Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What I find frustrating about Rockwell is not him so much, as my own inability to figure him out. After all this time, he still stops in the middle of a walk to tug on the leash in what I used to describe as a "temper tantrum" but now believe is only play. Everything is "play" to this dog. If you scold him or raise your voice, it is interpreted as boisterous play! So he never gets told he is a bad dog because he wouldn't understand what that meant, plus he would jump up on you and bark happily because he thought you were playing. Which is what I mean about it being frustrating. He doesn't operate by regular human rules and he doesn't behave like my old dog or like other dogs I know. So I have to invent the wheel with him. Which I can do but I am telling you, it can get tiring.

I would be very interested in getting progress reports once he is in kennels for good, just to know that the professionals are making headway with him. I don't think they like to keep interacting with the puppywalkers once the job is done, however. And I understand that because they have a bigger job to do after all. And I know they don't want the puppywalker to visit the dog while it is in training either, because that is just a distraction. But I'll see if they will tolerate a phone call or two from me, every now and then.

Rockwell is going for his spa weekend this Friday and we'll pick him up Sunday after I've had a welcome few days apart too. It will be good for me to not have the responsibility of his care for a couple of days. Sometimes I think I take it all a little too seriously but it's in my make-up to do that.
in mid-bark
Here he is, in mid-bark. I am at the computer and he wants my attention and he is barking very loudly at me. Too bad there's no sound.


At 5:55 p.m., August 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is tough when the dog doesn't see you as alpha and life is one big party to them. I've raised 5 dogs and Fortune was the most difficult to work with when she was young. She's the total opposite now-very sensitive to a reprimand, quiet, obedient (95% of the time) great on walks and reliabe in the house...at least when i'm not sleeping. Then it's a free for all if I forget to tie the fridge, cupboards and garbage shut. Maybe some just need a lot more time to mature than others. It will be interesting to see how Rockwell does in training.

At 8:21 p.m., August 22, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Thanks for your support and words of wisdom, Gwiz. When I look at myself and my two sisters, I can't believe how totally different we three people are so I understand that dogs are different too. It's just finding out what works with this particular dog. One thing for which I am very grateful is that when left alone (still), Rockwell does nothing around the house. Whew!

At 12:50 p.m., August 23, 2006, Blogger Katherine said...

Great picture! I get barked at several times a week, too. I really think it's jus because Sampson is bored and wants me to entertain him somehow. I think the lab breed has a lot to do with everything being about play (or food!). Have a great weekend.

At 2:40 a.m., August 27, 2006, Blogger Charlie The Big Dog said...

He's an Enigma!

You will never figure him out:-)

Its just something about Male Yellow Labs - They think on the next level!

Its impossible for the human mind to comprehend us......I mean Rockwell:-)

At 1:46 p.m., August 28, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Thanks for encouragement, Katherine and Charlie. I just feel inadequate because I am supposed to be a little smarter than a dog, after all!


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