted than the rescues. And for goodness sake, I can handle their feet and trim their toes… something that neither Tatum nor Muffit are liking one bit!

    We are working with feet and the clicker.

  11. In some ways you made me think what could I have done better with my two.

    I had Essex since she was about two and a half months. I tried getting her around people and took her little league games, but she is very reserved. She is a great watchdog as she barks at strangers outside rarely the neighbors. When she is at the dog park, she is focused on fence patrol. While she doesn’t dominate, very few dogs will mess with her. Essex reminds me of Tatum.

    Deacon was five months old when he came to live with us. His owners returned him back because of his jumping problems. An elderly parent living with at the house. They have an older calmer collie now. Deacon sometimes forgets his manners when he gets excited still, but is much better. He is outgoing friendly collie. Their favorite time is dog park, which is typically at least an hour.

    Take care,

    Joe, Essex & Deacon

    Key West Collies’s last blog post..Just Ducky

  12. In some ways you made me think what could I have done better with my two.

    I had Essex since she was about two and a half months. I tried getting her around people and took her little league games, but she is very reserved. She is a great watchdog as she barks at strangers outside rarely the neighbors. When she is at the dog park, she is focused on fence patrol. While she doesn't dominate, very few dogs will mess with her. Essex reminds me of Tatum.

    Deacon was five months old when he came to live with us. His owners returned him back because of his jumping problems. An elderly parent living with at the house. They have an older calmer collie now. Deacon sometimes forgets his manners when he gets excited still, but is much better. He is outgoing friendly collie. Their favorite time is dog park, which is typically at least an hour.

    Take care,

    Joe, Essex &amp; Deacon <em>Key West Collies's last blog post..<a href='http://keywestcollies.blogspot.com/2008/03/just-d…rel="nofollow">Just Ducky</a></em>

  13. In some ways you made me think what could I have done better with my two.

    I had Essex since she was about two and a half months. I tried getting her around people and took her little league games, but she is very reserved. She is a great watchdog as she barks at strangers outside rarely the neighbors. When she is at the dog park, she is focused on fence patrol. While she doesn't dominate, very few dogs will mess with her. Essex reminds me of Tatum.

    Deacon was five months old when he came to live with us. His owners returned him back because of his jumping problems. An elderly parent living with at the house. They have an older calmer collie now. Deacon sometimes forgets his manners when he gets excited still, but is much better. He is outgoing friendly collie. Their favorite time is dog park, which is typically at least an hour.

    Take care,

    Joe, Essex &amp; Deacon <em>Key West Collies's last blog post..<a href='http://keywestcollies.blogspot.com/2008/03/just-d…rel="nofollow">Just Ducky</a></em>

  14. Heya Key West Collies… well, I think we all have second thoughts after our dogs are older. I do for sure, with both Lucy and Levi, as I got them as puppies. I joke and say my 30th dog will be raised perfect! LOL

  15. Heya Key West Collies… well, I think we all have second thoughts after our dogs are older. I do for sure, with both Lucy and Levi, as I got them as puppies. I joke and say my 30th dog will be raised perfect! LOL

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