Ok, so I may have lost my mind, but my husband and I have talked it over and decided to give Baroo another chance. I should say, a fair chance. (We were planning on finding him another home if you hadn't read my previous post). I was re-reading what I had written about him being a good dog with the exception of a few things that need to be worked out, and I realized a few things. He needs to be trained and walked more, and I thought about it, and didn't think that I had the time, but I realized that I just wasn't making the time or wanting to put in the effort. We went through this before, and we decided to keep him, but we really didn't change anything we were doing to teach him to be a better dog, and he really doesn't know for sure what is ok behavior and what is not. We gave him every chance to fail, and that is why he did. Up until now we have basically just been yelling at him and reacting to his negitive behavior, (which I know is bad) and I now realize that these dogs need positive reinforcement and to be taught right from wrong instead of it just being expected of them. I see where we have been going wrong with him, and I want to give him a fair chance at being a better dog. He just needs more guidence and exercise, and I have decided to commit to doing it. If he can be a good dog with a little effort, then I want him to be my good dog, not someone else's, because I really do love him and dont want to give up on him. He is really smart and wants to learn, so I know this will just be something fun for him, but it will help out a lot, and he really needs it. He really is a good dog, but there are things he needs to know are not ok, and we would get along great. He needs to stop jumping on guests that come over, and occasionally snapping at them (nothing serious, I think it is just a dominance issue because he never bites hard, just enough to make them back off, and usually he only does this when he is startled). He needs to not beg for food and steal it from my son's hand- and I know this will never totally stop, but we can work on it. He needs to not chew up my sons toys, but really he only does this when he wants my attention or needs to let off some steam, in which case he needs to be walked or played with, and I can do that. Also, I think he needs more toys that he knows are his that he can chew on when he feels the urge, because it is only an occasional thing. He also gets into the trash, but I guess I am kidding myself if I think that will ever stop, so we will just continue to use the baby gate system, because that has been working great so far. He just needs to know that the kitchen is off limits. The last thing, and its a big one, is that I need to get him leash trained, because he is horrible when I walk him, and that makes me not want to take him anywhere. Anyone have any tips on how to do this? I have a harness for him, and I use that in combo with the choke chain I have, (and I only use that because it has so far been the only thing that has produced results) and it works ok sometimes, but only when I can get the chain to stay high up on his neck, which it really won't. He is really bad about pulling and wanting to run up to the fence to play(or bark) with other dogs. I think this is one thing I will focus on first, because he just needs to be walked more, and there is nothing more to it, but he just cant be out of control anymore.
I think I just realized that when it comes down to it, I just can't give him up. I love the little rascal, as much as he is a pain in the butt! He just needs a fair chance, and I cant send him away unless I know I have done absolutely everything I can to fix the problem, and so far I have not, but that is going to change. He is worth giving another chance.
We also have decided to take everyone's advice, and as soon as possible we are getting him neutered. We hadnt done it yet because we were trying to find out more about his blood line to possibly breed him, but that idea has been thrown out the window because it is impossible, so that is something that needs to be done right away. From what everyone tells me, that will make a huge change in him, which would be great.
So here's where you will think I am just really nuts, but we have gone from one end of the spectrum to another, and are now seriously considering adopting another one. Crazy, I know, to go from wanting to get rid of the one I have to getting another one, but all along I have thought that he really needs more companionship in the doggy form, and he would be a much happier, and possibly better behaved dog, although it could go the other way too. I have heard many people say that having 2 is easier in some ways because they play together and wear each other out, and that keeps them from misbehaving out of boredom so much, which I know is Baroo's problem, because that is the only time he does it. I am just unsure as to if I should hold off a little bit until he is a little more under control, or if I should get one sooner, and just train them both at the same time. Either way, he will be getting neutered first, because that is not an issue I want to deal with! I have come to the conclusion that although 2 will definately be more work than 1, it won't be that much more, and since we have already changed our lifestyle to accomodate 1 (as in baby gates, closed doors, off limits areas and keeping things picked up and dog proofed), having another wouldn't be much harder. If we are going to have to do it for 1, then why not for 2, especially if it will make them both happy to have a companion. Baroo used to play with the dog next door for hours and then he would come home pooped and sleep for the rest of the day, and it was great! Then they moved and since then I think he has really missed having another dog around. I really want to get another one soon, and I think I can handle it if I am really commited, and I am going to make the effort. Is this totally crazy to want to do? Anyone else been in the same situation? Is 2 better than 1? And let me clarify, because I know some of you might get the wrong impression, I do not want to get another dog to solve my problems with this one, or just because I want to get another dog, I have thought about it a lot, and I really think it would benefit our family, and the dogs. I guess I am just wanting to know if it is possible to take on another dog if I am still working out some kinks with the one I have. What do you think?